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Redesigned automated medication cabinets increase workflow efficiency

McKesson UK : 18 September, 2008  (New Product)
Hospital nurses are dispensing medications faster and reporting more efficient workflow with McKesson’s redesigned AcuDose-Rx automated medication cabinets.
Operating on the latest Connect-Rx software platform, Version 6.8, the cabinets enable significant reductions in medication dispensing time and provide substantially greater inventory management capabilities.

The new Connect-Rx release makes AcuDose-Rx the only unit-based cabinet on the market to integrate with point-of-care administration tools and pharmacy automation equipment. As a result, hospitals can provide greater Patient safety and process efficiency at a low cost.

At 468-bed Spartanburg Regional Medical Center in South Carolina, nurses have been benefiting from the new AcuDose-Rx features for five months. The cabinets are linked via the Connect-Rx software platform to multiple automation systems in the medical centre’s pharmacy, medication rooms, and patient care areas.

“The new AcuDose-Rx functionality has led to improved nursing workflow and reduced wait times at the cabinet while also ensuring Patient safety and security,” said pharmacy manager Brian Nesemeier. “The nurses especially love the new FastEntry biometric identification log-in. They were surprised and delighted at how easy it is to use and how much time it saves.”

The new Connect-Rx software also helps to produce inventory savings by optimizing use of the McKesson MedCarousel automated medication storage and retrieval system. At 546-bed Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas, Connect-Rx software Version 6.8 has been in use on the hospital’s four MedCarousel units for more than six months.

“This software release has had a significant positive impact on our daily operations,” said Bob Ragan, pharmacy manager. “We now can manage inventory in real-time, we have enhanced shelf space utilisation, and we have seen improvements in pharmacy workflow and productivity.”

For MedCarousel, the new software calculates optimal medication inventory, projects when the pre-set minimum/maximum levels are at risk, and automatically selects the drugs for re-order. This helps reduce medication stock issues, increase inventory turns and decrease the amount of time required to pick orders.

Other new AcuDose-Rx cabinet features powered by Connect-Rx Version 6.8 software include scanning of manufacturer bar codes to verify medications for storage and dispense, and the ability to quickly search all medicine cabinets across a hospital. The software allows hospitals to more easily dispense medication kits, issue under- and over-dose warnings and enforce organizational policies for drug substitution.

Yet another advantage of AcuDose-Rx cabinets is that they integrate with the McKesson CarePoint Connect mobile point-of-care enabling software. CarePoint Connect enables nurses to access a patient’s medication profile, create and queue a dispense list so medications are waiting at the cabinet, and alert the pharmacy of a missing medication, refill request, or other information. Nurses also get cabinet-level access to the First DataBank hospital-wide drug library.

“The Connect-Rx integrated software platform surpasses all industry functionality on the market today,” said Dave Souerwine, president of McKesson’s Automation Solutions Group. “It is viewed by industry experts as at least two generations ahead of competing software solutions. Connect-Rx provides the foundation that hospitals need to deliver safe, cost-effective care, and enables hospitals to maximise their investment while improving safety and workforce productivity.”
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