New Pharmacy Technology Enhances BCH Patient Safety

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New Pharmacy Technology Enhances BCH Patient Safety

Thursday, May 23, 2013

As part of a constant effort to increase patient safety, Archbold Memorial Hospital recently invested in a new integrated medication management system that electronically controls the flow of medications from the pharmacy to the patient at Brooks County Hospital. The new system streamlines the medication administration process and enhances patient safety.

Two automated medication dispensing cabinets were recently installed—one on the hospital’s medical/surgical unit, and one in the Emergency Department.  According to pharmacists, the system greatly increases safety for patients.

“First and foremost, patient safety is gained by utilizing automation. We’re immediately reducing the likelihood for medication error,” said Assistant Director of Pharmacy at Archbold Chris Newman. “In addition, all medications are barcoded, and this barcode is utilized for multiple safety checks—within the pharmacy, on the nursing floors in the automated dispensing cabinets, and prior to administration to the patient.”

Brooks County Hospital pharmacy manager Felicia Brown, PharmD, added, “Nurses now have instant access to medications once the physician order is reviewed by the pharmacist. It’s convenient for our patients because they don’t have to wait for us to deliver their medication.”

The cabinets are routinely stocked with medications by the pharmacy department and serve as secure storage for the medication until they are ordered for a patient by a physician. A nurse is then granted access to the cabinet, which incorporates a number of smart features that ensure the correct medication or supply is being retrieved.

 While studies have shown that technology, including barcoding and computerized physician entry, as well as changes in hospital processes for medication management, can help reduce errors, it’s not particularly common to find this level of technology in a rural hospital.

“The technology we have access to through Archbold is incredible,” said Ken Rhudy, administrator of BCH. “Archbold is dedicated to providing our patients with a safe environment and state-of-the-art technology. Brooks County is very fortunate to have the support of Archbold in our community.”