Managing and administering controlled medications in healthcare settings requires a good deal of staff time and attention. There are specific processes involved not just in their prescription but also in their administration that require substantial resources. This article will focus on one particular element of controlled medication management and administration: their storage.
Why Healthcare Facilities Need Improved Storage Mechanisms
There are compelling reasons for healthcare facilities to pay such close attention to the policies and processes of managing controlled medications that extend beyond concerns about legal compliance. Some potentially dangerous drugs are essential to providing patient care, and hospitals and other medical facilities have a duty to their patients.
However, that duty also extends to making sure that patients can get the medications they need, which isn’t possible when theft or drug abuse occur as a result of poor storage or handling procedures.
While there are many steps that nurses and other healthcare staff members can take to help prevent drug diversion in the workplace, they will only help so much. Without secure storage solutions in place that are also easy to use, drug diversion will continue to be a problem. Hospitals and other healthcare environments are hectic, so simple solutions are a must to ensure staff compliance.
The Benefits Of Using Automated Dispensing Cabinets
Automated dispensing cabinets offer a perfect solution for controlled medication storage in any healthcare setting. These computerized storage cabinets make it easy to track inventory levels and who is accessing the contents, and high-quality products have tamper-evidence technology built in. In addition to reducing rates of drug diversion, these thoroughly modern medication carts can accomplish other objectives.
Improved Access For Nurses
In hospitals that don’t have automated dispensing cabinets, nurses waste a lot of time going to pharmacies to pick up patient medications. Upgrading to automated dispensing cabinets eliminates the need for all of those trips, and because each unit can be equipped with a separate cabinet, long lines can sometimes be entirely eliminated.
More Efficient Processes
Improving workflow efficiency is one of the most effective ways to keep costs low at hospitals and other healthcare facilities, and switching to automated dispensing cabinets is a good way to accomplish that goal. Automated cabinets make it easier to track relevant information for more efficient inventory management and medication billing.
Potential For Reduced Medication Errors
When nurses use automated dispensing cabinets according to their hospitals’ policies and procedures, it can cut down substantially on medication errors. The automated cabinets can be linked to the hospital’s point-of-care systems to guarantee an electronically verified match between prescribed and administered medications.
How To Choose The Right Product
The most important thing for administrators to remember when purchasing any kind of medical equipment for use in inpatient settings is the importance of quality. Automated dispensing cabinets should be well-designed and manufactured by a company that takes patient safety and provider convenience seriously.
Look for a vendor that specializes in healthcare solutions to ensure not just the quality of the cabinets but also their appropriateness for medical environments, and don’t be afraid to ask nurses for their input.
Improving Patient Outcomes With Better Medication Management
Improving medication management policies and processes isn’t just about reducing incidents of drug diversion and helping to keep the healthcare facility’s costs low. Above all else, it’s about providing better care and improving patient outcomes. When medication errors are reduced, access to necessary medications is improved, and nurses have more time to spend with patients, everyone will win.