1. Flack, Marilyn MA

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It is with great pride that the AAMI Foundation counts itself among the many partners INS has developed during its 40-plus years of promoting excellence in the infusion therapy specialty and caring for infusion nurses and the patients they serve. It is a pleasure working with INS as an organization, but, most especially, working with INS Chief Executive Officer Mary Alexander. Mary's enthusiasm for patient safety and her sharing, collaborative spirit is reflected by the incredible accomplishments of the organization she leads.

Marilyn Flack, MA Se... - Click to enlarge in new window


The AAMI Foundation is the only nonprofit organization that focuses exclusively on solving technology-related patient safety issues. Today, health care is a complex system of systems, and within that complex system, technology is another complex system of systems. The AAMI Foundation shares INS' belief that incredibly convoluted technology-related issues cannot be solved well by any single person, organization, discipline, or regulatory body alone.


The AAMI Foundation brings together clinicians, professional societies, health care technology professionals, patient advocates, regulators, accreditors, researchers, industry leaders, and other experts to identify and address health care technology issues that have the potential to threaten positive patient outcomes. AAMI's current national programs address infusion therapy safety, alarm management safety, promote the continuous electronic monitoring of patients on opioids, and promote the safe use of complex health care technology.



AAMI first began working in earnest with INS after the 2010 AAMI/FDA Infusion Device Summit. AAMI invited INS to join the National Infusion Pump Safety Committee to help determine and shape the way forward to address the clarion themes identified at the summit.1 In 2015, the work of this committee led to the establishment of the AAMI Foundation's National Coalition for Infusion Therapy Safety, in which INS played a key role at the kick-off meeting, and, in conjunction with subgroups, worked to create infusion safety improvements for the nation to implement. In 2015, INS cohosted an AAMI Foundation regional event in Boston, and will be cohosting with us again at this year's regional event in San Diego.


With the help of INS and other national experts, 4 "quick guides" have been developed to assist the nation in addressing significant safety issues with the use of smart infusion pumps. The first targets hospitals' senior leaders and describes the requirements of a successful infusion therapy safety program.2 The second informs those working in infusion therapy about the numerous issues associated with multiple line therapy, and provides recommendations to address them.3 The final 2 guides will be published later in 2017. The first will address reducing nonactionable infusion pump alarms to lessen alarm fatigue, and the second will look at improving compliance with pump drug libraries.



The future is now! Mary Alexander served on the planning committee for our latest coalition, the National Coalition to Promote the Safe Use of Complex Healthcare Technology, and participated in the April 2017 kick-off meeting. This effort will guide the nation toward improving the usability of device interfaces, how and when clinicians are trained to use complex technology, and how to evaluate their proficiency in using that technology. Mary and other INS members will join more than 100 additional volunteers during the next 2 years to address this critically important area.


At the end of the day, it's all about the patient. For those patients requiring infusion care, as well as their loved ones, the last thing they need to worry about is whether all the pieces behind the scenes are working smoothly-they are relying on it. By working together, the AAMI Foundation and INS play a significant role in helping clinicians safely use life-saving technology to produce positive patient outcomes. I look forward to another 40 years of collaboration!




1. Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation. Infusing patients safely: priority issues from the AAMI/FDA infusion device summit. Published 2010. Accessed April 28, 2017. [Context Link]


2. AAMI Foundation. Optimizing patient outcomes: questions senior hospital leaders should ask about infusion therapy safety. http:// Published 2016. Accessed April 28, 2017. [Context Link]


3. AAMI Foundation. Improving the safe use of multiple IV infusions. http:// Published 2016. Accessed April 28, 2017. [Context Link]