The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention defines a medication error as "any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer. Such events may be related to professional practice, health care products, procedures, and systems, including prescribing; order communication; product labeling, packaging, and nomenclature; compounding; dispensing; distribution; administration; education; monitoring; and use."
The emergency department, in cooperation with the pharmacy department, installed the most advanced automated medication management system available today. The Pyxis MedStation 3000 automated medication system was put into action in January 2006.
Automated dispensing systems are drug storage devices or cabinets that electronically dispense medications in a controlled fashion and track medication use. Patient medication is delivered securely by entering patient data into the machine that dispenses appropriate dosage that corresponds to the physician order. Patient information is interfaced to the MedStation 3000 via an interface from the hospital's information system or is entered by appropriate ED staff.
Key advantages of an automated system include: