Selecting technology for the i.v. room is no easy task

Since In the Clean Room was released in October, I’ve received a lot of questions about i.v. room technology. The questions generally focus on a single product or a particular functionality. However, I get a surprisingly large number of people asking me “what’s the best system for the i.v. room”. A simple question. Unfortunately it’s a question that is not easily answered.

There are several variables to consider when selecting technology for the i.v. room, as well as a number of questions that must be answered during the evaluation process.

First and foremost you must be able to articulate your endgame, i.e. what do you hope to accomplish? You would be surprised how often people I speak with are unable to answer this question. No person would make a life-altering purchase without first understanding what it is they wanted, but it happens all the time in pharmacies across the country.

Is your primary concern safety? Are you looking for improved documentation? Workflow? Do you need a lot of handholding during the implementation process? Would you like to use mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones? How much do you want to spend? Do you have labor resources to throw at the project before, during, and after implementation? These questions, and many more should be addressed before you start your search for i.v. room technology.

There are several technologies currently on the market designed to help pharmacies compound sterile products. These technologies run the gamut from simple, highly functional semi-automated systems with a small price tag to highly complex robotic systems that are much more costly.  On the surface these systems may look similar, but each offers a slightly different approach to compounding sterile products. Several may meet your needs at the most basic level. The trick is finding the best fit, and that means doing your homework.

I highly recommend that you start by evaluating you current i.v. workflow process and addressing any workflow inefficiencies. Once that is accomplished it is important that you answer that most important of all questions, i.e. what do you hope to accomplish? As you begin to formulate your response you will realize that you have many other questions that need to be addressed, and that’s when you know you’re on the right track.

Don’t rush the process. It’s important that you take your time and get it right. These systems often require a significant investment in human resources, and the system you ultimately install will likely be with you for quite some time.

Good luck with your search.

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