The Need for Automated Dispensing for Today’s LTC Settings
By Jodie Vogt, Technology Product Specialist
Mysteries are only fun when you’re in a heated game of Clue, when your 6-year-old challenges you to hide-and-seek, or when you’re keeping a surprise birthday party on the QT. Mysteries are never fun for nursing staff in an alternate care setting such as long term care, rehabilitation or hospice. This is doubly true when it comes to medications stored in the Emergency Medication Tackle Box or Night Box.
The On-Going Broken Security Seal Investigation
It’s always “someone’s” job to check the tackle box to make sure that the tear-away security lock is still intact, only to find more often than anyone will admit that the security seal had been broken. Whodunnit? “Who” deserves to be written up and made to promise she/he will never trouble coworkers again for as long as they work here – that’s who!
So now you have a Sherlock Holmes investigation to unravel. Such a time-consuming process, not to mention nerve-wracking!
- Was a medication used?
- Is the paperwork completed and accurately filled out?
- Is something – anything – missing?
- Are all of the medications in date?
- Does the sticker on the outside correctly represent the closest expiration date?
- Is the box even still sitting on the shelf or is the whole box missing?
So many questions, processes, procedures and concerns around one flimsy, plastic tackle box. How many do you keep track of and where are they? And now, you have to get the medications replaced along with the lock and you did not bring anything with you. Why didn’t you? Because you did not know that anything was used.
Ever-Changing Compliance, Ever-Revolving Med Management Regulations
Many states have different requirements/regulations surrounding these boxes and what they can contain, such as which type of medications they contain, how many different controlled substances, and how many doses of each medication. This has been common industry practice for many years. The LTC starter dose toolbox is inexpensive, and entrenched. Health Care Logistics, just to name one medical supply provider, carries no fewer than 13 different styles of 1st dose tackle boxes.
Automated Dispensing Cabinets: The Rise of Secure Pharmacy Automation Technology
Times are changing, though, and for the better in alternate care settings. Technology adoption is on the rise, slowly following hospitals’ lead. For a couple decades, hospitals have deployed Automated Dispensing Cabinets (ADC’s). They are secure as a tank, they save hours of labor, and they keep both pharmacy and nursing staff apprised of everything: which nurse took which dose for which patient, and when; inventory levels; billing software interfacing; security threats. Alternate care settings are slowly expanding into this same way of medication management through utilizing long-term care ADCs. This author would love nothing more than to see the rate of adoption jump by a factor of about 1,000, but the important thing is, times are indeed changing.
So where is your alternate care facility? Still playing “The Case Of The Breached Plastic Tackle Box”? Or taking a serious look at technology that can truly drive process improvement and employee satisfaction?
The NexsysADC: LTC Medication Dispensing Cabinets from Capsa Healthcare
It’s time to take a look at the Capsa Healthcare NexsysADC. This technology was designed for alternate care settings in price, size, and security. See The NexsysADC
How the NexsysADC Improves Workflow in the Healthcare Environment
It will change the process of dispensing controlled substances, 1st doses and stat doses for non-patient specific meds in the facility. NexsysADC allows nursing staff to retrieve each dose as needed, in a controlled environment and is one of the most advanced, easy-to-use automated dispensing cabinets with cloud-based computing that connects everyone who needs to be in the loop. There are hundreds of configurations for any patient population and formulary, and each fits snugly into the facility’s medication room. Customization is easy since you are able to select the size, features, and configuration that best address the needs of your facility. Nurses quickly sign in, are guided to the exact dose, and sign out in a matter of seconds. The pharmacy can quickly and accurately know what was used, by whom, and for which patient. Pharmacy will also easily know what was used, what needs to be restocked, and medications that are about to expire. Your facility will benefit by having the right medication, at the right time to give your patients the best care.
End the Detective Work With a LTC ADC
I have counseled hundreds of alternate care facilities and pharmacies in my career. I have seen what does and does not work. And I know that the only good mystery is the one loudly playing on the TV for the residents, not the drama playing out in the medication room when narcotics doses go missing. Read more about Capsa’s NexsysADC