The Niagara Health System medication distribution system has been transformed through the introduction of pharmacy automation both centrally and decentralized on patient care units.
Centrally, the pharmacy program makes use of a high-speed oral solid packager and intelligent bar-code technology to safely package each tablet and capsule into individually identifiable packets. The same bar-code technology is used to ensure an accurate checking process.
Patient care units now use automated dispensing cabinets to safely store, retrieve, verify and document medication use based on patient-specific medication profiles that have been reviewed by pharmacists.
Each component of pharmacy automation integrates into the hospital computer system, ensuring seamless transfer of patient medication-related information. At the same time, bar-code technology sets the foundation for an electronic patient care record and eventual electronic verification and documentation of medication administration.
This move from a traditional manual medication system to an automated, bar-code driven system strengthens Niagara Health System’s commitment to patient safety and raises the standard for patient medication-related care.
Future expansion of pharmacy automation is planned with the introduction of medication carousels.
Each component of the medication system is supported by knowledgeable and skilled pharmacy assistants and pharmacists whose goal is to ensure safe and optimal patient medication-related care.