Home Infusion

With home infusion therapy, you can manage your treatment from where you are most comfortable.

Infusion therapy delivers medication directly to your bloodstream using a needle or catheter.

Depending on your condition and treatment, you may be able to manage your own infusion therapy at home.

Infusion therapy is the infusion of medicine through an IV or under the skin. Sometimes, receiving antibiotics or other medicine by infusion is a more effective way to treat your condition than oral medications.

Infusion therapy may be started in the hospital, in a clinic or provider's office or sometimes even at home.

Your doctor may recommend home infusion therapy if you have a condition such as:

Your doctor will work with the home care pharmacist and nurses to decide the best home infusion treatment plan for you.

We will provide you (or your caregiver) with the medicine, supplies, education and support you need to manage your treatment at home with confidence.

Some of the benefits of home infusion therapy include:

  • Comfort. Most people are more comfortable at home. Patients who are able to manage treatment at home may experience better outcomes as a result.
  • Cost. Home infusion therapy is often cost-effective, especially for long-term care. It can keep your healthcare costs low compared to an extended hospital stay or multiple visits to a clinic setting.
  • Convenience. Patients who receive infusion therapy at home can often continue their normal lifestyle, work and activities, depending on their condition.

Equipment and Supplies

No matter your condition or treatment, you will need special equipment and supplies for home infusion therapy.

Equipment and Supplies You May Need

An infusion pump for home use will deliver medicine to your body. Depending on your condition and dosing, your pump could be mechanical or electronic. Pumps are portable, so you will be able to walk around and perform most normal daily activities while receiving your medicine, if your condition and dosage form allow it. If you want more product information, visit the Curlin Infusion Pump website.

Many supplies are bundled in sealed packages to ensure cleanliness. Some may even be sterile, such as needles, dressings and syringes. Be careful when opening and handling infusion supplies to ensure that the sterile parts remain sterile. If you accidentally drop or compromise a sterile item, discard it and use a new, sterile item.

The medication you need may come in different forms. It may be in a bag, a small device that looks like a ball, a pre-filled syringe or a small vial. Most medications are mixed by the pharmacy. Some, though, must be mixed right before use, because they are only good for a few hours after being mixed.

Your medicine will be clearly marked with an expiration date, as well as how to use it and contact information in case you have questions.

Administering Medications

  1. Always wash your hands before giving infusion therapy to yourself or a loved one. Good handwashing is the best way to prevent infections.
  2. Always be sure to read medication labels carefully. If anything looks different or you don't understand the instructions, please contact the pharmacy right away.
  3. Inspect the medication container and the supplies to make sure the packaging is intact and nothing is leaking or broken.
  4. Always follow the treatment plan provided by your doctor and care team. Refer to the step-by-step education provided by your IU Health Home Care pharmacists and nurses.
  5. If you are using a mechanical pump, a pharmacist or nurse will pre-program it to strictly control the supply of medication your body receives over a given amount of time. You will not need to adjust the pump settings, unless specifically instructed to do so by a pharmacist or nurse.
  6. Your care team will monitor your progress to ensure the medications are working. You can help them by keeping a journal of how you feel and noting any questions or concerns.
  7. If your dose or medication is changed, the IU Health Home Care team will notify you and explain the changes.
  8. Watch for signs of an adverse reaction. Adverse reactions can include any negative reactions or side effects to the medicine, such as shortness of breath, itching or flushing.
  9. Watch for signs of infection. Signs of an infection around an injection site include redness, swelling and soreness. Signs of a more widespread infection include fever, body aches and extreme fatigue.

Contact your nurse, pharmacist or doctor with any questions, concerns or if you are experiencing any adverse reactions or signs of infection. If you believe you are having a severe, life-threatening reaction, call 911.

Pump Alarms and Troubleshooting

If you are using a mechanical pump, an alarm may alert you to a low battery or a block in medication flow. A nurse will have taught you how to handle these common situations, but if you are unable to correct the issue, contact your nurse or pharmacist right away. They will help you with troubleshooting.

If the nurse or pharmacist cannot resolve the alarm, they will have a replacement pump sent to you.

Storage and Disposal

  • Store your medications according to package instructions. Many medications and solutions must be refrigerated. Remove your dose from your refrigerator at least 30 minutes before use to allow them to reach room temperature to minimize discomfort.
  • Properly dispose of needles in the sharps container provided by IU Health Home Care. When the container is nearly full (about two-thirds of the way), request a replacement. Then mail back the nearly full container according to the instructions on the box.
  • If using a mechanical pump to infuse your medication, you will usually rent it from IU Health Home Care. When a rental pump is no longer needed, IU Health Home Care will make arrangements for you to return the pump. If the pump is not returned, you may incur charges for the lost equipment.

What to Expect from Home Infusion Therapy

Infusion therapy is the infusion of medicine through an IV or under the skin. Sometimes, receiving antibiotics or other medicine by infusion is a more effective way to treat your condition than oral medications.

Infusion therapy may be started in the hospital, in a clinic or provider's office or sometimes even at home.

Your doctor may recommend home infusion therapy if you have a condition such as:

Your doctor will work with the home care pharmacist and nurses to decide the best home infusion treatment plan for you.

We will provide you (or your caregiver) with the medicine, supplies, education and support you need to manage your treatment at home with confidence.

Some of the benefits of home infusion therapy include:

  • Comfort. Most people are more comfortable at home. Patients who are able to manage treatment at home may experience better outcomes as a result.
  • Cost. Home infusion therapy is often cost-effective, especially for long-term care. It can keep your healthcare costs low compared to an extended hospital stay or multiple visits to a clinic setting.
  • Convenience. Patients who receive infusion therapy at home can often continue their normal lifestyle, work and activities, depending on their condition.

Equipment and Supplies

No matter your condition or treatment, you will need special equipment and supplies for home infusion therapy.

Equipment and Supplies You May Need

An infusion pump for home use will deliver medicine to your body. Depending on your condition and dosing, your pump could be mechanical or electronic. Pumps are portable, so you will be able to walk around and perform most normal daily activities while receiving your medicine, if your condition and dosage form allow it. If you want more product information, visit the Curlin Infusion Pump website.

Many supplies are bundled in sealed packages to ensure cleanliness. Some may even be sterile, such as needles, dressings and syringes. Be careful when opening and handling infusion supplies to ensure that the sterile parts remain sterile. If you accidentally drop or compromise a sterile item, discard it and use a new, sterile item.

The medication you need may come in different forms. It may be in a bag, a small device that looks like a ball, a pre-filled syringe or a small vial. Most medications are mixed by the pharmacy. Some, though, must be mixed right before use, because they are only good for a few hours after being mixed.

Your medicine will be clearly marked with an expiration date, as well as how to use it and contact information in case you have questions.

Administering Medications

  1. Always wash your hands before giving infusion therapy to yourself or a loved one. Good handwashing is the best way to prevent infections.
  2. Always be sure to read medication labels carefully. If anything looks different or you don't understand the instructions, please contact the pharmacy right away.
  3. Inspect the medication container and the supplies to make sure the packaging is intact and nothing is leaking or broken.
  4. Always follow the treatment plan provided by your doctor and care team. Refer to the step-by-step education provided by your IU Health Home Care pharmacists and nurses.
  5. If you are using a mechanical pump, a pharmacist or nurse will pre-program it to strictly control the supply of medication your body receives over a given amount of time. You will not need to adjust the pump settings, unless specifically instructed to do so by a pharmacist or nurse.
  6. Your care team will monitor your progress to ensure the medications are working. You can help them by keeping a journal of how you feel and noting any questions or concerns.
  7. If your dose or medication is changed, the IU Health Home Care team will notify you and explain the changes.
  8. Watch for signs of an adverse reaction. Adverse reactions can include any negative reactions or side effects to the medicine, such as shortness of breath, itching or flushing.
  9. Watch for signs of infection. Signs of an infection around an injection site include redness, swelling and soreness. Signs of a more widespread infection include fever, body aches and extreme fatigue.

Contact your nurse, pharmacist or doctor with any questions, concerns or if you are experiencing any adverse reactions or signs of infection. If you believe you are having a severe, life-threatening reaction, call 911.

Pump Alarms and Troubleshooting

If you are using a mechanical pump, an alarm may alert you to a low battery or a block in medication flow. A nurse will have taught you how to handle these common situations, but if you are unable to correct the issue, contact your nurse or pharmacist right away. They will help you with troubleshooting.

If the nurse or pharmacist cannot resolve the alarm, they will have a replacement pump sent to you.

Storage and Disposal

  • Store your medications according to package instructions. Many medications and solutions must be refrigerated. Remove your dose from your refrigerator at least 30 minutes before use to allow them to reach room temperature to minimize discomfort.
  • Properly dispose of needles in the sharps container provided by IU Health Home Care. When the container is nearly full (about two-thirds of the way), request a replacement. Then mail back the nearly full container according to the instructions on the box.
  • If using a mechanical pump to infuse your medication, you will usually rent it from IU Health Home Care. When a rental pump is no longer needed, IU Health Home Care will make arrangements for you to return the pump. If the pump is not returned, you may incur charges for the lost equipment.

Support from IU Health

Education

If you are on home infusion therapy, you won’t be left on your own to figure it all out. We will make sure you and your caregiver know how to give the infusion treatment(s) and feel comfortable in doing so.

You will also learn how to:

  • Store the equipment, medicine and supplies.
  • Read the medicine labels.
  • Care for the IV line and surrounding skin.
  • Contact a pharmacist or nurse with concerns.

Monitoring

Some people are independent with their treatment right away and don’t need home nursing visits. For most people, though, a nurse a will make regular visits to monitor your progress and make sure the medicines are working. They may obtain blood for lab work, check the IV line and ask about any side effects. Our team will also call to check in and give you a chance to ask questions and reorder supplies.

A nurse and a pharmacist are available by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week for any questions or concerns you may have.

Related Services and Conditions for Home Infusion

Patient Stories for Home Infusion

Client Agreement & Email Consent Form

Please review and sign this form allowing IU Health Home Care and its employees and agents to provide you products and services. The email consent form allows email communication with your healthcare provider.

Email Consent Form

Please review and sign this consent to allow email communication with your healthcare provider.

Forms

Client Agreement & Email Consent Form

Please review and sign this form allowing IU Health Home Care and its employees and agents to provide you products and services. The email consent form allows email communication with your healthcare provider.

Email Consent Form

Please review and sign this consent to allow email communication with your healthcare provider.

Patient Resources

Provider Resources