Investigating Delays in Updates to Infusion Pump Drug Limit Libraries Academic Article uri icon


  • Interoperability is a major challenge in current healthcare systems. It brings big hope for data exchange, but also raises some concern about patient safety. We study the wireless updating of modern infusion pumps and demonstrate the possible flaws in this process. Through analyzing data on drug limit libraries (DLL) versions in one hospital we could identify the delays in distributing DLL updates and the impact these delays might have on patient safety. We found that 31% of all started infusions had used outdated DLL versions, and 22.6% of all alerts were triggered by outdated DLLs. These findings suggest that clinical and operational stakeholders in healthcare systems must address the unreliable interoperability of medical technologies such as seen on infusion pumps. The impact of information inconsistency across healthcare systems might result in use error which would impair patient safety.

publication date

  • January 1, 2016