How Automated Medication Dispensing Cabinets Can Improve Care for At-Risk Residents

Providing optimal care for residents who are at a high risk for hospital readmission is one of the most significant challenges in long term care. While numerous factors place a resident at risk of hospital readmission or experiencing complications, studies have found that the inappropriate use of medication has a profound cost to resident health. A study from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics found that medication mismanagement, including nonadherence, delayed treatment and medication errors, results in 10 million hospital admissions that cost more than $200 billion each year. Of the six areas of medication mismanagement studied, medication nonadherence showed the biggest impact. How can you help improve the care your center is providing at-risk residents, including adherence to prescribed medication regimens? Automated medication dispensing cabinets play a key role.  

Automated Medication Dispensing Cabinets Improve Nurses’ Access to Medications

Automated medication dispensing cabinets store, dispense and track medications at the point of care. Medication access in resident care areas promotes the timely administration of medications while also increasing the amount of time nurses can devote to resident care. Grane Rx SimpleAccess cabinets go a step beyond many other automated medication dispensing cabinets with the Anywhere RN Solution. This web-based application allows nurses to perform medication management tasks away from the SimpleAccess Cabinet. Nurses can also retrieve medications for multiple patients in one trip to the dispensing cabinet, thereby aiding in efficiencies. [Tweet “3 major benefits of #automatedmedicationdispensingcabinets #skilled nursing”]

Automated Medication Dispensing Cabinets Provide Additional Safety Measures

The use of automated medication dispensing cabinets enhances resident safety in multiple ways. With SimpleAccess cabinets, medications are dispensed in resident-specific, multi-dose packaging, which helps largely reduce medication errors. Other safety measures include:
  • Real-time resident profiling. During the verification process, pharmacists ensure the right medication is being dispensed to the right resident. Pharmacists review medication prescriptions to check for drug allergies and drug interactions.
  • Organized dispensing bins. Each resident has multiple bins within the dispensing cabinet, including bins for routine daily medications, PRN medications, and medications such as eye drops, ear drops and aerosols, allowing nurses to quickly and safely access the medications they seek.
  • Temperature control monitoring. Many medications, including diabetic insulin, must be stored at a specific temperature. The SimpleAccess Cabinet offers a hands-free electronic system that monitors temperatures in refrigerators, providing prompt alerts about temperature fluctuations to staff.

Automated Medication Dispensing Cabinets Automate and Streamline Documentation

The SimpleAccess Cabinet streamlines the medication data entry process both for inputting medication information and for retrieving it. A pharmacist reviews the medication prescription to check for drug allergies and drug interactions.   Nurses do not need to manually enter resident medication or demographic information into SimpleAccess resident profiles. Information is instead automatically populated using a bidirectional interface from the pharmacy’s information system to the SimpleAccess cabinets. Inventory is also simplified. Grane Rx works with each center’s team and medical director to develop a center-specific medication formulary, which helps ensure the most commonly used medications are available for immediate use. Inventory is also customized based on a Grane Rx review of medication utilization and then approved by the center’s medical director. An additional layer of support is included for controlled medications. Controlled medication records are available immediately, which reduces nursing efforts during shift change processes. Documentation about controlled medication dispensing is also readily available, making it easier to meet federal and state requirements. Grane Rx’s SimpleAccess Cabinets provide a variety of benefits that help lower Skilled Nursing Facility costs while improving care for at-risk patients.]]>

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