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  1. Keohane, Carol A. BSN, RN
  2. Hayes, Judy MSN, RN
  3. Saniuk, Catherine MS, RN, CCRN
  4. Rothschild, Jeffrey M. MD, MPH
  5. Bates, David W. MD, MSc


The Institute of Medicine report To Err Is Human: Building a Safe Health System greatly increased national awareness of the need to improve patient safety in general and medication safety in particular. Infusion-related errors are associated with the greatest risk of harm, and "smart" (computerized) infusion systems are currently available that can avert high-risk errors and provide previously unavailable data for continuous quality improvement (CQI) efforts. As healthcare organizations consider how to invest scarce dollars, infusion nurses have a key role to play in assessing need, evaluating technology, and selecting and implementing specific products. This article reviews the need to improve intravenous medication safety. It describes smart infusion systems and the results they have achieved. Finally, it details the lessons learned and the opportunities identified through the use of smart infusion technology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.