While there is research supporting the benefit of automated dispensing for the prevention of medication errors in emergency departments Fanning et al. (2015) this has not previously been looked at in a hospice setting neither has the impact of automated dispensing and top-up on releasing nurses time to spend with patients in this area.
With the likelihood of increasing demand for hospice services and increasing complexity of patient needs there is a drive to provide more care from the same or even less resource, technology ranging from telemedicine and remote monitoring to automated systems may provide an opportunity to increase our ability to meet these challenges and free up nurses to focus on the provision of patient contact and care that hospices are historically associated with.
This presentation follows the journey within a 12-bedded in-patient hospice of installation of automated dispensing medication system in a hospice in-patient unit, from the point of pre installation time and motion studies of medication dispensing through installation and beyond investigating the impact on:-
System acceptability to staff
Nurse time taken to dispense
Nurse time taken to complete stock checks and weekly top-up
Nurse satisfaction with system following installation
pre and post installation medication error rates.
In addition the presentation reflects the benefit of considering change proactively rather than as a response to critical incidents with medication and the significant impact this can have on staff confidence and morale within a small team.
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