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Infusion pumps, Patient safety, Smart pump, Surveys, Usability



  1. Graves, Krisanne PhD, RN, CPHQ
  2. Titus, Courtney MA, MEd
  3. Gordon, Mary D. PhD, RN, CNS-BC
  4. Braun, Curt PhD


Errors in healthcare are a leading cause of death in the United States. Equipment usability and user interfaces remain an area not fully elucidated. Infusion pumps play a vital role in care delivery, often essential for critical therapies. While pump function is comparatively simple, their programming, configuration, and form provide opportunity for error. Our purpose was to assess qualities nurses identified as important to pump operation by electronic survey. A self-developed usability survey was distributed to a random sample of 500 nurses, stratified by unit type and employed at the large academic quaternary care hospital. The overall response rate was 48% (n = 240). Descriptive and inferential statistics describe the responses and represent more than 5500 weekly infusions. Nurses described confident use of the system with some differences by unit type. Ninety percent of respondents indicated they have omitted use of the dose error reduction system, which should raise safety concerns. Users reported issues with the user interface and error prevention systems. Qualitative items elicited suggestions for improving aspects of the pump. Employing a usability survey in a clinical area proved to be a simple, inexpensive way to gather more information on the use and potential improvements of infusion pumps.