Taking extra time at the bedside and automating the entire medication-use process by using an end-to-end system with built-in alerts has definitely paid off for OGHS
. Because most common errors involved drugs that look alike or sound alike, Lormand says, "We have seen a 66 percent reduction in medication errors housewide." In addition, the Omnicell solution has reduced by one-half the amount of time required for a pharmacist to fill orders, which now allows the pharmacist to spend more time on the floor as an integral part of the healthcare delivery team.
OGHS nurses and pharmacists were submitting occurrence reports manually to their quality department, which produced monthly and quarterly benchmark comparisons.
OGHS had tried education and general awareness to lower error rates prior to incorporating bar coding into their pharmaceutical dispensing system.
"Most of the similar products were high-dollar and offered no opportunity for customization." OGHS had been working with Omnicell and was using the vendor's medication dispensing cabinets in every nursing unit.
Omnicell offered OGHS incentives to be their alpha site to help develop the product and be the first hospital to go live with it.
OGHS selected and identified key personnel to work with the vendor's team to ensure success in implementation.
Simultaneously, OGHS and vendor teams installed the software on the hospital's servers and began data entry of hospital drugs, allergies, policies and procedures.
OGHS had already built a wireless network, so Lormand established a long-term plan to use more IT applications.
As the installation team set up the architecture, OGHS decided to separate SafetyMed onto three different servers: one for the application, one for the database and one for managing the print jobs.
Once the interfaces were complete, the OGHS pharmacy spent a month mapping their formulary to the FDB (First Data Bank) items.
"Because bar coding is done for every medication that is given to every patient, it is absolutely the right medication if it clears the system's edits." Most medications now arrive at OGHS already bar coded, and for those that are not, OGHS pharmacists bar code the product in bulk before putting it in the pharmacy.