Many hospitals I visit have the following dynamic:
RX – “Nursing just complains about everything, they don’t even understand what we do”
RN – “If Pharmacy would just give me my meds, I’d be happy”
Does that sound familiar? The hospitals that seem to have the most successful initiatives for medication process improvement are the ones that have broken up this dynamic and created a true team atmosphere between Pharmacy and Nursing.
A large part of changing this dynamic is education, on both sides of the fence. It is very helpful for the leadership and the staff to have some understanding of how the other department works and the impact of their actions on each other.
- A nurse is missing a medication.
- The nurse contacts Pharmacy.
- Pharmacy ignores request because it is in the ADC, and the Nurse should know that.
- Nurse gets frustrated and requests medication again.
- Pharmacy sends the medication.
- The Nurse finds it in the ADC and administers dose.
- Pharmacy finds the extra dose on the floor and has to process it as a return.
Not to mention, while all this was happening, the patient was not being medicated.
If each department have a better understanding of how their actions impact each other, the dynamic can change for the better. This is a great application of the LEAN concept of the Gemba – management by walking around. The leadership for both disciplines should be out experiencing the processes and effects on both sides of the fence. This helps to better define the ways in which the problems can be effectively addressed.
A clear understanding of the processes for medication distribution for both Pharmacy and Nursing can help leadership improve process efficiency. This in turn can help drive improved patient and employee satisfaction. The common enemy is delayed therapy and non-value added work. The best way to combat that enemy is through teamwork and readily accessible information.
Contact us today @ PlusDelta Technologies to schedule a demo and talk in more detail about how to harness medication-tracking data to improve operations and efficiency in your pharmacy.
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