IV room technology …just sayin’

From a recent article in August 2012 issue of Pharmacy Practice News:

Within the first month of implementation [of a bar-code medication preparation (BCMP) system], 85% of all IV drugs in the children’s hospital IV room were covered by the BCMP system, which does the following: “prints” labels to a touchscreen computer from which a technician can pick which dose he or she wants to prepare; verifies via bar-code technology that the correct medication and diluent were chosen, provides instructions to technicians about how make the preparation, allows technicians to take pictures of the preparation process and automatically time stamps each step in that process for future record keeping and management reporting.

The unique bar code that is assigned to each product then can be used to track the medication to the nursing unit, or whatever end location has been provided, with a location bar code.

Since the implementation of the BCMP IV system, which both Drs. Fortier and Maughan describe as a “best practice for the near future,” MUSC staff have seen “eight to 10 medications a day that could have been an error [with] the old system,” according to Dr. Maughan. “That represents 1.3% to 3% of the total number of doses dispensed.”

It’s no secret that I think the IV room is an area that pharmacy has yet to address properly when it comes to automation and technology. We simple haven’t developed a product that will change the way pharmacy compounds IV’s. I have some thoughts on that, but will keep them offline for now. If you’re interested in talking about the future of IV room practice feel free to drop me a line. Sorry, I digress.

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Prevalence of medication administration errors in two medical units with automated prescription and dispensing [Article]

From the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association1. I was a little shocked by the number of errors, but as you can see in the abstract below, and in the title, the errors were during the administration phase of the medication use process. Seems a bit odd to look at medication errors during administration … Read more

Cool Pharmacy Technology – Eyecon Pill Counter

Scan the bottle Pour the tablets onto the Eyecon Pill Counter counting platter. The Eyecon Pill Counter uses “Machine vision technology” to count the tablets. Package the tablets That’s pretty simple. Sure beats the heck out of counting the tablets by hand. 5…10…15…20…. More information on the Eyecon Pill Counter can be found here.

What do pharmacists want?

pulling_out_hairIt’s a simple question with a simple answer. In today’s pharmacy environment pharmacists want to do more “clinical” activities and distance themselves from the physical pharmacy. See, I told you it was simple.

For the last several months I’ve been listening to people tell me what pharmacists, and pharmacies, want. I find it interesting that most of the opinions differ from mine. No big deal as opinions are opinions, remember? But today I had a brief, albeit passionate discussion over what pharmacists want. The people telling me what pharmacists wanted weren’t healthcare professionals. They were engineers, sales people, etc. I know that comes off a bit elitist, but it’s not. I don’t pretend to know what an engineer knows, so perhaps they shouldn’t pretend to know what I know. Fair? I think so.

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Cool Pharmacy Technology–Apoteca

I have a soft spot for robotics, especially for IV preparation. I’m not quite sure that pharmacy is ready to fully embrace the idea, but we’re well on our way.

APOTECAchemo is an IV preparation robot modeled in the image of i.v.STATION. Prior to yesterday I had not heard of APOTECA. Fortunately someone visiting my site left me a link to the U.S. website. The site contains limited information with the exception of the video below. However, a quick internet search led me to the Loccioni Humancare website where I was able to find additional information.

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Cool Technology for Pharmacy – Sharp SX Bagger

Some items in a pharmacy are simply difficult to bar-code. Perhaps they’re too small, have an awkward shape or their surface won’t accommodate ink or an adhesive. The problem creates some interesting workarounds, and not always for the better.

One solution is to individually package each item and place the drug information and a bar-code on the outside of the packaging material; overwrapping, if you will. I’ve never been a big fan of overwrapping items because it can be time consuming and cumbersome. Today I ran across a machine that I think offers a genuine option for medications that are difficult to bar-code.

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Why automated medication kiosks could be good for pharmacy practice

I followed a little banter on Twitter this weekend regarding the use of automated dispensing kiosks to dispense medications to patients instead of using a physical pharmacy. There are many pharmacists out there that believe the use of automated medication dispensing in the outpatient arena is bad practice and separates patients from their pharmacists. I … Read more