Automated Dispensing Cabinets Usage and How to Maximize Their Value in Hospitals

In the event of an emergency, medical personnel needs to be able to find the medication they need when they need it. Having to sort through a bag of random medications can take a long time and mean the difference between life and death for the patient. It is also an expensive inconvenience for hospitals to have to send an employee on a medication run to the pharmacy area.

One way that staff is saving time and saving lives is by utilizing mediation dispenser cabinets that are automated.

Automated dispensing cabinet
photo credit: Mr. Satterly / Wikimedia Commons

High Tech Medication Cabinets

It was in the 1980s that this type of medication storage hit the market. For those that don’t know what automated dispensing cabinets are, they are a type of stacked drawers that store medicines. They typically come on wheels so they can be easily transported through a hospital, doctor’s office, or nursing facility.

These medication cabinets are high tech. They track every nurse, doctor, or tech that uses the cabinet. They also track the medication inventory automatically. This means the person using the cabinet knows right off the bat if the medicine they need is in stock in the cabinet or if the supply needs to be replenished.

Saving Time Saves Money and Lives

Having popular medications nearby in this type of cabinet saves time, money, and lives. When a patient needs a medication, a doctor has to order the medication, and then an employee has to either go get the medication from the pharmacy area or the medication has to be delivered to the area where the patient is. That can take a lot of time, and the hospital or facility has to pay employees to pick up or deliver the medication.

A medication cabinet means that, once the medicine has been ordered by the doctor, all the employee has to do is sign in and get the medication from the automated cabinet. This cuts out having an employee fetch the required medication, which saves on labor costs. The patient gets the medication faster, which can also save lives in emergency situations.

These Cabinets Can Cut Down on Medication Errors

A huge benefit of this type of medication dispensing cabinet is that it can help to greatly cut down on medication errors. When a doctor orders a medication for a patient, the order is input into the system. When a nurse is ready to dispense the medication, they scan the label on the medicine. The system makes sure the medication is given to the patient and the medication ordered by the doctor are a match.

High-risk medications can be placed in special drawers, meaning that employees only have regular access to lower-risk medications. This greatly cuts down on the risk involved in a medication error. In the event that a medication error ever happens, the high-risk medications being in a special drawer keeps them from being involved.

In conclusion, automated medication dispensing cabinets are a great value for hospitals and really any medical facility. They have come a long way and are very high tech. They save time and money for a hospital and can save lives by cutting down on medication errors. Every hospital, nursing facility, or doctor’s office should consider upgrading to this type of medication storage.