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HCA Healthcare Innovators Award: Quality and Patient Safety

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Quality and Patient Safety Recipients: Hunter Davis, Director of IT&S, Portsmouth Regional Hospital, Portsmouth, NH and Sean Albert, Director of Application Services, Capital Division

Although intravenous (IV) therapy offers rapid response for patients, the administration of these medications can sometimes result in errors. These errors can cause poor health outcomes to patients — from longer hospital stays and rehabilitation time to greater risk of illness and death.

Hunter Davis, director of IT&S at Portsmouth Regional Hospital in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, led the development of the IV Guardian application to reduce the likelihood of IV drug administration errors. The app he created seamlessly integrates with existing Meditech software so that physicians and nurses know exactly how much dosage patients need. This innovation improves safety and enhances nursing workflow while improving the patient experience.

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Davis led the development of the program when he was serving as application development manager at HCA Healthcare’s Capital Division in Richmond, Virginia. He and his team were joined in the effort by Sean Albert, director of application development for HCA Healthcare’s IT&S Capital Division.

“The driving forces behind our innovation are the opportunities to enhance the clinical and patient experience,” Albert says. “Our team is passionate about improving medication safety. IV Guardian is an example of how people, process, and technology converge to accomplish that mission.”

The IV Guardian pilot was developed to help reduce administration errors through a new application that pulls programmed data from the IV pump database and matches that to the physician’s order in Meditech.

In the new process, the nurse scans the patient’s armband and IV bag as usual, and then scans the IV pump’s barcode in order to attribute the pump’s settings to the appropriate record in Meditech. IV Guardian can detect the occurrence of a rate mismatch and can provide alerts and notifications in several ways: on the nurse’s desktop, via email and on a display at the nurse’s station. In the event of a mismatch, the nurse reviews the information provided in the notification and is afforded the opportunity to reprogram the pump correctly.

“This is certainly a more proactive program than we’ve had in the past,” Davis says. “All the pump events that happen are documented. If there’s a rate mismatch, the nurse knows right away.”

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 186 hospitals and more than 2,000 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our approximately 275,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

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