Cool Technology for Pharmacy

Bar code medication administration (BCMA) is nothing new, but remains a hot topic in healthcare nonetheless. Another topic that has generated significant interest in healthcare over the past couple of years is the use of smart pumps, which I have posted on before. Unfortunately for most hospitals the two remain independent of one another with no appreciable integration. The integration of smart pumps with BCMA was one topic of discussion at this years ASHP midyear. I attended a couple of presentations from healthcare systems that had successfully integrated information from their pharmacy information system (PhIS) directly into their smart pumps for use with their BCMA system. Like many other ideas presented at large conferences, the situation is the exception rather than the rule.

For the rest of us there is Alaris Auto-ID.

“The Alaris® Auto-ID module lets you incorporate bedside IV barcoding, independent of your broader barcoding or IT strategy. Designed to attach directly onto the Alaris® system, the Alaris® Auto-ID module helps simplify clinical workfow and provide additional safety at the point of care. This unique, highly scalable solution makes it easy for any hospital to gain the benefts of patient, clinician and IV drug recognition at the point of care, regardless of existing IT infrastructure.”

Alaris Auto-ID is a module that attaches directly to Alaris Smart Pumps. The module is designed to upload patient specific infusion information directly from the bar code on the medication label generated from the PhIS. Scanning the bar code on the infusion label results in the verification of the patient, selection of the correct drug and the correct concentration by the pump. Once the user has verified the information is correct the infusion is started and the information is relayed to the electronic medication administration record (eMAR).

Although the Alaris Auto-ID module doesn’t offer an automated upload of information to the Alaris pump directly from the PhIS, it is certainly one step ahead of manually programming the pump. The addition of automated eMAR documentation makes it technology worth investigating.

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