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Decentralized automated dispensing machines


Chiang will give a list of automation technologies that have been applied to the medication-use process. For this step, he will focus on explaining decentralized automated dispensing machines (ADM).

Key points

Decentralized ADMs are very in the United States. It also known as automated dispensing cabinets (ADC), or automated dispensing machines (ADM), or automated dispensing units (ADU). It is located in the nursing unit, hence some also call it unit-based cabinet (UBC).

ADCs store and electronically dispense medications in the nursing ward or nursing unit. Offering the nurse could immediately access to medication at the point of use, simplifying the distribution process. Allowing prompt, real-time availability of medications for the nurses and patients.

Below are some secondary benefits of ADCs:

  • Record who had accessed the medication, improving controlled substance accountability.

  • Increase productivity by decreasing trips to the central pharmacy.

  • Improve charge capture and documentation accuracy.

  • Reduce pharmacy and labor costs.

However the impact of ADCs on medication error is not defined. Incorporating bar code labelling and scanning into the replenishment process overcomes this uncertainty. Most importantly, these devices free pharmacists to direct patient care activities, improving quality of healthcare service provided.

Share and learn

Does your hospital/clinic use ADCs?

If yes, how does it impact your workload?

If no, who carry out these tasks manually instead?

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Good Pharmacy Practice: Pharmaceutical Services

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