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A Better Way to Dispense Medications

We are on the verge of a pharmaceutical dispensing shift which will ultimately save lives, reduce hospital re-admissions and save patients, payors and insurance companies a lot of money. Pill dispensing with medications organized, sealed and secured by a pharmacist, not only increases compliance, but has now been proven to reduce medication errors.

In a UK based1 study of seniors in residences, 41 different staff (35 nurses, 6 carers) were observed to administer medications to 823 residents. The findings were conclusive that the use of multidose medication package aids reduced medication errors by as much as 67%.

“The significant difference in, and high overall, medication administration error rate between original [vial] medication packaging and multi-compartment [blister] compliance aids supports the use of the latter in care homes.”, according to the Research Department of Practice and Policy, University College London School of Pharmacy, London, United Kingdom.

The medication packaging referred to in the study is equivalent to commonly available DisPill® branded multidose blister packaging. These packages are simple to insert into the RxPense® medication management and monitoring device. Secured and self programmed, residents are notified when it is time to take their meds. Following authentication, the medications are then automatically released from the blister package, the exact medications needed at the right time. Instructions are presented in a friendly manner on the display screen and may be read aloud for those requiring assistance.

Every year, people die needlessly due to medical errors and medication non-adherence. The cost of medication non-adherence is well publicized at $337B (USA) and €125 billion (EU).

The error path traditionally follows the pills from the original container, to secondary containers, from pharmacist to delivery person to nurse or technician, caregiver and finally patient. At the end of the chain, the ability to detect correct dose, medications and the right patient at the right time is diminished. With over 4.5 billion prescriptions filled each year in North America alone, it’s no wonder that 1/3 to 1/2 of all patients in the U.S. do not take their medications as prescribed. Only though automation can these errors be reduced. That’s why blister packaging is so amazing.

RxPense® automates the dispensing of blister packaged medications.

The pharmacist, or robot, fills (and validates) the correct medication in each of the daily blisters: morning, noon, evening and bedtime. The package is sealed with all the relevant patient and medication information printed on the label, along with a bar code. The sealed package is delivered to the patient, inserted into the RxPense®, which then authenticates the medications, device, and patient to ensure the right pills are in the right machine for the right patient. Patients are coached to take their medications and caregivers are notified when they do not. This is a better way to dispense medications.

1http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2017.03.008

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