Implementation and optimization of automated dispensing cabinet technology

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Abstract

Purpose.

A multifaceted automated dispensing cabinet (ADC) optimization initiative at a large hospital is described.

Summary.

The ADC optimization project, which was launched approximately six weeks after activation of ADCs in 30 patient care unit medication rooms of a newly established adult hospital, included (1) adjustment of par inventory levels (desired on-hand quantities of medications) and par reorder quantities to reduce the risk of ADC supply exhaustion and improve restocking efficiency, (2) expansion of ADC “common stock” (medications assigned to ADC inventories) to increase medication availability at the point of care, and (3) removal of some infrequently prescribed medications from ADCs to reduce the likelihood of product expiration. The purpose of the project was to address organizational concerns regarding widespread ADC medication stockouts, growing reliance on cart-fill medication delivery systems, and suboptimal medication order turnaround times. Leveraging of the ADC technology platform's reporting functionalities for enhanced inventory control yielded a number of benefits, including cost savings resulting from reduced pharmacy technician labor requirements (estimated at $2,728 annually), a substantial reduction in the overall weekly stockout percentage (from 3.2% before optimization to 0.5% eight months after optimization), an improvement in the average medication turnaround time, and estimated cost avoidance of $19,660 attributed to the reduced potential for product expiration.

Conclusion.

Efforts to optimize ADCs through par level optimization, expansion of common stock, and removal of infrequently used medications reduced pharmacy technician labor, decreased stockout percentages, generated opportunities for cost avoidance, and improved medication turnaround times.

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