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MedDispense technology improves medication management

MedDispense technology improves medication management

27 February 2014

MidCentral District Health Board has recently added a MedDispense medication and inventory management system to its Emergency Department, in addition to the one introduced to Operating Theatres in 2013.

In contrast to previous manual systems, these advanced units ensure that only the correct amount of medication is dispensed, using touch screen controls and automated draws to fast-track the dispensing of medication.

Chief Pharmacist Lorraine Welman said: “This system has real benefits for both staff and patients. The removal of the requirement to manually record and stocktake medication has lead to great improvements in workflow and inventory management, and enhanced patient safety.”

To dispense medication, the health professional logs into the system with their unique credentials, and can then select the required medication from a list. Once the medication is selected, they enter the amount needed, at which point the appropriate draw will slide open.

Thanks to the automation of the process, pharmacy is now notified when stock is low, or about to expire, meaning that stock levels are easily maintained. In addition, if one area of the hospital is using more of a certain medication, older stock can be relocated to ensure that it is used before expiry.

Workflow is also assisted, as there is no need to manually record what medication has been taken, and there is no time spent looking through medicine cupboards to find what is required. Importantly the use of restricted drugs is also easy to monitor, which assists in reporting for certain medications and reporting for the PHARMAC Hospital Medicines List.

Another benefit of the MedDispense system is its adaptability. Plans are in place for the system to be linked to a fridge, allowing the same benefits to be applied to chilled medication. More features are also being looked at for future implementation.

The system is well supported by the manufacturer, with any issues that arise able to be resolved with the help of 24 hour tech support from the United States.

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