The Right Medication at the Right Time
Nurses at Seton hospitals dispense more than 12,000 doses of medicine everyday—a job that is as important as it is time-consuming.
As part of its ongoing commitment to patient safety, the Seton Family of Hospitals has invested $3 million in state-of-the-art OmniCell Medication System cabinets, which are now located at nursing floors, surgery, and emergency rooms across the Network.
Using touch screen technology, these ATM style cabinets, which are networked to Seton’s central pharmacy server, provide convenient and controlled access to patient medications—incorporating multiple safeguards to make sure that our patients receive the right medication at the right dosage and right time.
How It Works
First, Seton nurses sign in using a secure pass code. Next, the system automatically pulls up a list of the nurses’ patients and their medication orders. Guiding light technology then directs the user to the correct medication, which is safely stored in designated compartments. Narcotics are stored in a special double-locked compartment for added security.
The Bottom Line
OmniCell is a critical investment in patient safety and comfort. Although Seton’s track record in safe drug dispensing is outstanding, a single mistake is one too many. OmniCell dramatically reduces the likelihood of medical errors—and improves workflow efficiency so that our nurses can spend more time at the bedside with their patients.
In addition, the system’s full suite of information-analysis tools, including integration with back-end systems and both desk-top and Web-based reports allow managers to run sophisticated reports that can evaluate workflow and patient care.
Ultimately, the Seton Family of Hospitals will use barcode technology to provide an electronic system of checks and balances. Once fully implemented, OmniCell will dispense medications that are individually wrapped and barcoded for each patient. Prior to dispensing any drugs, nurses will be required to match the barcode on the medication with the barcode that will be placed on the patient’s hospital wristband. OmniCell will also be integrated with Seton’s planned electronic medical records system, COMPASS, which is being phased in across the Network.