Accident and emergency nurses have welcomed technology that stores and dispenses medicines, including controlled drugs, according to a trust that is the first to use it in the north east.
Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust is rolling out automated storage cabinets to wards and departments at its North Tyneside and Wansbeck General Hospitals, following a six month trials of the technology in A&E.
Fingerprint identification is used to gain entry to the cabinets and guiding lights direct the nurse to the medicines required.
The trust said the system enhanced medicines security, helped make sure drugs were available when patients needed them, and meant nurses did not have to search for cupboard keys or keep handwritten records on controlled drugs.
In addition, when stocks become low the system automatically triggers an email alert to pharmacy - a task would normally be carried out by nurses.
Lauraine Gibson, A&E matron at North Tyneside General Hospital, said: “The clinical team think the new system is a great idea, it frees up valuable time for nurses to focus on patient care.
“The automated system provides the right medicine at the right time for patients so it is a safe efficient way to provide medication,” she said.
Senior clinical pharmacist for clinical informatics, David Jones, added: “Nursing staff in particular welcome the time to care for their patients as the pharmacy team restock the cabinet and the guiding lights identifying the dosage needed means there is less chance of error when taking medicines from the cabinet.”
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