Background Automated dispensing cabinets (ADC) allow medications to be stored and dispensed near the point of care, improving efficiency in drug distribution. Nevertheless, new technologies are not exempt from errors.
Purpose To analyse if there are stock discrepancies (SD) in drugs included in ADC.
Material and methods A descriptive observational prospective study was conducted during October 2014. Medicines contained in three ADC were inventoried. ADC were placed in internal medicine/haematology departments, digestive/oncology/cardiology departments and urgency service.
We evaluated: global rate of SD; global rate of SD by drawer type; rate of SD per ADC; and rate of SD by drawer type per ADC.
Three drawer types were defined: multiple drug access drawers (MDAD), single drug access drawers (SDAD) and single dose dispensing pockets (SDDP).
Results 1082 drugs were inventoried. 395 presented SD (36.5%): 279 (25.8%) in MDAD, 115 (10.6%) in SDAD and only 1 (0.1%) in SDDP. SD distribution by ADC is shown in table 1.
Conclusion The more drug storage is in an ADC, the more SD are found. Discrepancies were more common with MDAD because users could remove more doses and different drugs than requested. Therefore, although new technologies are designed to improve both safety and efficiency in medicine management in hospitals, the use of ADC should include an evaluation of possible error opportunities, to implement strategies focused on preventing or minimising these errors. taking more care with those drawers where you can access the whole medication. Appropriate ADC handling is crucial to guarantee fast and safe access to medications in clinical units.
No conflict of interest.
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