Background The healthcare sector is constantly challenged to achieve the most health care for the money and increase patient safety. Medicines dispensing is a very time-consuming process for nursing staff and a process with a high risk of errors. LEAN concepts are commonly used in The Capital Region Pharmacy to optimise and safeguard processes. In the future, it is recommended that new/reconditioned ward-based medicines rooms are designed according to LEAN concepts.
Purpose The objective of this pilot project was to investigate whether a medicines room designed according to LEAN concepts could save nursing staff time and improve patient safety.
Material and methods The pilot project was conducted on a cardiology ward during Spring (2014). The nursing staff was introduced to the LEAN concepts via an interdisciplinary workshop.
Before and after the LEAN implementation the nursing staff (n = 24) answered a semi-structured questionnaire including: Time spent on medicine dispensing in day shift, general overview in the medicines room and the occurrence of disturbances related to arrangement of medicines. Usage rates of the barcode verification in the medicines dispensing process were used as a proxy for patient safety.1,2
Results LEAN implementation freed time in the medicines dispensing process as described in the literature.3 After LEAN implementation 40% (n = 10) of the nursing staff took more than 30 min during a day shift on medicines dispensing compared to 76% (n = 18) before. By optimising the arrangement of medicines, the barcode verification rate increased from 22% to 39% after six months (proxy indicator for patient safety). The nursing staff reported that LEAN implementation resulted in a better overview and reductions in interruptions in the medicine room. Similar results are found in the literature.3,4
Conclusion A medicines room adapted to the ward workflows in line with LEAN concepts has cut down on time spent in the medicines dispensing process and increased patient safety by encouraging barcode verification.
References and/or acknowledgements See poster
No conflict of interest.
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