Implementation and Evaluation of Automated First Dose Dispensing at a Community Teaching Hospital in the USA
Abstract. Automated dose dispensing is one of the perks of automated technology that has reduced the chances of error in medication dispensing and thus has increased the quality of patient care, especially of elderly and patients with multiple comorbidities that require multiple medications. The purpose of our study was to determine the difference in the amount of time pharmacists spend checking first doses before implementing a robot-filled first dose process. A descriptive study was performed by pharmacists to check the time taken for first doses before implementing a robot-filled first dose process. Data was collected from Medboard®, a web-based medication tracking system currently in use in central pharmacy. Data collection was done during November 1st until March 31st of 2014.The average time taken by central pharmacists to check first doses was 15.92 minutes. Total 162 dispensing errors involving wrong medication selection were caught. Of total 12 pharmacists 91.6% believed that robot first dose will succeed, 58.3% believed that it will increase the efficiency. More than half pharmacists had positive perception related to robot-filled first dose. Through this cross-sectional study we concluded that in central pharmacy at Midtown Medical Center in Columbus, GA where automated first dose dispensing system had not been established during the time of the study, errors were reported by pharmacists through a manual dispensing system. Moreover, pharmacists had a positive attitude towards implementation of an automated system as they believed that through this system the chances of medication errors will be reduced and overall effectiveness of medication dispensing will be increased. However, current study has been conducted on a very small sample size thus further studies are needed to evaluate the perception of pharmacists. A multicenter study maybe conducted and collaborate Midtown Medical center in Columbus with other health care facilities in a developing country to have more wider and representative population sample.
Pharmacists; Perception; Automated dispensing dose; Medication errors