Texas Hospital Increases Patient Safety and Workflow Efficiency

As new medication safety guidelines emerge into the pharmacy world, an 800-bed, tertiary care hospital in Texas recognized the necessity to better focus attention on the specific needs of the pediatric patients in its large pediatric unit.

Under the leadership of the pediatric clinical specialist, the hospital pharmacy team began developing a pediatric-dose standardization project to optimize medication safety and meet regulatory requirements. Unfortunately, they quickly realized that the availability of commercial unit-dose oral syringes is extremely limited.

Recognizing the enormous amount of staff time and resources it would take to repackage oral syringes in-house, the hospital pharmacy reached out to Safecor Health to address their packaging needs.

The Need to Optimize Pediatric Safety

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) released the 2018-2019 Targeted Medication Safety Best Practices for Hospitals to “identify, inspire, and mobilize widespread, national adoption of consensus-based best practices for specific medication safety issues that continue to cause fatal and harmful errors in patients…”

As part of these new guidelines, ISMP recommends that hospitals ensure that all oral liquid medications not available in commercial unit-dose packaging are dispensed in an oral syringe by the pharmacy. It also recommends that hospitals no longer stock bulk oral solutions of medications on patient care units, a practice that causes excessive waste and an increased risk of medication error.

The hospital understood the importance of implementing ISMP’s strict guidelines to ensure the safest practice for their patients. To do so effectively, they would need the ability to purchase standardized unit-dose oral syringes or repackage bulk medications into unit-dose in-house. Because of the limited availability of commercial unit-dose oral syringe products, they would have to focus on repackaging in-house which would cause amplified labor costs and decreased resources to focus on patient care.

Teaming Up with Safecor Health

Forming a repackaging partnership with Safecor Health was an easy choice. With a reputation as the national leader committed to unit-dose repackaging services, hospital pharmacy leadership knew they could rely on Safecor Health to help them implement their new strategy and repackage their standardized-dose, unit-dose oral syringes.

Standardizing pediatric doses gave the hospital the ability to have immediate pediatric medication availability with unit-dose dispensing through their automated medication dispensing cabinets.

Standardizing their pediatric oral syringe doses also helped them:

  • Improve patient safety;
  • Become compliant with regulatory agencies;
  • No longer dispense bulk bottles;
  • Significantly reduce drug waste;
  • Prevent medication errors;
  • And increase pharmacy and nursing workflow efficiency.

By reducing in-house oral syringe repackaging, the hospital pharmacy could reallocate its staff and other resources back to what matters most to them — their patients.

Repackaging standardized-dose, unit-dose medications with Safecor Health is easy. Hospitals simply specify the dose and let Safecor Health reduce their packaging burden — including most C-II controlled substances. Safecor Health’s quality packaging process ensures each product is correctly and accurately packaged in oral syringes or ENFit compatible syringes, labeled and bar-coded, and ready to dispense.

Are you ready to reduce your pharmacy’s packaging burden? Contact us today to learn how!