Mercy Health Love County - Content

Automated Medication Dispensing

In 2007, the hospital installed a computerized drug dispensing system. The system adds a layer of protection and accountability to dispensing, stocking, and tracking medications.

The dispensing cabinet is a sealed unit that cannot be manually opened. Instead, floor nurses call up a patient’s drug profile on a computer workstation attached to the cabinet. The computer opens only one of the unit’s 72 drawers at a time – the one containing the exact medication and dose required. This eliminates manual selection and with it the opportunity for picking wrong medications.

The nurse will compare the drug label on the medication pulled from the drawer with the label shown on the computer monitor to be sure the medications match. Finally, before administering the drug, the nurse will compare the drug’s name and dose to the doctor’s written orders for the patient.

An electronic record of the transaction is made. The record shows what drug was removed, the drawer and bin from which it came, the name of the nurse who withdrew the medication, and the patient for whom it was ordered.