Hospitals have long been exploring strategies to improve patient care and flow in medication management.
We recently caught up with Paragon Care’s National Group Sales Manager, Paul Blewitt to discuss some of the recent developments in medication managements and their benefits to patients.
Looking at the case study of Norwalk Hospital in Connecticut (USA), what was the challenge faced by clinicians?
Over the years, Norwalk had introduced medication delivery solutions, including multiple generations of mobile charts to facilitate efficient workflow. Though these charts offered a convenient option for storing medication and housing computer terminals, Norwalk’s management decided to explore a nurse led solution involving specialist pharmacists which would be better suited to meeting both nurse and patient needs, especially with regards to medication administration workflow.
What was involved in the process of finding a solution?
The project’s success depended on choosing a product the team of clinicians and support staff, including the IT Department, all liked and supported for the best workflow. It was recognised that investing in staff involvement would benefit change and acceptance of the new solution.
About 70 per cent of Norwalk’s medical-surgical nurses participated in the project over a four week period which included having various models and products placed in an empty patient room for their direct evaluation. Testing include pushing carts within the tight confines of a patient room to judge the unit’s ergonomic design and ease of use. Nurses also evaluated the integration of patient and medication bar code scanning, plus assessed medication dispensing and documentation.
What were some of the benefits of the solution selected?
The product that was selected featured benefits for patients, nursing staff, pharmacists and the teams responsible for IT and security.
Design features had benefits including positive impacts on workflow, patient safety, reduced physical strain and increased nurse/patient interaction. For instance, one popular component of the chosen product was keyboard lights which allowed nurses to perform their duties with more ease at night and didn’t disrupt the rest of sleeping patients.
Paragon Care will have the next generation in mobile medication carts on display as part of their exhibition booth at the upcoming eMedication Management conference in Sydney.