WCH Pharmacy Automation

November 4, 2010-Corydon: Wayne County Hospital (WCH) has successfully completed conversion to a new automated medication dispensing system. After thoroughly reviewing several medication management services, WCH selected MDG Medical as the vendor that suited our needs, had the most innovative safety measures and fit our budget. Funding support was received from the Wayne County Foundation for this project.

While WCH carefully monitors all medication transactions through its extensive Quality Improvement program and maintains high control standards, the hospital identified criteria for process improvement including:
1. a reliable system to track medication delivery and ensure even better patient safety
2. a system to provide secure medication storage with controlled access
3. a medication system that would provide a billing interface with the hospital’s information system (Healthland).

MDG, known to specialize in rural and community healthcare facilities, worked with WCH to customize the product to meet these specific requirements. The ServeRX system has been installed in both the patient care wing and emergency department areas. The WCH system includes medication cabinets, the SmartCart TM medpass cart, and MDG’s bedside solution, which ties in directly with our Online Medication Administration Record through Healthland.

The SmartCart is a mobile cart which is wheeled to the patient’s bedside, the patient’s bar coded wrist band is scanned to cross check and identify the patient and the medication they are to receive. The SmartCart will allow access to medications previously loaded for the patient, ensuring only that patient’s medication is available. This automation does more than just store medications, it significantly increases the safety of medications dispensed. It will track which medications go to which patients, check the patient’s history for medication allergies, and bill the medication to the patient at the time of dispensing. The SmartCart will advise if it is not the right medication for the patient, or if the order has changed.

MDG’s ServeRX system ties together order entry, pharmacy review, cabinet storage, dispensing and administration in one closed loop system. “The transition to an automated pharmacy system adds more checks and balances to the medication delivery process, as well as more control over inventory management, and more time for the pharmacy to focus on patient care” advised Pam Chambers, WCH Pharmacist.  “The closed loop medication dispensing path provides added efficiency and tracking capabilities.”

In addition, there is a direct benefit to the pharmacy department.  Under the oversight of a single pharmacist, the hospital pharmacy services a facility that operates 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. This automation has provided a new level of medication availability with increased access to more medication after hours. It provides an additional safety check as medications are dispensed, and allows for closer inventory control and capture of charges. The pharmacy is able to track each individual medication from the time it is loaded into the system until it is administered. This allows the pharmacist to focus more on medication management and patient care activities.