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the hospital’s 18-bed surgical unit over the course of one day. It only took a few hours to realize unforeseen patient care and logistical obstacles made it impossible for one nurse to complete the administration in the limited timeframe. After researching cart implementations at other hospi-

tals, Mayo Regional’s nursing leadership determined that computer-equipped carts with barcode scanners would eliminate the workfl ow issues, and lockable medication drawers would solve the safety and security limitations of their older carts. In spring 2010, Mayo Regional purchased three Rubbermaid

Healthcare computer-equipped medication carts for its surgical unit and one for the obstetrics department. A main reason the carts were chosen was the variety of swappable, lockable drawer sizes protected with a security PIN code system. T ese features have since allowed Mayo Regional’s nurses to serve up to six patients for up to four hours without returning to the remote medication station. T e carts are equipped with six patient drawers and two larger drawers for medication administration supply storage. Each cart houses a computer that gives nurses access to

Mosby’s drug reference database, so they can search for medi- cations or calculations while still logged in to the eMAR and the barcode verifi cation system. Also included on the carts is a tethered barcode scanner. T is allows nurses to utilize a hand- held scanner for checking medications and patient wristbands, off ering another safety check at the point of care. After each

Why can’t we give patients an accu- rate estimate of what they will need to

pay for a procedure? Why are these high deductible plans cutting into our practices’

 Why is it so hard to col-  Why don e know what pat ients will owe before they receive treatment? s patient estimation so time

 

 Why re we acting more like a collections epartment than a medical practice? Why can’t we give patients an accu- rate estimate of what they will need to Why are these high deductible plans killing our practices’   col- Why don’t we know what patients will owe

we know what patients will owe efore they receive t reatment? Why i is patient estimation so time  Why are we acting more like a collections department than a medical practice?

Why?

Why is it so hard to col- don’’t

shift, nurses verify that no medi- cations remain in the cart drawers prior to handoff to the next nurse.

Cost and time savings Since implementation, the medication administration delays have decreased by approximately 40 percent due to the ability to collect and safely store all medications for each nurse’s route. Wasted medication costs, such as dropped pills, have decreased from approximately $300 a month to $30 a month. From an effi ciency standpoint, having the eMAR on the cart alerts nurses to changes in medication orders at the point of care, helping avoid errors and extra trips to the dispensing cabinet. Mayo Regional’s eMAR system helped continue the hospital’s tradition of high- quality patient care, but caused new workfl ow dilemmas solved through strategic selection and implementation of comput- erized medication carts. While the cost and time savings are appreciated by the clinicians, the most meaningful benefi t is that the technology is keeping patients safe and aiding in their recovery.

The Rubbermaid Healthcare M38 RX Mobile Medication Cart features a variety of swappable, lockable drawer sizes protected with a security PIN code system.

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