Thoughts on implementing #DoseEdge in an acute care pharmacy

Over the past twelve months or so DoseEdge has become the most popular IV Room Workflow Management System on the market. Why I cannot say, but my guess would be a combination of timing – the NECC tragedy – and name recognition. If you were to ask acute care pharmacy IT folks about IV Room Workflow Management Systems I doubt many of them could name more than one or two, and of those that could, I assure you one of their answers would be DoseEdge. Pharmacy is a small world and word of mouth carries tremendous weight, and DoseEdge clearly has the advantage in that respect.

DoseEdge System at Boston Children's Hospital
DoseEdge System at Boston Children’s Hospital

I’ve visited several hospitals over the past few months. Most do not use workflow management systems in the IV room, but a majority of those that do use DoseEdge. So I’ve had the opportunity to watch DoseEdge in action on several occasions. I’ve also been given the opportunity to speak with pharmacists and technicians about the system. Most of the feedback I’ve received has been positive. No system is perfect, but overall DoseEdge users seems to be satisfied with what they purchased.

Until recently I was only aware of the use cases for the DoseEdge system. But now I’m fortunate enough to get in on the ground floor of a DoseEdge implementation. Actually what I’m doing at the moment is referred to by Baxter as pre-implementation. The pre-implementation phase will last a few weeks, followed by about 12 weeks for the implementation phase, bringing the grand total to about 16 weeks. That’s a long time, but not unheard of in the healthcare industry.

I have found the process to this point to be overly complex, labor intensive and confusing. The “implementation experts” at Baxter require a ton of manual labor by the facility prior to beginning the actual implementation process. The company requires that the receiving facility fill out a “synonym worksheet”, followed by label builds, premixed databases, recipe selections, and so on. It’s tedious, laborious, and offers little flexibility. I find some of the process, like creating label templates, especially cumbersome. The facility recently went through the painstaking process of developing completely new medications labels during a NEPS implementation. Why can’t Baxter simply duplicate those within DoseEdge? That’s a valid question, but one they simply can’t answer.

And while we’re on the subject of implementation experts I’ve found them to be quite knowledgeable about the DoseEdge system. I’ve also found them to behave in a professional manner. However, I find some of their answers to my questions to be vague, leaving me scratching my head. It could simply be that I’m an idiot, but let’s pretend for the sake of argument that I’m not. It that case they need to do a better job of explaining things up front instead of forcing me to pull information out of them. There’s also a significant delay in email responses from the implementation experts. It appears that these folks handle several accounts at once and go onsite during actual implementations, making them unavailable during normal business hours. Sounds harmless, but this has caused me some angst on more than one occasion as I’ve been blocked from completing a task while waiting on a response.

So what does this mean? Nothing in particular, it’s just some thoughts.

Over the past several months I’ve been exposed to several IV workflow management systems. I’ve had the opportunity to peak under the hood of a few. And now I’ve been given the opportunity to be involved with a DoseEdge implementation. The combination of these experiences has given me a unique perspective on what I would do if I were in charge of selecting a system for a hospital IV room. Would I select DoseEdge? I can’t answer that. I’m still processing information, and I need to complete the entire installation process before I can come to a conclusion.

I’ll keep you posted.

6 thoughts on “Thoughts on implementing #DoseEdge in an acute care pharmacy”

  1. Any update on competitive products in the IV Workflow/Safety line? We are stuck with a major server upgrade to run 64bit(x5)and replacing all the touch screen workstations by the time we sunset XP in our organization. Big dollars over the next 12 months. Should we be looking at the market?

  2. Actually there’s a lot going on in this space. Vendors have realized that the time is right, and everyone seems to be jumping into the fray. You should most definitely be looking at the market. Mark Neuenschwader and I have been working on a report (In The Clean Room: A Review of Technology-Assisted Sterile Compounding Systems) on this very issue. It’s due out in mid September. There’s a placeholder for the report at The Neuenschwander Company website (

  3. DoseEdge is the worst IV Workflow. It is buggy and always craches.

  4. Hi John – Thanks for the feedback on DoseEdge. I’m always interested to hear what people that have to use it think. It would be great if you could expand on your thoughts.

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