Drug libraries increase the safety of patients and users. Thereby they support the simplification and standardisation of processes in clinics.
The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Utrecht University is the largest faculty in Europe. Pet owners from all over the Netherlands, and even other European countries, are coming here for a second opinion or for an advanced treatment of their four legged family member. The ICU for small animals is a renowned address for the treatment of critically ill dogs and cats.
Dr. Joris Robben, Head of ICU, is a key opinion leader in the field of Internal Medicine, as well as Emergency and Critical Care Medicine in Europe and a highly esteemed veterinarian in this field. He is a board member and member of several organizations, like e.g. the European College and Society of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, EVECCS.
The continuous infusion of medications is performed with Space Infusion pumps. Until recently, dose rate calculations has been performed by simple calculations with the aid of predefined Excel files. This method seemed to be relatively easy and safe. However, the calculation results needed to be hung on the pumps with a paper print out.
Furthermore, when it came to the programming of the drugs, the ICU team realized, that with the previous system the drug concentrations were not completely standardized as it should be.
“As the nurses may prepare these drugs in a different concentrations, we are not able to give you an accurate list to program the drug library. First, we have to do our homework and really streamline our drug administration protocols and agree on a common process.” was the feedback at the beginning.
After the introduction of the Drug Library, Dr. Robben and his team have been convinced this is an important improvement: besides automatic calculations by the system, no print outs are necessary anymore. Everything is displayed in the pumps. Furthermore, the entire system, especially the dose limits helps in preventing human errors!
With more than 50 drugs and different concentrations, dose limits based on different species (dogs and cats), we have started to reach another level in infusion therapy in the critical care treatment of dogs and cats.
The usage of the drug library is now well appreciated by the veterinarians and nurses in Utrecht. Treatment is more convenient, time saving and an increased drug safety overall – for veterinarians, students, nurses and the four legged patients.