Objectives Medication management is a core process in hospital administration. The safety, timeliness and efficiency of medication distribution may be improved by automating logistical and administrative aspects of the process. Forming an accurate high-level picture of current practices may help decision-makers to better advance the state of automation. This study aims to identify which systems for automating the medication process are currently in use in Swiss hospitals, and to what extent each system is used.
Methods A 27-question survey was developed and distributed to Swiss Association of Public Health Administration and Hospital Pharmacists (GSASA) members. The survey focused on enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, automation of in-hospital distribution and dispensing of pharmaceutical goods, bedside scanning, and the management of drug master data.
Results The response rate was 98% (58/59 hospital pharmacies). All institutions had an ERP system in use, most frequently SAP (n=23, 39%). Electronic invoices from suppliers were fully processed by 37% and partially processed by 17% of respondents. Twenty-five percent of respondents reported performing bedside scanning for the purpose of medication administration. Automated medication distribution systems were available in 20 hospitals (34%), of which 13 were central robots and seven were decentralised systems.
Conclusion A considerable gap remains to achieve closed loop processes between multiple systems. The present results provide an inventory of existing systems and current trends for use by decision-makers in hospitals and hospital pharmacies.
- Hospital Distribution Systems
- PHARMACY SERVICE, HOSPITAL
- PHARMACY ADMINISTRATION
- MEDICATION SYSTEMS, HOSPITAL
Data availability statement
All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.
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