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Medical devices

Despite recalls, providers appear to want smart pumps

OREM, Utah – New FDA regulations and widespread recalls – including an order to recall-and-destroy the Baxter COLLEAGUE – have done little to dampen demand for smart infusion pumps, according to a new report from KLAS, a research company.

For the new report, Smart Pumps 2011: The FDA Steps in – Provider Reactions to Market Turmoil, KLAS interviewed 116 healthcare providers about how recent FDA actions were affecting them specifically and the smart pump market as a whole. Every smart pump vendor has been involved in a recall (in the United States) at least once in the past 24 months. Nevertheless, healthcare providers are not staying out of the market. Only 9 percent of providers said these events will delay their current purchasing plans.

“The vast majority of smart pumps users are proceeding cautiously, but on much the same timeline as had been previously planned,” said Coray Tate, KLAS research director and author of the report. “Providers who plan to make a change in the next two years are largely doing so because of the age of their pumps. Regardless of the recent recall events, providers do not feel they can stay out of the market-as it is simply time to replace their pumps.”

According to the report, few providers are leaving their smart pumps vendors because of recall issues. Even among Baxter COLLEAGUE customers, only about half indicated that the recall has harmed their overall opinion of Baxter.

“Interestingly, although providers bemoan the time and resources they must use to deal with recalls, they have largely come to accept recalls as part of the experience of owning smart pumps,” Tate remarked. “Simply put, providers generally do not feel the grass will be greener if they switch vendors.”

The report also gathered reactions to the FDA Infusion Pump Improvement Initiative, enacted last year. Most providers view the more stringent standards required for FDA approval as necessary, and 65 percent expect the FDA actions to result in safer pumps. However, providers say the increased safety comes at a cost: Many expect the extended testing and review procedures to slow enhancement releases-and possibly increase recalls.

Baxter COLLEAGUE users were affected more acutely by the recent recall and are forced to replace their pumps by July 2012. As part of Smart Pumps 2011: The FDA Steps in – Provider Reactions to Market Turmoil report, KLAS researched which pumps are likely to fill the void left by the recalled Baxter COLLEAGUEs. Baxter Sigma is being considered most often, in 77 percent of deals, likely because Baxter has offered to replace COLLEAGUE with Sigma at no cost. CareFusion is second in mindshare, followed by Hospira and B. Braun.

For more information about the smart pumps market, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of participating vendors, Smart Pumps 2011: The FDA Steps in – Provider Reactions to Market Turmoil is available to healthcare providers online for a significant discount off the standard retail price. To purchase, healthcare providers and vendors can visit

About KLAS
KLAS is a research firm specializing in monitoring and reporting the performance of healthcare vendors. KLAS’ mission is to improve delivery, by independently measuring vendor performance for the benefit of our healthcare provider partners, consultants, investors, and vendors. Working together with executives from over 4500 hospitals and over 2500 clinics, KLAS delivers timely reports, trends, and statistics, which provide a solid overview of vendor performance in the industry. KLAS measures performance of software, professional services, and medical equipment vendors. For more information, go to, email, or call 1-800-920-4109 to speak with a KLAS representative.

Posted February 10, 2011