SDW news brief: Medication vending machines offer patient convenience in rural areas

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, May 14, 2010

When patients leave the ER at Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia, MN, there aren't a lot of pharmacy options. The closest 24-hour pharmacy is 20 miles away, and many of the patients live in the opposite direction.

But for the most commonly-prescribed medications, patients don't need to leave the hospital, or even see a pharmacist. Instead of driving the 20 miles and waiting for the prescription to be filled in a pharmacy, the patient can receive his or her medication in a couple of minutes.

On their way out the door they can stop at an InstyMeds machine—which resembles an ATM or vending machine—and fill their prescriptions by punching a few buttons. The machines can hold 20-30 different medications, such as pain medications, antibiotics, and other drugs commonly prescribed to ER patients. The pharmacy staff at Ridgeview worked directly with physicians to determine the proper inventory for the machines.

Source: HealthLeaders Media

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