/publications/issue/2005/2005-12/2005-12-5105

Hospital Installs Automated Medication Cabinets

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Regina Medical Center in Hastings, Minn, is improving patient safety with medication-use systems from Omnicell Inc. As provider of patientsafety solutions, Omnicell will install passwordprotected, computerized medication cabinets in 10 different hospital locations, including the emergency department, nursing units, and the surgery center.

The medication cabinets will have advanced single-dose dispensing, bar-code confirmation upon removal of bulk items, a range of drawer modules enabling all security levels, integration with a Web browser for clinical reference information, and patient medication profiling.

Jenifer E.Watters, RPh, director of pharmacy for Regina, noted that new systems will be critical after January 2006, when the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations' standards will prohibit access to medications when the hospital pharmacy is closed. Because Regina's central hospital pharmacy is not open 24 hours, controlled, automated dispensing will be crucial.