Community helped GGH provide safer patient care with a new fleet of IV Pumps

It’s been nearly two years since a new fleet of 300 IV Pumps arrived at Guelph General Hospital.

In this time, they have helped our health care team provide safer patient care to literally thousands of people in our community.

It became necessary to replace the Hospital’s IV pumps because the previous pumps were soon to be obsolete since the manufacturer was no longer going to be supporting their technology.

IV Pumps are used throughout the Hospital. They are used to deliver everything from pain medication to chemotherapy drugs to antibiotics and more – much more, in fact. The pumps drug dictionary contains over 1,000 drug and IV fluid entries!

One advanced feature of the new pumps that has had a significant impact on both safety and efficiency is that they are WiFi enabled. This allows the drug library to be managed from a central location.

On a computer, one of the Hospital’s pharmacists will add new drugs or make changes to things like dosages, and then with a push of a button those changes are pushed out to all the pumps hospital-wide.

This ability greatly reduces margin for error and is far more time efficient. Before, each pump had to be tracked down and manually programmed one-by-one! This is such a significant benefit, especially considering that GGH’s drug dictionary has already been updated 31 times since the new pumps have been in use.

The WiFi also allows the Hospital to monitor usage more easily. With a computer login, a health care worker can see which pumps are in use and which are not and locate them in the Hospital.

However, the most important feature of the new pumps is the built-in safety prompts. As a nurse programs the pump for a patient, a series of security questions pop up on the screen, automatically checking and double-checking the right medication is about to be delivered to the right patient in the right dose. This is happening every day, multiple times a day, whether our patients are receiving cancer-fighting drugs, pain relief, antibiotics or something else.

Another notable feature is their size which has resulted in a benefit we hadn’t thought of. The pumps are so small that they can easily slide through the arm of a hospital gown. Because of this, the nurse does not need to disconnect any of the patient’s medications in order to change their gown. Most would agree that the fewer the pokes, the better and more comfortable!

Public dollars do not cover the costs of patient care equipment for hospitals in the province of Ontario, not even for that as essential as IV pumps.

$1.6 million of community funding brought the new pumps to our Hospital. It took many generous donors to reach that fundraising goal – in fact 1557 gifts from 1271 generous donors. Gifts of all sizes contributed to the overall campaign, but the largest gift was in the form of a bequest in a will. Included in the total were funds raised through all of the Foundation’s signature fundraising events in the fiscal year of 2015-16.

The caring generosity of so many in our community empowers our Hospital’s healthcare team to provide the best possible patient care.

We are grateful for all those who support our mission to save lives and improve health, together with our community.