Pharmacy Use of Technology to Prepare Patient Care

By Shawna Kraft, Pharm.D., U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center Symptom Management and Supportive Care Program

Along with the rest of the University of Michigan Health System, the infusion pharmacy at the Comprehensive Cancer Center has been using new technology to improve patient care. One new feature takes a picture of your prepared chemotherapy and links with the new barcode medication administration system to:

  • Confirm correct drug selection (right drug for the right patient)
  • Automate dose calculations (right dose)
  • Automate dose labeling to increase efficiency for pharmacy staff (right time)
  • Reduce waste

Another part of the new system includes chemotherapy orders that are now all electronic. In the past, IV chemotherapy orders were written on standardized paper order forms. Now that orders are converted to an electronic system, your IV chemotherapy orders are linked to your electronic medical record that is already in place. This means the administration of your medication is in the same place as your supporting medication information.

The pharmacist can easily review your order, leading to faster turnaround time for infusion. Electronic orders also improve patient safety and reduce the possibility of medication errors.

Using technology in health care will allow the pharmacy staff to focus further on you -- the patient -- ensuring optimal medication preparation that is safe and efficient.

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Thrive Issue: 
Summer, 2014