Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Technology (including: robots for production, Incompatibilities, drug production and analytics, CRS)
Improving the efficiency, safety and security of controlled drugs inventory management with the Pyxis C11 Safe System
  1. M. Dooley,
  2. K. Tan,
  3. S.G. Poole
  1. 1Alfred Health, Pharmacy Department, Melbourne, Australia


Background Current manual inventory management systems for controlled drugs are time-consuming and error prone. The Pyxis C11Safe is a computerised controlled drugs system. Evaluation of this technology using a structured observational methodology to assess efficiency, safety and security is required to support adoption.

Purpose To compare the efficiency, safety and security of the Pyxis C11Safe system with the current manual systems for controlled drugs using ‘time and motion’ observational methods.

Materials and methods Pre and postimplementation methodology was adopted.

  • Stage 1: Map the process and quantify existing processes.

  • Stage 2: Develop ‘best practice model’ using Pyxis C11Safe; procedures are simulated, documented and implemented.

  • Stage 3: Conduct a time and motion study of existing and new processes to evaluate aspects of efficiency, safety and security using an independent observer.

Results Controlled drugs inventory practices were process-mapped and standardised in an acute care government hospital. An independent observer then conducted a time and motion study of the manual system, over a one month period. The time taken to complete a range of transaction types (receipt, distribution, discharge dispensing, returns and destruction) were recorded for 680 transactions. A best practice model for Pyxis C11Safe was developed, simulated and refined. Pharmacy staff were trained and the Pyxis C11Safe procedures implemented with 350 transactions observed and timed. Statistically significant time saving (20%, p=0.0001) was identified in the processing of controlled drug prescriptions distributed to patient care areas (5 min 3 s with Pyxis C11Safe vs 7 min 11 s for existing processes). Non-significant time savings were demonstrated in other transaction types.

Conclusions A structured observational methodology has facilitated the assessment, and demonstrated significant efficiencies, of the Pyxis C11Safe system compared to the current inventory management systems for controlled drugs.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.