Background Nowadays, hospitals tend to automate medicines management to increase quality, efficiency and safety of drug dispensing. At Mohammed V Military Teaching Hospital (MVMTH), a centralised Automated Drug Dispensing System (ADDS) was installed at the duty pharmacy. We expect this experience will be decentralised to all hospital services.
Purpose To evaluate the impact of automation on medicines management at our duty pharmacy, and to determine its limits in order to improve them.
Materials and Methods We analysed the organisational aspects from the database of the ADDS deposited at the MVMTH duty pharmacy. The study lasted one year (2010). We also used a questionnaire completed at the end of the study period by the 12 Pharmacy Technicians (PharmTs) working at our hospital pharmacy (6 juniors with less than 5 years of professional experience and 6 seniors with more than 10 years of professional experience, all performing the same tasks during duty hours), in order to evaluate their view of automation.
5444 transactions were accomplished (63% by juniors and 37% by seniors);
injection forms were the most delivered (68%) followed by oral forms (29%);
anti-inflammatories, analgesics and antispasmodics were the most required on duty hours (26%) followed by antibiotics and antiviral drugs (25%);
according to PharmTs:
the main advantages were:
saving time in locating medicines (≈83 minutes saved per week, reallocated to other tasks): 8 PharmTs;
limiting personal drug use: 5 PharmTs.
the main constraints were:
the irregular machine resupply (poorly done or not done at all) by the technician on duty whose job it is to replenish drugs consumed during the previous day: 10 PharmTs;
the reduced capacity for storing all medicines, especially refrigerated and oversized ones: 6 PharmTs.
Conclusions The automated drug dispensing system offers many advantages. However, there are still things to improve concerning machine resupply, storage capacity and storage conditions before decentralisation to hospital services.
No conflict of interest.
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