When choosing a pump, take the time you need to make a good choice. You will depend on this pump for 4 to 5 years, so discuss different pumps and pump options with your doctor and health care team to select the features that will be most helpful.
Ask local pump representatives to demonstrate their pumps. Ask lots of questions and discuss the advantages of each pump and assess the support provided. Look for a pump support group or go to a diabetes conference where pumpers are discussing their pumps and pump vendors are showing their products. This may take some time, but you will be better informed and able to make a better decision.
The pump company will prepare the paperwork to submit to your insurance carrier or Medicare to cover their share of the pump and supplies and can help you deal with any insurance questions.
Things to Consider for Insulin Pumps
Insulin pumps differ in their features and ease of use. Your needs may make one pump a better choice than another. When selecting a pump, consider the following:
- What appeals to you about the pump? Look, feel, and color, features, accessories?
- How easy is the pump to program and use? Is the screen easy to see?
- How easy are the buttons to push? A bolus should be easy to deliver, but giving a bolus accidentally while gesturing, reaching into a pocket, or displaying the pump to inquisitive friends should not.
- What reminders and alarms does the pump have?
- How finely can basal rates be programmed for children and insulin-sensitive adults who require low basal rates? How often does basal delivery occur?
- How easy is it to stop a bolus?
- If the pump is for a child, can a caregiver easily learn to stop the pump in an emergency?
- Can you hear or feel the alarms? Will you know if your insulin delivery has stopped?
- How much information is stored in the pump’s memory? How easy is it to access? This is important if you get distracted and forget to give a bolus, or if you want to check on your current BOB or active insulin, or if a parent wants to verify bolus delivery by a child.
- If required, can the pump survive rough use? Is the pump waterproof? Is it easy to disconnect before showering or swimming?
- How many infusion sets can the pump connect with?
- With patch pumps, will the adhesive keep it from being knocked off? Can you bolus if you forget your controller?
- What level of customer service is provided by the manufacturer? 24-hour telephone support? Assistance with insurance coverage? Warranty? Ease of upgrading to a newer pump? Trial period? Shipment of temporary supplies to different addresses? How soon will a replacement arrive if needed?