smart pump in use in a hospital room

The Smart Pumps Decision Insights Report

I am excited to introduce KLAS’ first Decision Insights report for Smart Pumps. In previous years, we’ve looked at user satisfaction with interoperability workflows and which smart pump vendors are capable of being strategic partners with providers. With this most recent Smart Pumps 2019 Decision Insights report, KLAS is focusing more deeply on each vendor’s market energy and the reasons that different smart pumps are being considered, selected, or replaced.

The Importance of Bidirectional EMR Integration

The main consideration in smart pump purchasing decisions right now is bidirectional integration with the EMR. Traditional pumps have no connectivity and do not share data at all. There are smart pumps that talk to the EMR, but some of them only communicate one way. Bidirectionally interoperable pumps are automatically programmed by the clinician’s order in the EMR, and all infusion documentation flows back into the patient record.

Interestingly, KLAS is finding that once providers have bidirectional interoperability with a specific pump vendor, they are not as likely to rip out and replace those pumps with a different vendor’s pumps. This is due to the heavy investment that is made up front to implement and train on the workflows. On the other hand, pumps that aren’t interoperable are much more likely to be replaced since there is less of an investment needed to implement. Also, most customers seem fairly successful with noninteroperable pumps.

Other Decision Drivers

Pumps, like all medical equipment, have a lifecycle. Organizations will generally look at updating their pumps every 7–10 years, depending on contracts and pump usage. In that moment, many providers look around to determine whether they want to simply upgrade and go with their vendor’s newer version or whether they want to see what is out there.

This situation is where BD is currently getting the most looks. They have a large footprint and dominate in mindshare in the smart pump market. BD has a good reputation for being able to integrate, and they have plenty of sites that are integrated with both Cerner and with Epic. As you can see in the chart, BD was considered in basically every large organization decision of the organizations that we spoke with.

retention vs consideration

Another factor in these decisions is the type of pump that is offered. KLAS watched three main smart pump types based on the pumps that providers ask us about the most: large volume pumps (LVP), patient-controlled analgesic pumps (PCA), and syringe pumps. The vendors that offer all three types in one pump on the same platform have an advantage because it ends up being less to manage for the hospital. Having all three types of pump in one means that all the pumps use the same standardized drug library and can be updated at the same time.

Wireless pump libraries are also becoming a standard expectation in almost all smart pump decisions.

Digging Deeper

Though most smart pumps are currently delivering fairly high overall satisfaction, we are seeing that there are vendors that stand out from the rest in terms of their offerings. To see the full report card for each vendor and to learn about other factors driving consideration and replacement, I recommend reading the report.