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13 April 2022

staff with the omnicell cabinetNew digital medicine ward cabinets have been installed across the Trust to improve drug management and free up staff to spend more time caring for patients.

The Omnicell cabinets makes everything automatic, with multiple drawers and different compartments assigned to specific medications. Staff access the system with a fingerprint, then put in the patient’s name and hospital number, select the drugs and a drawer will pop open with the medication. If supplies are running low, the cabinet will automatically raise a top up request with pharmacy.    

The traditional manual process involves the medication being kept in various ward storage areas and nursing staff doing regular drugs rounds with a trolley and dispensing as they go. For controlled drugs, staff have to fill out a manual Control Drugs Register and write down all of the details by hand.  

The rollout of the new Omnicell ward cabinets is almost complete with 22 installed across the Trust in the last six months and a further six to be installed by the summer.  

Once integrated with our Epic electronic patient record, when it launches in June, there will be the potential to see the whole process of providing medication to patients go digital. It’s the Trust’s ambition to bring an end to paper reporting and the drug trolleys you’ll see going around the wards. 

Once colleagues are familiar with the system and new workflows, pressure on pharmacy staff should be eased and a significant amount of time for nursing staff freed up.  

Dennis Lauder, chief pharmacist, said: “Managing medications is a critical part of patient care and these new cabinets make the management and supply smarter and safer. The Omnicell cabinets ensure the right dose of the right medication gets to the right patient, it will release more time to care for staff and minimise the risk of human error.

“This is an important step forwards on our digital journey. Installing these automated systems across the Trust is another great example of how we’re investing in technology to improve care for our patients.” 

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