Enhancing Infusion Pumps: How Replacement Parts Can Optimize Performance


Infusion pumps are indispensable in hospital care, administering fluids and precise medication dosages to roughly 90% of hospitalized patients. But every day, these machines endure multiple stressors from fast-paced healthcare environments. Optimal medication delivery — and the health and safety of patients — depends on infusion pumps, so their repair and maintenance is critical. The ongoing repair and maintenance of infusion pumps and replacement parts that go into them are the backbone of those efforts.

Replacement parts are the backbone of device maintenance, so when considering replacement parts, decision-makers should approach them as a strategic opportunity rather than just supplies. Taking steps such as stocking critical and frequently used parts, staying on top of repairs, and using quality components can transform the safety, efficiency, and longevity of infusion devices.

Read on for tips on strategizing parts replacement to optimize infusion pump performance and improve longevity.

Don’t cut corners on preventive maintenance

Preventive maintenance (PM) requires time and resources–and it’s worth the investment. According to one study, healthcare facilities that spend more than 1.5% of their annual cost of goods sold (COGS) have a significantly lower rate of medical equipment failures.

Following manufacturer guidelines and conducting preventive maintenance on time helps avoid a wide range of issues that could impede pump function, cause more damage, or put the device out of commission for good. After completing the PM, fix broken or worn-out components in a timely fashion. Tiny cracks can get larger quickly. A part that’s a little loose one day could stop or delay an infusion later on, potentially with severe consequences.

Insist on high-quality replacement parts

The success of any replacement parts strategy begins with high-quality components. “High-quality parts can greatly improve the efficiency and lifespan of your products,” says Jake Walters, CBET, BMET 2 at Elite Biomedical Solutions. “You can save a little bit of money by buying low-quality parts on the front end, but you're going to replace them twice as often.”

OEM parts and high-quality 3rd-party parts can provide:

  • Seamless device compatibility
  • Optimal functionality
  • Impressive durability
  • Component improvements (stronger materials, design upgrades)

In short, parts that meet or exceed OEM quality keep infusion pumps on the floor, safely delivering critical medications to patients in need.

Protect the pump for patient safety

Infusion pumps are explicitly designed to ensure safe, reliable medication delivery. Still, an estimated 60% of serious and life-threatening medication errors in the United States involve intravenous medications. Therefore, preventing malfunctioning parts from interfering with dose accuracy or consistency is paramount for patient safety.

Any infusion pump component that interacts with pumping fluid, such as pumping fingers, camshafts, plungers, or levers can cause medication errors if it fails. For example, in some models, the door and other parts interact with the lever. A broken door or poorly fitting part can prevent the lever from controlling the flow rate, halting medication administration.

Since the fit is critical, using a high-quality part can significantly lower the risk of such an error. Even if the device appears to be working, proactively replacing any damaged parts that interact with the pumping mechanism helps eliminate trouble before a failure causes a host of issues.

Gear up devices for harsh clinical environments

Infusion pumps operate in intense clinical environments, encountering rough handling, collisions, falls, and other types of impact. Hospital cleaning protocols also subject infusion pumps to harsh chemicals that make them more susceptible to cracking. Because hospitals rely so heavily on infusion pumps, downtime due to damage raises equipment costs, interferes with clinician workflows, and can significantly compromise patient care.

Rigorous clinical environments take a toll on mission-critical infusion pump components. Fortunately, durable replacement parts, particularly upgraded components, can substantially impact device resilience. Additionally, having reliable backup parts in stock lets BMETs conduct fast, dependable repairs.

Examples of mission-critical infusion pump parts include:


Cases protect interior infusion pump components, including those directly related to fluid delivery. Any damage to the case, even tiny cracks, increases the vulnerability of interior parts. Case damage can also change how the device components fit and interact with each other.

Cleaning and sanitizing solutions can weaken the plastic casing, making it more susceptible to cracking. Occasionally, cleaning fluids that enter the device can reach the circuit board, shutting it down. This could cause the pump to stop abruptly while in use, resulting in a dangerous medication interruption.


Infusion pumps have internal pressure sensors that monitor back pressure, ensuring flow accuracy. The bezel keeps these sensors properly seated so they receive precise feedback. Damaged bezel posts can result in unsecured sensors that won’t function properly, leading to over-dosage, under-dosage, or free-flowing medication.


The lever mechanism controls the infusion pump’s flow rate. Some levers also provide an emergency turn-off function. Impact damage or wear and tear can cause the lever to grind against other parts, move irregularly, or become too tight or loose. A malfunctioning lever can cause inconsistent flow rates that lead to medication errors.

Leverage reliable parts for efficiency, affordability, and longevity

Proactive repairs with durable replacement parts help boost clinician and technician efficiency. High-quality parts reduce the amount of repairs during device lifespans. Fewer repairs free up technician time, streamline clinical workflows, and reduce paperwork for both nurses and BMETs.

“Using a higher-quality part can cut down on spending costs when it comes to device maintenance,” Walters explains. “And it also keeps the pump out there running longer and helping people.” Investing in quality parts results in lower repair costs, less lost revenue due to device downtime, and more efficient use of staff labor hours, resulting in a higher ROI while lowering the total cost of ownership.

To avoid larger issues, proactively replace damaged or worn parts even if they’re currently operational. Broken components may still function, but they could cause trouble for other parts as the damage progresses.

Durability and efficiency add up to device longevity. Infusion pumps with high-quality components that interact smoothly can last considerably longer than devices replaced with cheap, low-quality parts.

The takeaway: plan, be proactive, prioritize quality

Ultimately, a winning strategy comes down to a proactive approach using top-quality replacement components. Finding a values-driven, third-party manufacturing partner gives hospital decision-makers peace of mind.

“Make sure you're buying parts from a company that takes the time to make sure their product is going to last as long as they claim it will,” Walters advises. “Make sure it’s a company that cares.”

Getting started on the search for a 3rd-party manufacturer?

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