By now, you’ve probably heard the reports of another hospital where there was a mistake during admixture that caused the patient to die. At the time of this writing, ISMP is working to compile best practices and information from practitioners to develop guidelines on this subject. The primary focus of any such effort, of course, is to reduce the possibility of these errors altogether within the compounding process.
The very concept of LEAN lends itself to predictable, repeatable workflows that drive both efficiency and quality for all participants. There are several aspects of LEAN methodology that can help your organization achieve a more predictable, efficient, and ultimately safer operational state.
1.) 5S – The organization of the compounding area is a critical component to success. Does the technician have the appropriate tools readily available to perform their activities? In addition, there is an element of 5S in the age-old concept of separating look alike sound alikes within the pharmacy setting.
2.) Pull Systems – Traditional Pharmacy operations often generate and prepare large batches of IV’s, sometimes up to 18 hours in advance of their actual due time. This can often result in increased waste and added steps as bags are dispensed to the unit and then returned, unused. The reduction of the lead time for IV batches can result in less waste and potentially save money in both waste and inventory expenses.
3.) Standardized Work – The steps that a technician engages in to prepare an IV admixture, in most cases, are not a defined process. Often times, the individual who provided the technicians training handed down their own process, not a standardized workflow procedure. This results in variability and unpredictable workflow.
4.) Poka Yoke (Error Proofing) – In a traditional IV workflow, there is really no way to provide guidance or prompts as to what is done correctly or incorrectly. In addition, the lack of this type of guidance creates a vacuum where errors may be captured, but the ability to learn from them is often tossed in the trash with the mistakes.
The IVTrac solution for IV Workflow management can help with several of these areas of focus for your organization. Our solution will guide the user through each step of the preparation process, via a work queue that you configure. Any additional rules for certain patient populations or medications, such as double verification, can easily be added to the process. The resulting outcome is a leaner, more predictable, defined process that you can confidently count on in your IV room. For more information, request a demo today.
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