Cool Technology for Pharmacy

Pyxis PARx: “The Pyxis PARx® system automates the pick-check-delivery process to provide increased security during medication replenishment throughout the hospital. The system utilizes bar code scanning technology for real-time tracking and monitoring of medication handling, pharmacist review and delivery of medications. By providing a complete chain-of-custody on medications during distribution to the nursing unit and helping to ensure the right medication is getting to the right station and the right pocket in the station, the Pyxis PARx® system is a valuable technology that provides improved patient safety and supports compliance with Joint Commission requirements.

parx_example_label1We utilize PARx in combination with our AutoPharm/AutoCarousel system. During Pyxis replenishment the carousel generates a label for each medication, which is attached via rubber-band or placed on a baggie containing the medication for the pharmacist to check. The label contains a PARx barcode (image left). When loading the medication into the Pyxis med station the technician scans the barcode on the label and the drawer with appropriate cubbie is automatically opened. If the medication attached to the label is correct, there is virtually zero chance for an incorrect fill. Our data has confirmed this. Since implementation of PARx in combination with AutoPharm/AutoCarousel in March of 2008 our Pyxis fill error rate has dropped off the map. In fact, the few occurrences we have had can be traced back to a “work around” of the system. In other words, it’s working like a charm. The one recommendation I have for Pyxis is to allow for scanning of the medication barcode in leu of the PARx barcode. Scanning the label creates an additional step and introduces an opportunity for error (i.e. wrong label attached to the drug). Pyxis says that it’s not possible due to the number of medications on the market, but I say it is possible because our entire barcode database resides in the AutoPharm formulary.

9 thoughts on “Cool Technology for Pharmacy”

  1. Jerry – this was posted by a internal Talyst person to my repost of this info to our internal blog here at Talyst.

    Good luck!

    Jerry needs to get in touch with his Pyxis engineer who can do Scanned Code Maintenance in the Procar. This teaches all of the barcode scans to Pyxis so the medication itself can be scanned instead of the Parx barcode label. Some engineers do not like to do this but this is available. The pro of course being that the medications is scanned and not the label on the bag. The cons would be that the Parx barcode consists of the pocket and quantity to be refilled, which this will not. The other con is if Jerry is not on 3500 or 4000 with new resident scanners he will not be able to read some of the more advanced 2D or RSS stacked 14 barcodes.


  2. Jerry,

    We could also look at this from another angle.
    If we broght AutoPharm 3 with Pharmacist Check into the mix (a scan of the AutoPharm label and scan of the medication in the bag), we could also help eliminate the wrong medication being in the wrong bag with the wrong Parx label. This not only gets you an electronic record of the medicaiton check process of all medications out of AutoPharm, but would get you High Alert warnings and you would be ready to install and AutoCool if/when you are ready. If scanning at the station has decreased your erros this could help potentially close the loop on all of them and also give you an additional alert when dispensing and checking all High Alert medications.

  3. Hi Ryen – I like your thinking. The combination of the PARx barcode with AutoPharm 3 Pharmacist Check would indeed help close the loop. This would also make a great case for tech-check-tech, which is legal in California and a potentially great help to staffing pharmacists. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Hi Tony – Can you be a little more specific? I’ve spoken with a few people from Talyst in regards to PARx and they appear to have the same opinion as you, but I would like to hear more about it. The biggest problem appear to be the information that is contained in the PARx label is more extensive than the information contained in the manufacturers barcode. I appreciate the feedback. Thanks for stopping by.

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