New Pharmacy Technology Enhances MCH Patient Safety

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New Pharmacy Technology Enhances MCH 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 Mitchell County Hospital. The new system streamlines the medication administration process and enhances patient safety.

Four automated medication dispensing cabinets were recently installed throughout the hospital on the medical/surgical unit and in the Emergency Department.  And according to Mitchell County Hospital pharmacy manager Tom Rehberg, PharmD, the system greatly increases safety for patients.

“Patient safety is gained by utilizing automation with medication management,” said Rehberg. “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. It’s also beneficial to the patient because medication is available much quicker. Nurses now have instant access to medications once the physician order is reviewed by the pharmacist, and patients appreciate they don’t have to wait for the pharmacy 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.

“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,” said Mark Kimball, MCH administrator. “This type of technology is typically only found in large hospitals.  We’re fortunate to be a part of the Archbold health system; they’ve consistently shown their commitment to Mitchell County patients by providing the best technology that results in safe, high-quality patient care.”