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Case StudyAt a GlanceOrganization                                     Evergreen Hospital Medical Center  Evergreen Hospita...
The hospital uses ROBOT-Rx for                         2006 to May 2007 averaged nearly                                   ...
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Nursing, Pharmacy Benefit from ROBOT-Rx Medication Dispensing Solution


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Learn how medication dispensing robotics can dramatically impact medication safety, productivity, and cost containment

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Nursing, Pharmacy Benefit from ROBOT-Rx Medication Dispensing Solution

  1. 1. Case StudyAt a GlanceOrganization Evergreen Hospital Medical Center Evergreen Hospital Nursing, Pharmacy Benefit from ROBOT-Rx Medical Center Kirkland, WA Medication Dispensing SolutionSolution Spotlight Overview increasing labor shortages and– ROBOT-Rx® Officials at Evergreen Hospital higher labor costs, Blanchard sought Medical Center sought to prepare for to streamline processes through– AcuDose-Rx® bar code medication administration automation. But he also wanted to– Packaging Solutions balance automation with the desire and improve efficiency of medication– MedDirect™ delivery to nurse servers. By to continue using nurse servers. implementing the ROBOT-Rx®Critical Issues system, the hospital increased Answers– Reduce the risk of medication dispensing accuracy to 99.9 percent; After an extensive review of various errors cut cart fill labor by 72 percent; and medication distribution models,– Position for bar code medication realized nearly $2 million in annual Evergreen chose to automate existing administration savings via 24,000 pharmacist-patient processes. "We already were interventions. successful in terms of delivering unit-– Support existing nurse server model dose medications to the bedside," Challenges explained Blanchard. "It became a– Reduce laborious cart fill and Located on the outskirts of Seattle, matter of streamlining pharmacy first dose operations the 250-bed Evergreen Hospital is a operations so that our staffing is– Improve efficiency in a tight community-based facility serving a most efficient. The ROBOT-Rx® labor market growing population of more than system is the obvious solution." The 400,000 people. For more than 15 ROBOT-Rx system automatesResults years, nurses at Evergreen Hospital medication storage, dispensing,– Improved medication dispensing Medical Center were accustomed to returning, restocking, and crediting. accuracy to 99.9% retrieving unit-dose medications from nurse server units. To fill the Evergreen began by packaging– Conducted nearly 24,000 clinical nurse servers with unit-dose medications in bar-coded, unit-dose interventions annually, saving medications, the pharmacy form using McKesson equipment. approximately $1.9 million performed a daily manual cart fill. "Because the packaging looks similar,– Cut first dose fill labor by 78% Selecting and checking the 1,125 we wanted to get nurses accustomed– Reduced cart fill labor by 72% daily doses took nearly 15 hours for to using it—to be able to distinguish technicians and pharmacists. what a Protonix dose looks like– Decreased crediting labor by versus a digoxin, for instance. It was 50% "The nurses liked the convenience of a smooth transition." After building– Strengthened narcotics having scheduled and common PRN its bar-coded medication stock, management medications as close as possible to Evergreen went live with ROBOT-Rx the bedside, as opposed to walking in March 2004. "At first, we to the medication room down the conducted a short trial with our hall," explained Bob Blanchard, pharmacists checking every dose the director of pharmacy. "Its good for robot dispensed," explained nursing workflow and safer, but the Blanchard. "Now we do a daily 10 cart fill was a very labor-intensive percent random check, with approval process for pharmacy." Faced with of the state Board of Pharmacy."
  2. 2. The hospital uses ROBOT-Rx for 2006 to May 2007 averaged nearly 24-hour cart fill, automatically 2,000 per month, for a total dispensing to envelopes imprinted approximate value of $1.9 million. with the patients name and bar code. The patient-specific envelopes Automation also has prompted are then transported via carts to the process improvements. Cart fill duties nurse servers. The robot also fills first moved from day to night, freeing doses, transported either by FTEs for emergent duties. Technician pneumatic tube or via messenger. time for first doses dropped from 9.33 to 2 hours per day; pharmacist To further address medication safety time for first doses dropped from 5.3 and tracking in patient care areas, to 2 hours per day. Using bar-code Evergreen installed 24 AcuDose-Rx® scanning, medication crediting now medication dispensing cabinets. The occurs immediately after cart fill,“Nursing workflow stayed exactly AcuDose-Rx cabinets store narcotics, rather than several days later using floorstock, and PRN medications. manual processes. And, importantly,the same, which is critical to our Previously, narcotics were secured in the ROBOT-Rx system andoverall success. Were just using the medication room and required AcuDose-Rx cabinets provide a real- extensive manual documentation. time inventory control that therobotics in the pharmacy for tasks "The narcotic counts were done hospital didnt have previously. three times daily, at each shiftthat were previously performed change," said Blanchard. "Now, with "Nursing workflow stayed exactlymanually, and using people for the AcuDose-Rx cabinets tracking the same, which is critical to our usage, nurses do it once per week." overall success," said Blanchard.more critical tasks." Also, because all medications in the "Were just using robotics in the AcuDose-Rx cabinets are bar coded, pharmacy for tasks that were dispensing, monitoring, restocking, previously performed manually, andBob Blanchard and charge capture are greatly using people for more critical tasks." enhanced, Blanchard noted. Another time-saving tool is theDirector of Pharmacy MedDirect™ imaging system for Results medication order transmission.Evergreen Healthcare Explained Blanchard, "MedDirect Today, the ROBOT-Rx accounts for 95 percent of all unit dose medications reduces paperwork, improves dispensed by Evergreens pharmacy. communications with nursing, This has dramatically impacted enables us to prioritize orders medication safety, productivity, and electronically, and helps us easily cost containment. At the same time, identify potential problems early on Evergreen Healthcare has in the medication order process." experienced significant growth: a 29 percent increase in average daily Conclusion census, and a 53 percent increase in "At Evergreen, productivity is a key doses dispensed per day. organizational imperative," said Blanchard. "We report our According to Blanchard, the productivity on a regular basis. The automation systems easily have robot and the cabinets have absorbed all of the workload contributed substantially to increase. In fact, since implementing documented improvements. If Im ROBOT-Rx, the pharmacy requires over budget in staffing for a 58 percent fewer technician FTEs and particular month, or with 61 percent fewer pharmacist FTEs for pharmaceutical purchases, Im able medication dispensing and checking to offset those by the time savings duties. Those FTEs have been and charge capture savings redirected to other activities. The generated by ROBOT-Rx, by number of hours dedicated to clinical AcuDose-Rx cabinet transactions, and pharmacy has doubled. Explained by the number of interventionsMcKesson Automation Solutions Blanchard, "We now have completed by our clinical500 Cranberry Woods Drive pharmacists assigned to conducting pharmacists. Automation enables usCranberry Township, PA 16066 clinical activities on every floor." to make dramatic improvements724.741.8000 Pharmacist interventions from May across the board." Copyright© 2007 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved. All product or company names mentioned may be trademarks, service marks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. AUTO 144_8/07