By switching to medication dispensing cabinets with a larger capacity, staff reduced the number of trips needed to refill carts by 29 percent. In addition to saving pharmacists time, it helped nurses who could now queue their medicines with one click.
In mid-2017, leaders at Lakeland Regional Health in Lakeland, Florida, knew they needed to improve their process to dispense medicines. Employees spent too much time restocking medication cabinets, taking time away from patient care. Leaders found a solution by implementing medication dispensing cabinet RxStation® and reducing the number of trips needed to refill carts by 29 percent.1
“Our previous system was outdated. After reviewing available solutions, we thought, ‘What better than a Cerner product to go along with our Cerner documentation and all the Cerner solutions we already were using?’” said Brian Petterson, RN, clinical informatics analyst.
Multiple departments saw benefits after the switch to new medication carts. The pharmacy department saw some of the biggest advantages from the increased storage capacity.
“The amount of medications that RxStation can hold decreased the need to refill them as often,” said Petterson. “Because of that, it allows more time for pharmacy techs to do other jobs.”
Pharmacists aren’t the only ones who saw benefits. Nurses saw improvement in electronic health record integration, which helps them avoid medication errors and ensure patients receive the correct medicine.
“If nurses are at the bedside, RxStation allows them to queue their medicines with one click. They go to RxStation and their dispenses are waiting for them,” said Doug Geer, PharmD, pharmacy IT coordinator. “The queuing mechanism allows them to stay at the bedside without returning to the cabinet, only to find that things aren’t right, and then have to go back to the bedside and then back to the cabinet to get what they really need. That exact information is important,” he said.
“The other nice thing is the near real-time data that is present on the patient’s screen,” said Petterson. “When the nurse goes to draw the med up, he or she can look at patient information, such as current labs and vital signs and make decisions whether certain medications should be drawn out or not.”
After about a year and a half on the new system, leaders are glad they made the switch to RxStation.
“We have evidence to support how much it has improved our workflow with the pharmacy side,” said Geer. “Medication cabinets have been around before. The advantage is RxStation brings in Cerner’s data, eliminating third parties, extra formularies to maintain and extra user databases to maintain. It just flows better within the entire Cerner picture.”
For more information about best practices, please visit our RxStation Model Experience website.
1 Comparing 11,785 restocking events from August 20 - August 26, 2016, to 8,333 restocking events from August 20 - August 26, 2018.