Background In January 2011 the old Xeral-Calde hospital in the city of Lugo moved to new premises. The new hospital management decided to set up an automated storage and dispensing system in the intensive care unit.
Purpose To analyse the automated Pyxis dispensing system in the hospital's intensive care unit (ICU) from the financial and human resources point of view.
Materials and methods A drugs list was established for use in the Pyxis system. Large volume medicines and emergency trolley medicines were not included. They were arranged in the Pyxis by size, frequency of use and safety considerations. A period of 10 days was set aside for training the unit personnel, facilitating the integration of the Pyxis system into the department and involving the whole personnel in the process. To acquire and data capture The authors used the SINFHOS Drugstore management software, the Web Reporting associated with the Pyxis storage system and the hospital collaborated with us over supervision.
Results The average monthly / patient cost in ICU comparing the periods January–March, 2010 (without the Pyxis system) and January–March, 2011 (with the Pyxis system) was reduced by 20.3%. The number of drugs stocked has increased 11.4%, but less space is needed for storage in the unit. The pharmacy staff was required to spend more time on personnel training, each nursing assistant needing about 14 h’ more training a week; however nurses working in ICU were able to reduce the time taken for their daily work by an average of two h.
Conclusions Introducing the Pyxis system in the intensive care unit is seen as a step forward in both the ICU and the pharmacy. The main advantages were the decrease in costs assigned to the unit by the reduction of accumulated stock, more information is available about the medicines for each patient and bureaucratic work has been reduced in the ICU, giving staff more time for patient care.
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