Physician Practice

Over-the-top risky:Overuse of ADC overrides, removal of drugs without an order, and use of non-profiled cabinets

Medical Environment Update, July 25, 2020

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By the Institute for Safe Medication Practices

Problem:

Automated dispensing cabinets (ADC) represent one of the most widely deployed forms of technology integrated with today’s hospital medication use systems. ADCs were first introduced in hospitals in the 1980s to facilitate transition to a more decentralized medication distribution system. Originally designed as an automated unit stock system with the ability to support charge capture and automated replenishment, many medications were placed in open matrix drawers to which practitioners were allowed access without a pharmacist’s review and/or verification of the medication order. Over time, however, progressive changes to ADC hardware and software, as well as improvements in associated workflow processes, have given many organizations the ability to employ ADCs safely in a variety of locations outside the pharmacy.

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