In any line of work, when an error occurs, you want to be able to accurately pinpoint the issue in order to prevent it happening again in the future. The need for such root cause analysis is magnified in health care, particularly when it comes to managing medications, because errors can be life-threatening. In LTC pharmacy services specifically, it’s often necessary to authenticate data or develop a timeline for when an error or issue occurred. Because of this, it’s important for long term care pharmacy providers to have a wide variety of tools at their disposal that allow them to gain insight into the medication dispensing process from start to finish. It’s not enough to simply backtrack when an error occurs—these tools should capture every step of the process each time a medication is dispensed. Grane Rx has made these tools an automated part of our protocol. By doing so, they can be used for root cause analysis into specific issues as well as part of reviews into how to optimize care and meet quality standards. Through the use of automated data collection, our team is able to identify what issue occurred, how it occurred and why it occurred. Data can also be easily shared with the Skilled Nursing Facilities with which we partner, making it easy to work through resolution strategies and performance improvement. [Tweet “Time-tracking tools can help #LTCpharmacy providers conduct accurate root cause analysis.”]
LTC Pharmacy Services Time-tracking MechanismsGrane Rx utilizes a number of technology tools to assist with data collection and authentication, as well as timeline development. These include:
- Real-time transfer of data from SNF providers to long term care pharmacy using integrated electronic health records. This helps ensure that admissions information about each SNF resident is appropriately documented, without the risk for duplication of records.
- Automated date/time stamps on incoming documents through document handling system. This would include any documentation related to a resident’s initial admission, subsequent hospitalizations, prescription orders and any other relevant information.
- Automated date/time stamps in an audit log for prescription order entry, pharmacist reviews and packaging. This encompasses when a prescription is received from the physician or other prescriber, when it’s processed through the system, when the pharmacist completes a series of checks to ensure accuracy and safety, and when medications are packaged in our perforated SimplePacks for dispensing.
- Automated date/time stamps verifying visual image documentation. During this step of our process, medications are sent through imaging technology that verifies the correct medications are being dispensed based on 13 indices, including shape, size and color.
- Call recording system for conversations. In addition to capturing an audio recording of conversations, this system also indicates the date and time, the time of the beginning and ending of the call, and the length of the call.
- Automated date/time stamp of interface transactions. This captures the process of transferring medications from the long term care pharmacy system to the SimpleAccess medication cabinet for dispensing.
- Data/time information from courier system. This identifies when prescriptions left the facility and when they were delivered.