A large portion of the most recent issue of the ISMP Medication Safety Alert is dedicated to IV workflow management systems (IVWFM) and errors caused by workarounds. There are a few head-scratchers in the list to be sure. There are even some that had me speculating their authenticity, i.e. too wacky to believe. “Data submitted … Read more
While not directly related to pharmacy, the SurgiCount Safety-Sponge SystemÂ is kinda’ cool. The system uses low-tech barcode technology to prevent surgical sponges from being left behind in patients. Simple yet effective. “The system uses sterile bar-coded sponges and a computer tablet loaded with proprietary software to ensure that all sponges are tracked. After approximately 11 … Read more
This came through one of my Google Alerts this morning. Life Pulse Health Magazine: “Pearson Medical Technologiesâ€™ [PMT] â€¦ m:Print Version 3.9.1 has been updated to use Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 for more efficiency and advanced performance. Each packaging run can now automatically generate a unique lot number. Most importantly, Pearson Medical has added a … Read more
Historically, hospital pharmacies have used a charge-on-dispense (COD) model for medications. The model charges the patient for a medication when it is dispensed from the pharmacy and credits the medication if itâ€™s returned to the pharmacy unused. Simple, but labor-intensive. The model itself has been around for a long time. The introduction of electronic health … Read more
Last week I wrote about the tragic death of a patient caused by a drug error (CSP error results in death of a patient). One day later on December 18, 2014, ISMPÂ also addressed the error in the Acute Care edition of their biweekly ISMP Medication Safety Alert, i.e. one of their newsletter. I had hoped … Read more
Itâ€™s hard to imagine that pharmacies still manually count medications and pour them into bottle for distribution to patients, but it goes on all the time. Even large pharmacies that have robotic dispensing systems still have to manually dispense a fair number of medications for one reason or another.
Eyecon by RxMedic is an automated counting system for oral medications that uses barcode scanning technology and â€œmachine visionâ€ to ensure accurate medication dispensing.
Some things that I thought were interesting about Eyecon:
- It uses barcode scanning technology to ensure that the correct medication is being used, i.e. Eyecon scans the medication barcode against the prescription label. When used properly this a good way to prevent putting the wrong drug in the patient’s bottle.
- Use of â€œmachine visionâ€ to perform counting. Iâ€™m not entirely sure what “machine vision” technology is, but I hear the term often enough; especially when looking at compounding robots. According to the company, Eyecon can â€œdetect pill fragments or foreign matter in the counting platter and alert the operatorâ€. Thatâ€™s a nice feature.
- There are separate trays for “sulfa” and “penicillin”. You frequently see tray segregation like this in outpatient pharmacies due to fear of cross contamination and patient allergies. This little feature tells me that the person that designed Eyecon has practical experience in a pharmacy.
Couple of Eyecon videos below. The first shows a general overview of Eyecon from 2010. The second shows Eyecon being used to fill a prescription using barcode scanning technology. There are several videos posted on YouTube. Just search for â€œEyeconâ€.
The September 2014 issue of Pharmacy Purchasing & ProductsÂ contains an article on the use of bar code scanning during the preparation of compounded sterile products (CSPs). Â The article touches on some of the topics that Mark and I cover in our report, In the Clean Room; errors in the IV room, bar code scanning during medication preparation, image capture, remote verification, and so on.
“Everything happens for a reason, and sometimes that reason is you’re stupid and make bad choices” – unknown
So much happens each and every week that itâ€™s hard to keep up sometimes. Here are some of the tabs that are open in my browser this morning along with some random thoughtsâ€¦.
The coffee mug below is relatively new. I received it as a gift from my brother Robert and his wife, Kim. Very cool. Iâ€™ve had a running joke about monkeys for years. Once upon a time, not too many years ago, an administrator in the pharmacy where I worked told me that a monkey could do my job. Made me pretty angry. Sad part was he was right.
MedKeeper: â€œBased on similar use cases, the comparison between bar code and RFID technologies is inevitable. Several papers have reviewed the use of these technologies in hopes of defining best practice. Young concluded that a coordinated use of these technologies might provide the best compromise between implementation costs and potential benefits.Â Â RFID technology, with its high cost, may be most appropriate for patient identification, while the lower cost of bar code systems may be more appropriate for material inventory.
Sun et al. arrived at a similar conclusion. In this case, the authors evaluated medication error reduction. Due to the high cost of RFID tags and readers the authors proposed a system utilizing less costly bar codes for unit-dose medications while using an RFID-embedded wristband worn by patients for identification.”