Medication errors are not uncommon and often go unrecognised and unreported. In fact, 237 million are made every year in England, the avoidable consequences of which cost the NHS upwards of £98 million and more than 1700 lives according to the British Medical Journal.
But this problem is one that can be prevented with a medicine stock management system. Read our report for details on how smarter stock management can improve patient care and save expense Medicines Inventory Control System (MICS) report.
Here, we look at errors in particular and how they can be significantly reduced with better control of medications.
With a medicine stock management system your medical database will live online – no paper-based systems that could easily lead to prescribing the wrong thing or recording the wrong number of stock.
ExPD’s Medicines Inventory Control System (MICS) manages items that are individually serialised by use-by-date and batch number and by applying a unique code to other items, it offers 100% accurate traceability of all items from the moment they are checked in, to the time when they are released for dispensing.
A range of security levels can be accommodated for more secure items, which includes a secondary authorisation PIN being required to access items deemed highest risk.
This reduces the burden of training and users are assigned the appropriate access based on their clinical status and role within your organisation.
Improved stock management
With barcode tracking software in a system like MICS, the automatic data capture ensures accurate reporting for charting and inventory purposes.
Any supply requests that are made appear on the MICS system interface, which is viewable by all pharmacy staff. This allows staff see when items are nearing expiry or low in inventory.
Weekly inventory audits are simple to undertake with a mobile scanner, mobile phone or tablet as a full audit trail is kept, and it will alert you if a discrepancy is found. Having a smart system for prescribing meds and the associated stock management greatly increases the accuracy of system status and stock availability, meaning no wasting time prescribing a medication which isn’t available and the subsequent changing to an alternate product – MICS only allows the prescribing of available products.
Once the medication is entered into the MICS system, the medication is immediately available on the dispensing list.
When it is time to dispense medication to patients or access a medical product, the pharmacist or authorised user types the name of the product into the MICS mobile app. The app then tells the user the exact barcoded box or product to use and where to get it from.
The user enters a secure PIN to unlock the correct cupboard or locker and scans the product.
The medical stock management app then checks that it is the correct product and alerts the user if there is an error.
The medication is then made available to the patient.
Access to medicine sites must be monitored and restricted – especially where access to controlled drugs is concerned. An advanced inventory control software gives you complete visibility and control over the location of your medical supplies and who has access to them.
Without an up-to-date stock management system that has controlled access, you could be vulnerable to issues due to theft, and face legal liabilities.