Computer Assisted Total Parenteral Nutrition for Pre-term and Sick Term Neonates
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Introduction: Over the past few years, the use of total parenteral nutrition (TPN) has been established for pre-term and sick term neonates. At ‘IASO’ Hospital, a series of protocols implemented through the use of a computer programme has been developed to assist in the time consuming task of prescribing and preparing TPN in neonates. The algorithms used for neonates of a different gestational age are based on the protocols created through screening of literature and personal experience. This is important because it heralds a uniformity of the prescription of TPN at IASO and other hospitals where these protocols have been implemented.
Objective: The objective is to determine the extent of error occurrence of the manual method as opposed to the new computerized procedure of TPN formulation, and to assess the immediate benefits stemming from the computer programme’s use, in terms of personnel time reduction. Furthermore, the usefulness of the automated compounder in the computer driven process of TPN solution formulation was also assessed.
Setting: Gynaecology Hospital ‘IASO’.
Method: For a period of 6 months, sick and prematurely born babies were included in the study. Calculations regarding the composition of TPN solutions were conducted both by computer and manually.
Main outcome measure: The time needed to complete the procedure and the results’ accuracy were measured and compared.
Results: Implementation of the protocols into practice via this computer programme has been found to reduce the time spent by the physician and the pharmacist on TPN solution preparation, but the most important contribution is the virtual elimination (no errors in computerized calculation) of errors in the complex task of prescribing and formulating TPN solutions. For example, the average time taken to prepare the individual TPN solutions was 5.2 min while the computerized procedure took 15.4 min.
Conclusion: Use of this system can optimize pharmacists’ and physicians’ work and help prevent prescription and preparation errors.
Key wordsGreece Neonates Pre-term neonates Protocols Total parenteral nutrition TPN TPN compounding
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