100% Pharmacy Kit Accuracy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

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The Brigham and Women’s hospital pharmacy is a busy one. Serving 757 beds and 48 operating rooms, the hospital pharmacy staff went through pharmacy kits faster than they could manually restock them. This fast pace also left lingering concerns over the accuracy of the pharmacy kits.

Nicole Mascolo, a Brigham and Women’s pharmacist, offered this insight: “There wasn’t always someone there to double check the kits after technicians had restocked them so time management and safety were the key reasons to automate this process.”

Pharmacy Today, (2012) 4-6. doi:10.1016/S1042-0991(15)32048-X

Even with a manual double check by pharmacists and technicians, field data show manually restocked pharmacy kits typically have a 5 – 35% stocking error rate. That means at least 5% of the time, two professionals make the same mistake for the same kit. Manually restocking pharmacy kits is a tedious, mind-numbing task that leads to human error. This error rate is further compounded by the busy atmosphere of a hospital pharmacy like Brigham and Women’s. The hospital pharmacy staff found these errors unacceptable.

Achieving Zero Errors

Brigham and Women’s decided to implement Kit Check to address pharmacy kit restocking accuracy directly through automation. The result? The hospital did more than just reduce errors. Kit Check eliminated them completely. The hospital tracked over 240,000 medications in its OR trays with zero errors over the course of tens of thousands of kit restocks according to their Department of Pharmacy 2015 Annual Report. But Brigham and Women’s is not alone. Many other Kit Check customers have experienced similar results.

“It allows us to feel better at the end of the day when we know the kits are stocked accurately.”

– Nicole Mascolo, Pharmacist, PharmD., Brigham and Women’s Hospital

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The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) saw error rates plummet to nearly zero after implementing Kit Check. Manually restocking kits yielded an error of 1 in every 20 kits at the hospital, or a 5% error rate. With Kit Check, only one of four thousand (.025%) reviewed had an error; and in that instance, the system generated a proactive alert about the error but the pharmacist ignored the warning and dispatched the kit in violation of policy.

Scripps Health also recognized it had a problem with kit medication accuracy. During an assessment of 12 of its adult code boxes, the hospital staff discovered two errors. One was a missing medication and the other was an expiration date that was written down incorrectly. After implementing Kit Check, a random check of 19 kits yielded zero errors. Whether the sample size is 240,000, 4,000 or 19, users consistently report reducing errors to zero. This is a key objective of many Kit Check customers. Hospitals ranging ranging from MedStar Georgetown University Hospital to Texas Children’s Hospital to the University of Vermont Medical Center all enjoy benefits from improved efficiency, policy compliance and inventory reduction, but their primary goal was fulfilled by increasing pharmacy kit accuracy and reducing patient safety risk.

Eliminating Human Error

Humans make mistakes. Kit Check ensures human errors, like those seen at Scripps Health and Brigham and Women’s, are eliminated with RFID technology. The tag on each medication indicates whether it is present, correct and within expiration guidelines automatically with 100% accuracy. In busy hospital pharmacies like Brigham and Women’s, automating the kit restocking process does more than just save time, it gives pharmacists and technicians peace of mind that every kit is accurate, every time.

“It allows us to feel better at the end of the day when we know the kits are stocked accurately. We have lots of different kinds of kits. For example, we had few neuro kits and sometimes they were all checked out. When one returned, we had to turn it over right away. Now, that isn’t a problem,” said Mascolo.

To learn more about how Kit Check can help your hospital pharmacy achieve 100% kit accuracy, request a demo here.

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