Objective To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of two technology assisted manual medication picking systems vs traditional manual picking.
Methods This was a retrospective observational study comparing three outpatient pharmacies of a tertiary referral hospital in Singapore, where a light-emitting diode (LED-guided) manual picking system, an LED-guided manual picking plus lockable drawer (LED-LD) system, and traditional manual picking were implemented, respectively. The primary outcome measure was the incidence of medication near-misses over the observation period. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) per near-miss avoided was also determined. Data on medications picked and near-misses reported between September 2017 and June 2018 were retrieved from electronic databases. The incidence of medication near-misses from the LED-guided and LED-LD systems, relative to traditional picking, was compared using logistic regression. We compared annual operating costs between manual medication picking systems, and reported ICERs per near-miss avoided, to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of each picking system.
Results A total of 358 144, 397 343 and 254 162 medications were picked by traditional manual picking, LED-guided and LED-LD systems, respectively. The corresponding near-miss rates were 8.32, 4.08 and 0.69 per 10 000 medications picked, respectively. Medication near-miss rates were significantly lower for the LED-guided (OR 0.49, 95% CI 0.40 to 0.59, p<0.001) and LED-LD systems (OR 0.08, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.13, p<0.001) compared with traditional picking. The annual operating costs of traditional picking, LED-guided and LED-LD systems were S$60 912, S$129 832 and S$152 894, respectively. The LED-guided and LED-LD systems yielded ICERs of S$189 and S$140 per near-miss avoided, respectively, compared with traditional manual picking.
Conclusion The LED-LD system is more cost-effective than both the LED-guided and manual medication picking systems in reducing medication picking near-misses.
- medication safety