Providence Care Hospital incorporates the latest technology and best-practice design elements to enhance quality of life for our patients, clients, and staff. One of the innovative practices that has been incorporated into the new building design is a brand new medication management system. We sat down with Kelli Aylesworth, Pharmacy Operations Lead, to learn more about the new Automated Dispensing Units (ADUs) that are being utilized at Providence Care Hospital.
Kelli said, “The use of unit dose medication, supported by ADUs, has demonstrated to reduce medication errors and increase patient safety; both have been incorporated into the new medication management system at Providence Care Hospital.” Kelli explained that each medication has a unique bar code; this bar code is scanned prior to the medication leaving the Pharmacy and is scanned again when it is stocked in the Automated Dispensing Units located on each of the Inpatient Units.
The ADU recognizes the medication by reading the bar code and assigns it a specific location within the cabinet. When a nurse administers the medication he or she is guided by the ADU to specify the patient and the medication, and the ADU then directs he or she to select the appropriate drug. Every medication is packaged in a unit dose which is considered the safest medication distribution.
Kelli highlighted that prior to the move to Providence Care Hospital a Pharmacy Project Team was created. This interprofessional team included Subject Matter Experts, two Pharmacy technicians, a Pharmacist, Clinical Subject Matter Experts and an external Project Manager. In addition, pilot projects took place at both St. Mary’s of the Lake Hospital and Mental Health Services with Automated Dispensing Units in use on one unit at each site. Operating two different forms of medication management simultaneously was no small task; in fact, hundreds of hours of training for front line staff was required in order to learn the new processes for using the Automated Dispensing Units.
Kelli noted that eventually we will be moving to a bedside medication verification (BMV) whereby the patient will have an ID bracelet with a bar code on it; when the nurse proceeds to administer the medication he or she will scan the medication as well as the patient’s ID bracelet to make sure the right patient is receiving the right medication.
Innovative technology such as Automated Dispensing Units support the safe and accurate delivery of medication to ensure that the right medication gets to the right patient at the right time. Thank you to the countless dedicated staff for ensuring that the transition to this new form of medication management was a smooth one.