Background Unit-dose drug distribution is a medication management system, promoted by ISMETT clinical pharmacy, for optimal pharmaceutical patient care. Suitable software was fundamental to controlling the therapeutic process from prescription to the administration to patients in the care unit.
Purpose The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the efficiency of the software in 2 areas: helping pharmacists do their job and preventing failure of drug administration.
Materials and methods The software used by the pharmacy processes all information about the patient and the injectable medicines prescribed in the electronic clinical chart. A label is generated for each preparation and all information (patient's name, date of birth, identification code, unit, room, drug, dose, dilution, expiry date, rate of administration and storage conditions) is printed. A barcode is used for the last check before administration. Then technician prepares the daily batch of injections under pharmacist supervision.
Results From January to September 2011, 75000 preparations were made (average of 275 per day). 31% were continuous infusions and 69% were bolus including antibiotics (46%), gastroprotectives (12%), cardiac stimulants (9%), antihypertensives (5%), antiarrhythmics (1.5%), hypoglycaemics (7%), anaesthetics (6%), antithrombotics (5%), antifungals (2%), antivirals (1%), other (8.5%). This software supports the pharmacist in providing the right drug to the right patient in the right dose and dosage form by means of the electronic interface with the clinical chart data. Moreover the time taken for preparation was reduced by 40% and no errors were found in label data. Batch preparation also reduced waste.
Conclusions The system adopted increased the overall quality level enabling patients' treatment to be matched to their real needs. Software provides a fundamental support for drug management and allows the elimination of labelling errors. This leads to better drug monitoring (several reports are generated) and reduced costs (reduction of the time spent on management).
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