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68 Vote

Fluid calculator revamp

Hi dear colleagues,

Right now, we are looking for a way to optimize our built-in calculators, and we'd love to hear what you think about them. Is there anything that you would like to change about the current fluid calculator?

When giving feedback on this topic, keep in mind factors such as user-friendliness, design, general usefulness, current pain points, etc.

We are constantly making improvements to our software and appreciate any feedback you can give to us!


Smart Flow Team

User Stories:

  • As a user, in settings, I want to be able to set whether Fluids behave as other parameter sections do in regards to the "due treatment" highlighting behaviour on the whiteboard.

  • As a user, when I add a fluid line to my treatment sheet, I want to also record the total volume infused "until now" for each fluid being administered.

    • I want an option to have this fill in automatically based on the fluids calculated.

  • As a user, I want to be able to set my fluid rates, specifying which species and weight range they apply to, in the settings. If I set this rate as 0, the calculator should be disabled.

    • Maintenance

    • Sx fluid rate

    • Multipliers

  • As a user, when I add a medication to a fluid bag, I want to track the quantity added, the concentration in the bag, the quantity being administered to the patient over time, and ensure I have charges captured accurately.

    • Does this tie in to Dilutions of medications?

  • When I hang a new bag, I want to easily select which size bag I hung to charge accurately. (Additional details feature?)

  • As a user, I want to have my fluid rates display in 0.01 (hundredths) accuracy.

  • As a user, when I set up an individual patient, I want to be able to specify "ml/kg/hr" and have the "ml/hr" calculated for me (or the reverse)

  • As a user, I want to be able to indicate when a fluid rate has increased, decreased, or when I PLAN to increase or decrease the rate in an obvious way that is intuitive and simple to use.

  • As a user, I want to be alerted to any potential over-hydration issues given the size of my patient.

  • As a user, I want to be able to indicate when I intend to give a bolus, when I have actually administered it, include the bolus quantity in any TVI calculations (and over-hyd warnings), and have an intuitive bolus calculator that is clinically relevant.

  • Ben Nitschke
  • Mar 15 2018
  • Open For Voting
  • Attach files
  • Erin Mooney commented
    24 Nov, 2020 10:50pm

    Agree wholeheartedly that users must be able to bypass the calculated volumes and enter their own total volume/hr rate. This rate should be able to be adjusted in the same order, and the time of change recorded in smartflow.

  • Shana O'Marra commented
    17 Dec, 2019 04:43pm

    Agreed on the total volume infused field.  I also mentally default to mL/kg/hr and prefer not to encourage "multiples of maintenance" type thinking in trainees.  A base maintenance calculation is great.  Given the wide audience, the best option is probably to allow customization.

  • Tina Brunnet commented
    22 Feb, 2019 04:46pm

    I agree that the Maint. rate pre-calculation that is set should be removed.  As it is not flexible to allow for different species (cat vs dog for example), this can lead to a patient over volume.  Also using the Fluid area for colloids and blood products is common, once again the preset can lead to the wrong amount being given and this can be disastrous to the patient.  I have done a potential mock up.  Where the fluid Calculator would be in the hands of the DVM.  Acting as the medication area does - in that a Fluid Rate Calculation area in (mls/kg/hr) would be filled in by the clinician.  At which point the Dehydration/Fluid Deficit/Restore would all function from the that equation.  The hourly rate would come from the main Fluid rate calculation OR the hourly rate would be from the Fluid deficit calculator if filled in.   


    If no numeric value is placed in the Fluid Rate Calculation - just as with the medications the parameter used then would have no default numeric value placed on the treatment flowsheet.  This would address being able to use TVI (Total Volume Infused) and VI (Volume Infused) easily without having to reset the hourly rate manually to 0.  



  • Guest commented
    8 Feb, 2019 01:45am

    Definitely give clinics the ability to set fluid rates on their own. Our specialists would like to calculate based on mls/kg/hr rather than using a maintenance rate as many of our cases require it. We also want our team to calculate the rates rather than rely on a maintenance rate that may not be appropriate for the patient.

  • Laurie Frasher commented
    3 Jan, 2019 09:43am

    The fluid calculator should absolutely have the ability to be set by the clinic or to not have a calculator at all.  The default setting is not what we use to calculate maintenance fluids and it defaults back to the inappropriate rate every time the weight is changed which has caused multiple patients to have inappropriate fluid rates.  The default is inappropriate for puppies and inaccurate for cats.  Not only is this dangerous for patient care, it actually causes more work because we have to constantly check to make sure it has not changed accidentally.


    Also the volume infused should not have a rate setting as this tends to cause more confusion.

  • Michelle Grimes commented
    1 Nov, 2018 06:33pm

    Agreed that having the ability to add a "Total Volume infused" line to our fluids area that doesn't  auto populate with a number / ml's per hour - would be preferred.  

  • Guest commented
    4 Apr, 2018 01:20pm

    Having the total volume administered would be a very helpful tool! Also to have the clinics' be able to set their own fluid rates through the desktop SF.

  • Ben Nitschke commented
    4 Apr, 2018 03:16am

    It would be fantastic if clinics had the ability to set their own maintenance fluid formula/calculations via their Smart Flow settings. In addition to this if we were able to set different formulas/rates for different species this would be AMAZING! 


    Similarly if clinics could set their own sx rates I think they would like this. Overall more customisation to keep everyone happy :)

  • Guest commented
    3 Apr, 2018 10:28pm

    I would like for the hourly fluid rate to display to the 0.01ml to facilitate CRI fluid rates on tiny animals.

    I would also like Smart Flow created parameters/Headings for Total Volume Infused (or similar) which would have an hourly fluid rate default to zero, since they are used to show an amount infused, not an hourly fluid rate. 

  • Guest commented
    16 Mar, 2018 03:51pm

    I agree with Geoffrey's comment. It would be great if you could offer an option for calculating based on ml/kg/hr for example rather than x*maintenance.

  • Geoffrey Truchetti commented
    16 Mar, 2018 03:17pm

    Dear all, you could add the different ways to calculate the hourly rate. Some people prefer formula to a fix rate. If those formulas were included as a mean to calculate the hourly rate, this would be a great feature.

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