News 10/05/2023

FRENCH TECH: A promising start for the new line of medication safety robots AIDE in France

Le Mans, France – Deenova, the Franco-Italian group and Europe’s leading provider of medication safety automation solutions for hospitals and long-term care facilities, is pleased to announce the signing of two new contracts for the supply of its latest range of AIDE automated systems.

The first contract was signed with the Charles Perrens Hospital in Bordeaux to supply the AIDE-CUT, Deenova’s drug safety automation system for blister cutting and repackaging of all types of drugs. When repackaging unit dose medications, the AIDE-CUT ensures maximum accuracy and safety. The system is outfitted with high-tech sensors that detect and correct errors in real time, ensuring that the cutting and repackaging processes are optimized.

The second contract was signed with the Paul Reig Retirement Home in Banyuls, France, for the supply of the AIDE-PICK, Deenova‘s personalized therapy preparation automation system for the distribution of treatments to patients. The AIDE-PICK improves patient safety, reduces medication errors, and maximizes operational efficiency by ensuring full medication traceability, allowing nurses to spend more time with patients and less time preparing therapies.

Initially launched in 2013, the AIDE line of automated dispensers has been updated over the course of 2022-2023 to integrate modules that allow for the automatic repackaging and dispensing of all forms of medication, including sachets, ampoules, pre-filled syringes and vials. The new AIDE line will be presented at the French-speaking hospital pharmacy congress Hopipharm, which will be held this year from May 24 to 26 at the Strasbourg Congress Centre (Stand 79).

“These contracts are a testament to our customers’ confidence in our ability to provide innovative and reliable solutions that improve the safety and efficiency of medication management,” said Loїc Bessin, AIDE solutions designer and managing director of Deenova France, adding, “With less than a year after the launch of our AIDE line, we already have six installations planned for 2023.”

With these two new contracts, Deenova reinforces its leadership position in the French medication safety automation market, as Christophe Jaffuel, member of the Board of Directors and Chief Commercial Officer of the Deenova Group, explains: “After 10 years of leadership in the French market with the ACCED automated system, the successful launch of our new AIDE modular range is very promising for the future of our company.”

About Deenova

Deenova is the undisputed leading supplier of combined mechatronics (robotic and automation) solutions for closed loop medications and RFID-based medical devices traceability in the healthcare industry, anytime and anywhere. Deenova’s unique, patented, and fully integrated solutions have and will greatly contribute to ease healthcare providers’ growing pressures to: simultaneously improve patient safety, reduce therapy errors, minimise waste and controlled substance diversion, contain costs, and diminish the gap between rising patient volume/acuity and scarce medical staff. Deenova guarantees the simplification of all processes related to the management of medications and implantable/disposable medical devices with an expected cost savings range between 15% and 25%.

News 27/04/2023

ACCED, The Medication Safety Robot that has dominated the French market for ten years, continues its record-breaking commercial expansion

Milan – Deenova, Europe’s leading provider of hospital pharmacy automation unit dose medication solutions, announced today the award of two competitive UniHA tender in France for three of its market-leading solution ACCED, with Drôme Vivarais hospital in Montéléger and St-Marcellin hospital.

The ACCED mechatronics solution, which is already in use in over 60 French hospitals, is a fully automated system that allows for the preparation and dispensing of oral solid medications in unit dose. It is intended to improve patient safety, reduce medication errors, and maximize operational efficiency while providing secure and dependable medication preparation and dispensing processes. Furthermore, the solution includes a reporting and analytics platform that provides hospitals with data-driven insights to improve operational performance.

Commenting on the news, Mr. Loic Bessin, Managing Director of Deenova France, said: “We are thrilled to be extending our automated unit dose medication solutions to Drôme Vivarais and St-Marcellin hospitals in France. Our D3 ACCED mechatronic robot is designed specifically to ensure complete patient safety, operational effectiveness, and financial viability. We are confident that both hospitals and their patients will benefit greatly from our solution.”

The St-Marcellin Hospital is a healthcare institution that provides a public service mission of care and accommodation, combining proximity and a recognized level of technicality in the activities of medicine, rehabilitation care and elderly care.

Opened in 1976, the Centre Hospitalier Drôme Vivarais (formerly known as the “Centre Hospitalier Le Valmont”) is a public health establishment specialising in child and adult psychiatry, located in the commune of Montéléger, just a few kilometres from Valence. It manages 240 beds on a hospitalization site, 11 Day Hospitals and 17 Medical-Psychological Centres, including 11 Part-time Therapeutic Reception Centres spread over 11 towns in the area.

Deenova is the undisputed leading supplier of combined mechatronics (robotic and automation) solutions for closed loop medications and RFID-based medical devices traceability in the healthcare industry, anytime and anywhere. Deenova’s unique, patented, and fully integrated solutions have and will greatly contribute to ease healthcare providers’ growing pressures to: simultaneously improve patient safety, reduce therapy errors, minimise waste and controlled substance diversion, contain costs, and diminish the gap between rising patient volume/acuity and scarce medical staff. Deenova guarantees the simplification of all processes related to the management of medications and implantable/disposable medical devices with an expected cost savings range between 15% and 25%.

News 06/04/2023

Deenova’s tech superiority is confirmed by winning all unit dose pharmacy automation lots at the RESAH tender in France

MILAN – (BusinessWire) – Deenova announced today the award all the 3 lots in the last RESAH tender related to unit dose pharmacy automation systems, thereby reinforcing Deenova’s leading position in the French market.

RESAH (Réseau des Acheteurs Hospitaliers) is a public administrative organization that manages healthcare procurement for French public hospitals, providing them with access to the best possible products and services, while ensuring compliance with public procurement regulations.

Deenova  won the three lots in this tender, which were:

  • Lot 1: Supply of automatic dispensing robots, secured cabinets and modular solutions
  • Lot 3: Supply of automatic repackaging and dispensing robots
  • Lot 4: Supply of automatic repackaging and dispensing robots for oral solid medication

The three lots, awarded to the ACCED, AIDE and ASTUS mechatronics solutions represent a unique, complete, modular and customizable solution that will enable French hospitals to accelerate the transition to automated medication management, helping them reduce errors, eliminate manual processes and freeing up staff to focus on higher-value tasks ultimately ensuring safer and more efficient patient care.

The ACCED, AIDE and ASTUS mechatronics solutions are designed to be customizable and scalable, allowing hospitals to tailor the technology to their specific needs and requirements. The solution also integrates seamlessly with existing hospital infrastructure and software, minimizing disruption and ensuring a smooth transition.

Overall, the ACCED, AIDE and ASTUS mechatronics solutions represent a major step forward in the automation of medication management in French hospitals and contribute since 2013 to transform the way healthcare is delivered in the country.

Loic Bessin, Managing Director of Deenova France, and inventor of the ACCED and AIDE mechatronic solutions declared: “We are confident that our cutting-edge technology and expertise will continue to deliver significant benefits for the French healthcare system and we look forward to pursuing our historical collaboration with RESAH initiated in 2014 and with our hospital partners to further implement our solution across the country.”

The Deenova solution is the most comprehensive and cutting-edge one in Europe. It offers the hospital staff unparalleled flexibility and modularity, which improves the experience for both the patient and the healthcare professional. The solution helps the hospital with its digital transformation initiatives by enhancing traceability and accuracy and decreasing waste, adverse events, and medication dispensing errors. With expected cost savings of between 15% and 25%, the Deenova solution promises to simplify all procedures related to the management of medications and implantable/disposable medical devices.

“We are excited to have won all three lots in this RESAH tender. This achievement underscores Deenova’s commitment to relentlessly delivering innovative solutions that address the most pressing healthcare challenges” –  According to Christophe Jaffuel, Chief Commercial Officer and member of the board of Deenova –  “Our solution enables French hospitals to optimize their medication distribution processes, ensuring that patients receive the proper medication at the proper time, every time, while streamlining hospital workflows, reducing costs, and improving patient outcomes.”

News 22/02/2023

Deenova confirms its leadership in Italy by winning two major contracts with ASST Cremona and ASST Pavia

Deenova, the leading Italian group in Europe in the field of hospital pharmacy automation, with particular focus on traceability of medicines and medical devices, confirms its position as leader in Italy by winning two contracts with ASST Cremona and ASST Pavia.

The seven-year public tender of ASST Cremona, entitled “Award of healthcare logistics services to support hospital pharmacy for the management and traceability of medicines and medical devices from collection to administration”, was officially awarded to Deenova late last year and includes the installation of Deenova’s proprietary Orbit software for traceability and micrologistics management, 8 “All-In-1 Stations” for the dispensation of personalized therapies, 20 “All-In-1 Trolleys” for closed-loop administration of personalized therapies to patients that can be fully tracked and secured, as well as D8 RFID technologies (namely Check-in, Sentinel and Sentry) for full control and traceability of medical devices.

The same set of technologies and services was also awarded by ASST Pavia with an 18-month contract through the adhesion clause of the ASST Brianza tender, previously won by Deenova.

Giorgio Pavesi, CEO of Deenova, stated, “As a service company, customer satisfaction is part of Deenova’s DNA. These two awards confirm our 100% customer retention since 2007 and highlight the unmatched benefits of our reliable and efficient solutions, which are used in more than 80 hospitals in Europe.”

Partnering with Deenova, healthcare facilities looking to improve medication and medical device management can reduce the cost of administering treatments in their facilities, while minimizing errors and increasing engagement between clinicians, nurses and patients.

 

About ASST Cremona

ASST Cremona includes Cremona Hospital, Oglio Po Hospital, Soresina Area Hospital and Cremona and Casalmaggiore Area Hospitals, all located in the northern part of Italy. They offer a wide range of services, from preventive checkups to occupational medicine.

 

About ASST Pavia

ASST Pavia, with 7 hospitals, 12 clinics and several territorial services offering normal and emergency care, day clinics, surgery and specialized outpatient services.

 

About Deenova

Deenova is the undisputed leader in combined mechatronics solutions (robotics and automation) for traceability of medicines and RFID-based medical devices in healthcare, anytime, anywhere. Deenova’s unique, patented and fully integrated solutions have and will greatly contribute to alleviating the growing pressures of healthcare providers to improve patient safety, reduce therapy errors, minimize waste and diversion of controlled substances, contain costs and narrow the gap between increasing patient volumes and scarce medical staff. Deenova guarantees to simplify all processes related to the management of medications and implantable/disposable medical devices with an expected cost savings of between 15% and 25%.

News 16/01/2023

Deenova pursues its unstoppable growth on the French Market with 6 new contract awards

Deenova confirms its undisputed leadership on the French Hospital Pharmacy Automation market  by announcing six new contract awards in France of 10 market leading D3 ACCED mechatronic solutions through the previous victory at competitive UNIHA tender. Three have been awarded by both the Centre Hospitalier de Béziers and the Centre Hospitalier de Troyes, one has been awarded by the Etablissement public départemental de santé de Gorze, by the Etablissement public de santé mentale de l’Aube at Brienne-Le- Château, by the Centre Hospitalier Alpes-Leman at Contamine-sur-Arve, and finally by the Hôpital de Sallanches.

Loïc Bessin, Managing Director of Deenova France, proudly stated: “This is the best way to start 2023, and confirms our undisputed leadership in France. More than 50 healthcare institutions have chosen our robots, because of their reliability, speed and ease of use. We expect this trend to continue and even accelerate as the demand for solution to secure medication is growing significantly.”

Christophe Jaffuel, Chief Commercial Officer of Deenova, said: “I am extremely proud of the results of our French organization, that has been scoring 3 years of record sales consecutively. France has been a major contributor to the European revenue growth of the company, together with successful market entries in Germany, Spain, UK and Poland.”

The Centre Hospitalier de Béziers is part of the Groupement Hospitalier de Territoire Ouest-Hérault, in the Occitanie region of southern France, providing emergency assistance, surgical and medical specialties, psychological support and screenings.

Gorze is a commune of the Grand Est Region in north-eastern France and the Etablissement public départemental de santé has 310 beds.

In the Grand Est Region there is also the Etablissement public de santé mentale de l’Aube at Brienne-Le- Château, an adult psychiatric clinic with day hospital, geronto psychiatry beds and a medium term unit receiving prisoners.

Centre Hospitalier de Troyes is in the capital of the Aube department and has 11 centers covering all medical, surgical and medico-technical disciplines, with more than 1,000 beds.

Contamine-sur-Arve is a commune in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of eastern France. The Centre Hospitalier Alpes-Leman has 700 beds and places with more than 2,000 professionals assisting 1,300 people every day.

The Hôpital de Sallanches is one of the 5 sites of the Hôpitaux du Pays du Mont Blanc, all located in the heart of 3 worldwide famous ski areas, at the foot Mont-Blanc, in the Haute-Savoie department. More than 1,000 health professionals working in 6 committed poles, from Surgery & Acute Cure to Geriatrics, provide health coverage to 120,000 permanent inhabitants and many seasonal tourists.

Deenova is the undisputed leading supplier of combined mechatronics (robotic and automation) solutions for closed loop medications and RFID-based medical devices traceability in the healthcare industry, anytime and anywhere. Deenova’s unique, patented, and fully integrated solutions have and will greatly contribute to ease healthcare providers’ growing pressures to: simultaneously improve patient safety, reduce therapy errors, minimise waste and controlled substance diversion, contain costs, and diminish the gap between rising patient volume/acuity and scarce medical staff. Deenova guarantees the simplification of all processes related to the management of medications and implantable/disposable medical devices with an expected cost savings range between 15% and 25%.

News 20/12/2022

Deenova celebrates a year of undisputed growth with the latest award of Piacenza AUSL public tender

MILAN–(BUSINESS WIRE) – After successful market entries in Germany, UK and the 3 years of record breaking sales in France, Deenova consolidates its leadership position in Italy with the award of the Piacenza AUSL Public Tender, confirming Deenova’s 100% customer retention rate since 2007 and an undisputed technological leadership in the field of hospital pharmacy automation aimed at improving processes, patient safety and personnel time efficiency, for healthcare institutions.

The public tender named ‘telematic restricted procedure for the entrusting of logistics support services and needed medical devices’ includes the Deenova flagship solutions such as Orbit software, D1 All-In-1 Stations, D1 All-In-1 Trolley, but also the All-in-1 cabinets for the handling of not unit dose medications (All-In-1 Meds, All-In-1 Fridge and All-In-1 Narcotics) and D8 RFID technology for medical devices.

“The 6 years tender at Piacenza AUSLGiorgio Pavesi, CEO of Deenova, stated – confirms the complete satisfaction with our automation solutions among the existing customer base. We provide the highest level of safety and efficiency for traceability of medications and medical devices through restless technological development: in Piacenza hospitals we’ll add new solutions to those already used such as Kanban methodology for automatic reordering of low-cost devices and Real Time Location System for traceability of the patient’s path in surgery unit”.

The Piacenza AUSL has around 750 beds in the 4 hospitals of Bobbio, Castel San Giovanni, Fiorenzuola and Piacenza, with 91 operating units, including the Mental Health Centres and the Hospital Pharmacy. During the last X SIFACT CongressClinical outcomes: a shared commitment and responsibility” Piacenza AUSL has been awarded as best abstract for the poster “Management of batch in single-dose therapy prepared by Hospital Pharmacy Service for Mental Health Centres“. The project introduced Deenova error-free solutions to ensure the complete traceability of unit-dose therapies, favouring therapeutic adherence and clinical risk management. This medication management model can be extended to large-area warehouses for total supply chain traceability.

Deenova is the undisputed leading supplier of combined mechatronics (robotic and automation) solutions for closed loop medications and RFID-based medical devices traceability in the healthcare industry, anytime and anywhere. Deenova’s unique, patented, and fully integrated solutions have and will greatly contribute to ease healthcare providers’ growing pressures to: simultaneously improve patient safety, reduce therapy errors, minimise waste and controlled substance diversion, contain costs, and diminish the gap between rising patient volume/acuity and scarce medical staff. Deenova guarantees the simplification of all processes related to the management of medications and implantable/disposable medical devices with an expected cost savings range between 15% and 25%.

News 23/09/2022

World Patient Safety Day 2022 – Medication Without Harm: Deenova teams dress in orange

On Sept 17th and any other day of the year, Deenova teams work in hospitals next to pharmacists and nurses to increase patient safety and reduce therapy errors.

The spirit of World Patient Safety Day – MedicationWithoutHarm covered everyone in orange!

ASL di Alessandria

ASST Brianza – Ospedale di Vimercate

ASST di Cremona

ASST di Pavia

ASST Ospedale Papa Giovanni XXIII di Bergamo

AUSL di Piacenza

Azienda Ospedaliera G. Brotzu di Cagliari

Azienda Ospedaliera San Camillo Forlanini di Roma

Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo di Pavia

Ospedale Policlinico San Martino di Genova

Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli di Roma

About Deenova:

Since 2004, Deenova is the undisputed leading supplier of mechatronics solutions for closed loop medications and RFID-based medical devices traceability in the healthcare industry. Deenova’s unique, patented and fully integrated solutions ease the healthcare providers’ growing pressures to improve patient safety, reduce therapy errors, minimize waste and controlled substance diversion, contain costs, and diminish the gap between rising patient volume/acuity and scarce medical staff. Deenova guarantees the simplification of all processes related to the management of medications and implantable/disposable medical devices with an expected cost savings range between 15% and 25%. To know more please visit www.deenova.com  or register for the Deenova Days scheduled from November 23rd to 25th.

News 17/09/2022

World Patient Safety Day 2022 – Medication Without Harm: Deenova headquarter lights up in orange

Today Deenova lights up in orange to observe the World Health Organization World Patient Safety Day 2022 dedicated to ‘Medication Without Harm’. The special lighting of the Piacenza headquarter will last till Monday morning, while the attention to patient safety must always continue.

About Deenova:

Since 2004, Deenova is the undisputed leading supplier of mechatronics solutions for closed loop medications and RFID-based medical devices traceability in the healthcare industry. Deenova’s unique, patented and fully integrated solutions ease the healthcare providers’ growing pressures to improve patient safety, reduce therapy errors, minimize waste and controlled substance diversion, contain costs, and diminish the gap between rising patient volume/acuity and scarce medical staff. Deenova guarantees the simplification of all processes related to the management of medications and implantable/disposable medical devices with an expected cost savings range between 15% and 25%. To know more please visit www.deenova.com  or register for the Deenova Days scheduled from November 23rd to 25th.

News 16/09/2022

World Patient Safety Day 2022 – Medication Without Harm: interview with Laurence A Goldberg

In the context of the World Patient Safety Day 2022 on September 17th promoted by World Health Organization dedicated to the Medication Safety, with the slogan ‘Medication Without Harm’, Deenova interviews Laurence A Goldberg FRPharmS, Independent Pharmaceutical Consultant. According to Mr Goldberg “An estimated 237 million medication errors occur in the NHS in England every year1. This number represents the sum of medication errors over all stages of the medication use process.”

Deenova: what are the most frequent Medication Administration Errors (MAEs) and their causes?

LAG: “Most errors occur during drug administration (54%) followed by prescribing (21%) and dispensing (16%). The most common errors were late or early administration of drugs or drug omission. Distractions and interruptions are a regular part of nurses’ working lives. If these occur when nurses are preparing and administering medicines, they can lead to drug errors that compromise patient safety. Poor numeracy and the need for complex calculations have also been highlighted as contributory factors to medication errors in both hospitals and in the community.

The majority of medication errors (72%) have little/no potential for harm and only 2% have potential to cause severe harm.”

Deenova: what are the consequences for patients and for health care organizations?

LAG: “Patients can suffer adverse effects, including irreversible damage, longer stay in hospital and higher personal costs. Organizations can suffer reputational harm, higher costs and risks of litigation. Health care workers (‘second victims’) can suffer psychological trauma and career damage.”

Deenova: is it possible to avoid medication errors?

LAG: “Yes all medication errors are avoidable. Some can be prevented through process and working environment improvement like uninterrupted medicine rounds and clear instructions and procedures. Other mistakes can be resolved thanks to software solutions such as electronic prescribing and drug administration software, electronic patient record and decision support software. Finally automation is the last mile to ensure complete closed loop medication therapies with automated dispensing and unit dose drug distribution.”

Deenova: what is the impact of automation and technology in Medication Safety?

LAG: “The implementation of automation and technology for medication management liberates the time of health care professionals for direct patient care and thereby increase the overall quality of care. For example, in Germany the introduction of UDD showed a saving of 2.61 WTE nurses per 100 beds.”

Deenova: what is the next step to bring completely safe medication practices to a wider audience?

LAG: “The development of international, multidisciplinary community hubs to share experiences and good practices. The involvement of patients is essential to develop the best safe systems. There are several websites where patients can write about their experiences (https://www.patientsafetylearning.org). Patients and relatives are often invited to speak at national and international healthcare conferences on their experiences of being the victims of medication errors that caused severe harm. Patient advisory boards and patient forums are available to advise governments, healthcare providers and also the pharmaceutical industry on safety issues.”

Deenova: how can we promote and spread ‘Medication Without Harm’ culture all over the world despite economic constraints?

LAG: “Patient safety is typically seen as a strategic priority. This sounds important, but it means that, in practice, health and social care decision-makers will weigh (and inevitably trade-off) the importance of patient safety against other priorities, like finances, resources or efficiency. Patient safety is not just another priority: it is part of the purpose of health care. Patient safety should be non-negotiable.

Medication errors, particularly drug administration errors can be reduced considerably by redesigning packaging, eliminating the preparation of doses in clinical areas and simplifying the medicine rounds. This can all be brought about at no overall additional cost to the healthcare provider by utilizing the efficiencies generated by the new practices. One of the major factors in holding up the development of these newer technologies is the pressures that healthcare workers particularly nurses and pharmacists are under at the present time. They are concerned that they do not have the time to embrace the new technologies even though in the long term, benefits will accrue.

When contracts for injectable drugs are awarded, priority should be given to those products that are presented in a RTA format. Purchasing for safety must be implemented and not just discussed.”

Laurence A Goldberg FRPharmS, Independent Pharmaceutical Consultant, UK.

September 2022

Reference

  1. Elliott RA, Camacho E, Jankovic D, et al. Economic analysis of the prevalence and clinical and economic burden of medication error in England. BMJ Qual Saf 11.06.2020, p. 1-10

doi:10.1136/ bmjqs-2019-010206

About Laurence A Goldberg:

Laurence A Goldberg is an independent pharmaceutical consultant working broadly in areas that are designed to reduce medication errors such as IV compounding robots, planning and organizing seminars with a focus on medication error reduction, medical devices and environmental monitoring for hazardous drugs. He was a former Non-executive Director of the National Patient Safety Agency and before establishing his consultancy service, he worked as a hospital pharmacist for over 30 years. He was designated a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain in 1989 and has won several awards for his work in pharmacy. He received the UKCPA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 and has over 50 scientific papers to his name, many of them as sole author. For more information: lag@salt.u-net.com

About Deenova:

Since 2004, Deenova is the undisputed leading supplier of mechatronics solutions for closed loop medications and RFID-based medical devices traceability in the healthcare industry. Deenova’s unique, patented and fully integrated solutions ease the healthcare providers’ growing pressures to improve patient safety, reduce therapy errors, minimize waste and controlled substance diversion, contain costs, and diminish the gap between rising patient volume/acuity and scarce medical staff. Deenova guarantees the simplification of all processes related to the management of medications and implantable/disposable medical devices with an expected cost savings range between 15% and 25%. To know more please visit www.deenova.com  or register for the Deenova Days scheduled from November 23rd to 25th.

News 30/08/2022

Unit-dose medicines distribution for hospital inpatients

Laurence Goldberg, an independent pharmaceutical consultant, posted an article on the hub by Patient Safety Learning about unit-dose medicines distribution, increasing attention on this topic in the UK.

Read the original article.

In unit-dose dispensing, medication is dispensed in single doses in packages that are ready to administer to the patient. It can be used for medicines administered by any route, but oral, parenteral, and respiratory routes are especially common.

The system provides a fully closed-loop process where the patient, the drug and the healthcare professional are identified by machine readable codes and the drug administration process is linked directly to the electronic prescription and is fully recorded

There are many variations of unit-dose dispensing. As just one example, when doctors write orders for inpatients, these orders are sent to the central pharmacy. Pharmacists verify these orders and technicians place drugs in unit-dose carts. The carts have drawers in which each patient’s medications are placed by pharmacy technicians—one drawer for each patient. The drawers are labelled with the patient’s name, ward, room and bed number. Sections of each cart containing all medication drawers for an entire nursing unit often slide out and can be inserted into wheeled medication carts used by nurses during their medication administration cycles.

Alternatively, electronic medicine storage cabinets can be located on wards and these are attached to medicine carts which are then filled from the cabinets.

Studies often compare unit-dose dispensing to a ward stock system. In a ward stock system, bulk supplies are issued from the pharmacy; the drugs are stored in a medication room on the ward. The correct number of doses must be taken out of the correct medication container for each cycle and taken to the patient for administration. Liquids must be poured by the nurse from the appropriate bottle and each dose carefully measured.

Evidence for effectiveness of the practice

Though the practice of unit-dose dispensing is generally well accepted and has been widely implemented, the evidence for its effectiveness is modest. Most of the published studies reported reductions in medication errors of omission and commission with unit-dose dispensing compared with alternative dispensing systems such as ward stock systems.

Potential for harm

Unit-dosing shifts the effort and distraction of medication processing, with its potential for harm, from the ward to central pharmacy. It increases the amount of time nurses have to do other tasks but increases the volume of work within the pharmacy. Like the nursing units, central pharmacies have their own distractions that are often heightened by the unit-dose dispensing process itself and errors do occur.

Overall, unit-dose appears to have little potential for harm. The results of most of the observational studies seem to indicate that it is safer than other forms of institutional dispensing. However, the definitive study to determine the extent of harm has not yet been conducted.

A major advantage of unit-dose dispensing is that it brings pharmacists into the medication use process at another point to reduce error. Yet about half of the hospitals in a national survey indicated that they bypass pharmacy involvement by using floor stock, borrowing patients’ medications and hiding medication supplies.

Unit dose drug distribution is being introduced across Europe. In Germany, a recent study showed a saving of 2.61 WTE nurses per 100 beds. There is now growing interest in UK hospitals and pilot sites to develop the system are being established.