Cary upgrades medication technology

1 year ago

Cary Medical Center has upgraded its OmniCell medication distribution technology.  

The system which stores medications securely on individual nursing units as well as other patient care areas has been in place for some time.  The hospital has now upgraded all of the units with the latest advances.  Kacey Soucy, RN and inpatient nurse manager at Cary, said the new model has advanced features.

“While the function of the equipment is generally the same as our older units, the new technology improves efficiency and security.  The equipment features fingerprint access rather than having to type in access codes, this saves time,” Soucy said. “The equipment also allows for additional storage of medications. Having access to critical medication on each nursing unit is a great advantage in managing patient care.”

Only pre-authorized staff including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, pharmacists and approved technicians have access to the system  The system requires two nurses to access any controlled substances including high alert medications such as insulin.  The technology also tracks the time of when a medication is drawn from the unit.  

“The quality of this technology is part of our overall ‘med-verify’ process,” said Soucy.  “Our nurses also use medication barcoding at the patient’s bedside to verify that the medication is for the right patient at the right time in the right dosage.  Our goal is to establish the safest medication administration process possible.”

The OmniCell is integrated within the entire medication distribution system.  Once a physician orders a medication it is electronically sent to the hospital pharmacy for verification.  The pharmacy verifies the medication and then it is verified by nursing and the order is sent to OmniCell.  

Once it reaches the OmniCell the nurse can pull up the patient profile within the unit.  Under the patient profile the nurse can see all medications that are scheduled to be administered at the current time.  The nurse will choose what medication they need and the machine will direct the nurse to the correct drawer and bin with guided lights.  Once the medication is chosen the OmniCell will direct the nurse to the next medication if needed.  

Jonathan Anderson, PharmD, director of pharmacy services at Cary Medical Center, noted other advances with the upgraded technology.

“A great new feature to these machines is the increased amount of guiding lights to medications and the increased closed bins to assist nurses in selecting the right medication,” said Anderson, who also directs the hospitals Central Supply and Purchasing Services.  

“The new Omnicells will help provide a new level of security and safety for patient care,” he said.

The upgrade is part of an ongoing effort at Cary Medical to maintain state-of-the-art medical technology.