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BD Alaris Recalls BD Alaris Recalls
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BD Alaris Recalls
Flash Insights Report 2020

author - Jackson Tate
Jackson Tate
author - Paul Warburton
Paul Warburton
October 1, 2020 | Read Time: 5  minutes

Occasional product recalls are an expected nuisance of working with medical devices. However, following the recent series of recalls involving the BD Alaris smart pump—the largest of which was categorized by the FDA as a Class I recall and initiated on February 4, 2020—KLAS has received an unprecedented volume of questions from Alaris customers. Based on feedback from 53 individuals at 50 Alaris customer organizations, this report examines what impact the recalls have had on BD customers’ satisfaction and future plans and whether BD has been successful in addressing patient-safety concerns and minimizing disruption.

Most Customers Still Committed to BD 
Despite Mounting Frustration over Repeat Recalls

likelihood to recommend

Long-time Alaris customers report mounting frustration caused by the pump’s repeat recalls, and they are less likely today than in the past to recommend the pump to peers. A few have even decided to replace the Alaris. However, the majority of customers do not expect their overall satisfaction with the pump to decline, and the Alaris still has some of the highest customer loyalty of any smart pump—a large majority of Alaris customers plan to keep the pump long term or even expand its use in the future (in part due to increased pump demand caused by COVID-19). A small part of customers’ hesitancy to switch products is due to budget freezes caused by COVID-19 challenges; however, many Alaris customers feel that other vendors struggle to deliver the same comprehensiveness that the Alaris platform provides, and they view BD’s interoperability capabilities, three-in-one platform, and broad pharmacy contracts as compelling reasons to stay.

future purchasing plans
future purchasing plans
impact of recall on alaris customers

Patient Safety a Top Concern for Customers Who Report Recall Disruption

About half of customers feel they were able to get ahead of the recent recalls and minimize their impact. The other half report disruption, with customers who aren’t on the latest platform being more likely to report a negative impact. Patient-safety issues are the top concern, but customers also report a myriad of other negative impacts, including nurse workflows being disrupted by pump shortages, and customer employees—typically those in the biomedical department—having to spend significant time on the recalls (BD typically requests that customers provide FTEs to help navigate the logistics). Disruptions to nurse workflows are a particular issue for customers who have implemented pump/EMR interoperability—making a short-term switch to non-interoperable pumps represents a bigger change for nurses at these organizations.

Customers in the Southeast Most Likely to Report Frustration

Customers in the southeast US are the most likely to report significant disruption. These customers say that the challenges of the recent recalls have created undue burden on their organizations.

respondent demographics

Alaris Customers Divided on Success of BD’s Response

BD is still working to correct the issues that caused the recalls, and those who report being disrupted report mixed feedback regarding the success of BD’s response. Those who are most dissatisfied with the response say that BD has not provided a clear timeline for pump remediation and that they have had to implement manual workarounds due to delays caused partly by the COVID-19 pandemic.

success of bd's recall response

positive feedbackPositive Feedback
Regarding BD's Response

positive feedback up arrowBeginning in 2019 and continuing through 2020, BD has consistently communicated with customers about the software and system issues.

positive feedback up arrowThe early notice BD provided enabled proactive customers to implement new safety workflows prior to the recalls.

positive feedback quote“The recall did not affect the core Alaris functionality. Prior to the official recall, we had made adjustments in settings during the last health check to account for some of the more obscure workflow scenarios that were identified in the recall.” —Informatics pharmacist

negative feedbackNegative Feedback
Regarding BD's Response

negative feedback down arrowBD has been ambiguous regarding the pump remediation timeline.

negative feedback down arrowThere have been delays to remediation plans (partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

negative feedback down arrowCustomers have had to implement manual workarounds and reeducate clinicians themselves.

positive feedback quote“The Alaris recall has impacted our organization in the cost of manpower since BD requires that hospital staff spend days away from their normal workflows tracking down pumps and delivering them to the recall teams.” —Director of biomed

Additional Insights from KLAS Decision Insights Data

vendors considered/chosen in recent purchase decisions top factors in recent purchase decisions

BD Customers Thinking of Leaving Most Often Consider B. Braun, Followed by ICU Medical

Over the last 12 months, KLAS has interviewed 17 BD customers (including some in this report sample) who have decided to move to another vendor or are considering a switch. The majority of these customers look at or choose B. Braun, the only vendor besides BD to offer a three-in-one pump platform (which improves nurse workflows); interoperability is available for B. Braun’s LVP and syringe pumps. ICU Medical—noted for their strength in helping customers navigate the change management hurdles of pump/EMR interoperability—is also frequently considered. For more information on interoperability performance and purchasing decisions, see KLAS’ 2020 smart pump/EMR interoperability report and 2019 smart pump Decision Insights report.

author - Elizabeth Pew
Elizabeth Pew
author - Robert Ellis
Project Manager
Robert Ellis
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This material is copyrighted. Any organization gaining unauthorized access to this report will be liable to compensate KLAS for the full retail price. Please see the KLAS DATA USE POLICY for information regarding use of this report. © 2024 KLAS Research, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NOTE: Performance scores may change significantly when including newly interviewed provider organizations, especially when added to a smaller sample size like in emerging markets with a small number of live clients. The findings presented are not meant to be conclusive data for an entire client base.

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