A case study on the safety impact of implementing smart patient-controlled analgesic pumps at a tertiary care academic medical center

As with the use of any therapy involving opioids, patient-controlled analgesia (PCA)–related errors can lead to overdose and even death. “Smart” (computerized) pumps have medication safety enhancements, particularly those related to operator errors during administration, to improve overall safety and efficacy. After the occurrence of PCA–related errors that occurred at a tertiary care academic medical center, an analysis of PCA errors was conducted. The introduction of smart pumps was identified as a possible solution, and the medical center adopted the technology in 2006.

A study was conducted to investigate the impact of implementation.