Need to Improve Point-of-Use Medication Storage? Look at Our Solutions!
April 3, 2018 | by Brian Shoenfeld
As Talon has studied the workflow challenges for acute care facilities, we have routinely noticed that hospitals experience inefficiencies safely and securely managing their medications and supplies.
The cause of these inefficiencies is oftentimes related to the operational structure, misuse of resources, and lack of training for individuals placed in key roles to support the function of managing medication.
Like a kink in a hose, the location of these inefficiencies could be at the source where medication originates, in the middle where medication is transferred, or at the end of the line where medication is administered to patients.
There could also be an issue with the hose itself — the overall workflow is inefficient — or the facility is not designed to support an efficient workflow.
So, why is it essential to address the cause and location of inefficiencies to improve point-of-use medication storage? There is simply no room for inefficiencies in today’s healthcare environment.
Profit margins are declining due to rising Medicare costs and patient satisfaction scores are vital because of the HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey. Ultimately, these two pieces fit together:
- Inefficiencies result in additional or hidden costs, eating into profit margin.
- Lower patient satisfaction scores are tied to nurses not being available at bedside because they are tracking down medication or not operating at the highest level of their nursing licensure.
How Can Talon Support Your Existing Workflow to Maximize Efficiency?
Talon solutions support the Lean methodology of identifying opportunities for continuous improvement, eliminating inefficiencies in a system, and maximizing the capabilities of the workers who support the system.
If you think about the hose representing your medication management system, the goal is to get water — or medication and supplies — from the source to the end as safely and efficiently as possible. The staff members who support this process play an important role maintaining the line of activity to serve the patient.
Consider how a Talon preferred workflow, such as the one below, helps support each staff member to improve point-of-use medication storage and disbursement.
Pharmacy: Accuracy at the Source of Medication Management
At the beginning of the workflow is the pharmacist, who is responsible for delivering medication and supplies to the nursing units.
Without an optimized process for making the appropriate deliveries, inefficiencies creep into the workflow and your facility is exposed to potential safety risks. For example, a pharmacy technician could transfer the wrong medication or the wrong amount of medication to the nursing station.
- Inefficiency: A nurse needs to make a phone call or spend time walking to the pharmacy to re-verify medication.
- Risk: The nurse administers the wrong medicine or dosage, harming the patient and exposing your facility to liability.
What’s the answer to address this issue? Talon supports pharmacists with an effective medication management solution through our MedCab™ and MedCart™ products to improve your workflow and reduce incidents stemming from inaccurate medication.
Pharmacy Techs: Accountability Built Into Medication Delivery
Next, a pharmacy technician needs to move the correct medication and supplies to the nursing unit.
Unfortunately, many acute care facilities do not have an efficient process for transferring medication and supplies. Or, their recordkeeping is not optimized to accurately verify that the correct inventory was transferred.
What’s the answer to address this inefficiency? Talon supports pharmacy techs with our Transfer Carts to safely transfer medication and supplies from the pharmacy to nursing units. Notably, a key locking mechanism is included in our standard transfer cart. To ensure additional security and accountability, our premium transfer cart includes the locking mechanism and electronic keypad access.
Nursing Staff: Confidence to Dispense Medication
Next, the pharmacy tech should place the medication in the correct location through the medication storage unit.
However, in an inefficient workflow, the nursing staff is frequently pulled away from their patients because they need to verify the medication with the pharmacy tech or even going all the way back to the source to verify with the pharmacist.
What’s the answer to address this inefficiency? Talon offers a Point-of-Use medication storage unit (or In-Room Dispensing Cabinet) that includes wall-mount or pass-through options. We build the unit according to your facility’s requirement for hallway or in-room accessibility, plus include electronic touchscreen user access for security purposes and an audit trail to increase accountability.
Consider Leveraging Our Solutions Throughout Your Workflow
To learn more about how Talon can meet the needs of one aspect of your workflow or the entire workflow to improve point-of-use medication storage, please consider taking one of two actions:
- Contact our team to discuss your acute care facility’s specific needs.
- Use our Point of Use Medication Management Calculator to identify your savings with a more efficient workflow. Then, use the accompanying form to submit your facility’s information to our team.
We look forward to working with your facility to help address any inefficiencies in your workflow and ensure that your nursing staff is equipped to serve patients with accurate medication.
About the Author
Brian joined Talon in 2014 and brought with him a proven track record for project managing, product development, and increasing operational efficiency. Using his knowledge of STEM, business prowess, and healthcare experience, Brian leads Talon’s operational improvements to create better products and improved customer service. When he’s not in the office, Brian spends time with his wife and two sons and cheers on Syracuse.