Thoughts on my time with DoseEdge Pharmacy Workflow Manager 

Yesterday, I had a great opportunity to spend the day using DoseEdge in its native environment. That is to say, I staffed at a facility that was using DoseEdge in its cleanroom to prepare CSPs, including patient-specific products as well as stock bags, TPNs, etc. I’ve used DoseEdge for brief periods in the past. I’ve also spent time with the engineers that have worked on the product, product managers, sales people, marketing folks, and various other Baxter employees at conferences like ASHP midyear. But, this is only the second time that I have worked an entire  “staff pharmacist” shift using the product. And as one might imagine, using a system in its native environment can often provide a new perspective.

DoseEdge System at Boston Children’s Hospital

I’ve written about DoseEdge, and systems like it, extensively on this site over the years.  A quick search of revealed several articles mentioning DoseEdge, dating back to 2010. I’ve also written about DoseEdge and similar products extensively elsewhere.

With over 300 installs in the U.S., DoseEdge is one of the most popular IV workflow management systems on the market and is still the most widely implemented product of its kind in the U.S. It’s a very good system, certainly in my top five. There are several things that I really like about the system, such as how it controls labels, its ability to track partial vials, and the fact that it talks. Seriously, it speaks to the user. Pretty cool.

However, there’s always room for improvement. For example, after using the system, I found that I don’t really care for the user interface (UI). I found it to be rather unintuitive and a bit clumsy. The UI is stuck somewhere between a legacy system and a modern web-based system. It’s not good. Too many clicks, things in weird places, naming conventions that simply don’t make sense in my mind, just to name a few. With that said, it’s still quite usable, and honestly, it’s likely as good as any other UI on any other product that I’ve used in the pharmacy.

The other thing that hit me yesterday was just how terrible the process of using images is to verify the accuracy of compounded products. I don’t care for it. As good as the images are – and they’re quite good in DoseEdge – there are still shadows in strange places that make reading syringe volumes difficult at times. This is especially true for small volumes. There were times yesterday when I simply made educated guesses to the exact volume and assumed that the volume was accurate, as I couldn’t quite see the exact location of the plunger. Don’t get me wrong, this is still way better than the syringe-pullback method, but image-assisted verification isn’t optimal. I would have liked to have had the gravimetric option available to me yesterday. DoseEgde offers gravimetrics, although it isn’t widely used.

So, good system, but not perfect. Better than the manual process, but room for improvement. Imaging better than pullback, but not great.

10 thoughts on “Thoughts on my time with DoseEdge Pharmacy Workflow Manager ”

  1. Hi Bob – nothing specific like that. I hear about “things”, but mostly about lack of functionality, usability, and integration.

  2. We just installed and are having a horrible time keeping it up and running. Had to take off line and is being reworked by vendors…would love to hear of any other issues like this.

  3. Sorry to hear that, Bob. I don’t know of any place where one could go and talk about issue they’re having. One thing is for certain, I’d be hammering on Baxter’s door everyday until they fixed it. I’d also make sure to be as vocal as possible to anyone that asks. The only way these systems improve is when others know what the problems are.

  4. Our hospital is in the process of implementing the DoseEdge system and as the primary IV pharmacist I am admittedly a bit freaked out! A few of us were able to travel to a nearby hospital that utilizes DoseEdge and the staff there seemed to like it. However, our CSP volume is considerably higher than theirs and I am really concerned about how our workflow will be impacted. I just did a Google search for others’ thoughts on DoseEdge and came across this.

  5. Hi Mike — sorry for the slow reply. I would say it’s time to rethink your workflow in a way that compliments the introduction of technology into your IV room. Build the workflow around the technology. You won’t regret it. I’ve seen hospitals using IVWFMS with high-volume CSP numbers. They’ve managed just fine. Good luck. –Jerry

  6. Just curious, can the dose edge system talk with the facilities existing EMR, such as Epic, so that this documentation is also available within the current system or will it always be completely separate?

  7. Mike,

    Are you aware of any time studies on how many CPS (on average) can be done over an 8hr period with this system as well as the USP 797 requirements?

  8. Hi Mike – I am not aware of any studies like that. And let’s face it, the companies that make these products certainly aren’t going to do them. There’s only a downside for them. – Jerry

  9. After two years of using DoseEdge I can confidently say that it has been a tremendous addition to our IV room. It gives everyone much more confidence in both the checking and compounding of IV’s. We’ve had very few issues with functionality. And the remote dose tracking feature has greatly reduced “missing” doses.

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