DANVILLE, Pa. and PITTSBURGH, July 8 Geisinger Health System's pharmacy is improving the real-time location and status of medication delivery through the use of Aethon's MedEx system, the first advanced automated tracking and "chain of custody" documentation system.
MedEx enhances the functionality of Aethon's TUG robots, automatic robotic delivery devices that move equipment and supplies throughout Geisinger's corridors. These robots reliably and affordably deliver, track and retrieve medications, supplies, meals and equipment throughout the hospital to increase productivity, enhance safety, and improve healthcare efficiency and patient care. Through the addition of the MedEx technology, Geisinger's hospital-based pharmacies now have a completely automated chain of custody solutions, which allows them to improve the reliability and accountability of all medication deliveries.
"For the first time all medications have the ability to be electronically tracked, from the person sending to the person receiving," says Aldo Zini, Aethon's president and CEO. "The result is secure, scheduled and on-demand distribution from the pharmacy to the nurses' stations. That means reduced medical errors, improved regulatory compliance, and improved patient outcomes and satisfaction."
"Being able to work with a strategic partner like Aethon has helped improve efficiency in our care-delivery model," notes Deb Templeton, vice president of supply chain services at Geisinger Health System. "Supply chain services and system therapeutics are able to work as a team to maximize the use of TUGs in our organization."
Combining passive radio frequency identification (RFID) technology and biometrics capabilities built into the TUGs' secure carts, MedEx automatically creates an electronic chain of custody receipt (person, location, date/time) indicating when an item is placed in and removed from the TUG. The MedEx system's tracking capabilities extend to refrigerators, lock boxes, nurse servers, and automated dispensing cabinets to provide additional assurance that all medications have reached their final destination and have been properly stored.
"The move to the MedEx system was the next logical step in our ongoing efforts to identify leading-edge technologies to enhance medication security and implement innovative methods for the delivery of medications throughout the medical center that maximize the productivity of our technician staff," says John Jones, vice president of system therapeutics at Geisinger Health System.
In addition to improving regulatory compliance related to the delivery and storage of medications, MedEx solves one of the most prevalent and frustrating operational problems in pharmacies today - missing medications. "With an automatic and electronic chain of custody record, pharmacies no longer need to spend valuable time and money tracking or refilling medications because a delivered medication's location or receiver are unknown," says Zini.
According to Zini, other benefits the MedEx system brings include increased nursing time at the bedside, reduced order-to-delivery time, and greater peace of mind for patient and hospital staff.
About Geisinger Health System
Geisinger is a an integrated health services organization widely recognized for its innovative use of the electronic health record and the development and implementation of innovative care models including advanced medical home and ProvenCare ("warranty") program. The system serves more than 2.6 million residents throughout 42 counties in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. For more information, visit www.geisinger.org.
Aethon is a leader in healthcare supply chain logistics, chain of command, and workflow solutions that automate the movement of equipment and supplies throughout the hospital. At the core of Aethon's solution is a proprietary autonomous mobile robot, known as the TUG, which can be used to deliver, track and retrieve medications, supplies, meals, equipment and more. TUGs improve asset utilization, ensure regulatory compliance, reduce costs, enhance clinical productivity, improve workflow and allow clinicians to focus on patient care. Hospitals using TUGs realize an ROI of 20 to 50 percent, while improving nurse and patient satisfaction. More information is available at www.aethon.com.