Going cartless

I spent some time recently speaking with the director of pharmacy (DOP) from a large acute care facility about operations and various dispensing models. In this particular instance, the hospital utilizes a cartfill model, decentralized pharmacists in satellites to handle first doses, batched IV’s and automated dispensing cabinets for pain meds and other “PRN” medications.

At one point the conversation drifted toward a discussion of using a cartless dispensing model. The DOP wasn’t a fan. The reason cited was a fear that utilizing automated dispensing cabinets in a cartless model would create a workflow logjam in the pharmacy as the entire day would be dedicated to “massive ADC [automated dispensing cabinet] fills”. I understand the thought process, but have found through experience that this simply isn’t true. In a well-constructed workflow a cartless model is quite efficient.

Read more

Pharmacy workflow on life support

A friend from Talyst stopped by the pharmacy and spent the greater part of Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning taking a look at what it means to work in an acute care hospital pharmacy. We have several pieces of Talyst automation and technology in our pharmacy and he was interested in how we used it and how it fit into the general scheme of things. As we roamed the pharmacy, I began describing our Pyxis system, how we handle our replenishment, how we put our order away, how we package bulk medications, how we barcode syringes, how we handle an IV batch, how we handle infusions for our smart pumps, and so on and so forth ad infinitum. It was a good exercise for me as it often improves my understanding of something when I try to explain it to someone else.

Read more