Texas Children’s Hospital had a problem. Staff pharmacists and technicians were saddled with a number of manual processes that consumed a large portion of their shifts, taking time away from more valuable clinical activities. This concern was especially acute for Texas Children’s because they care for a vulnerable patient population. The manual processes created risks for patient safety and policy compliance due to human error.
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One manual task that stood out as particularly troubling was pharmacy kit restocking. A pharmacy technician physically reconciled and restocked each pharmacy kit after it was returned to the hospital pharmacy. Then, a pharmacist would perform a double check for each kit to ensure all medications were correct and within date. The entire process was extremely time consuming, required regular upkeep and presented numerous opportunities for error. Texas Children’s chose Kit Check to help resolve these problems.
Improving Safety and Efficiency
After automating its pharmacy kit restocking process with Kit Check, the hospital pharmacy saw immediate results. A time study conducted during the first week of implementation revealed a 96% reduction in time spent per tray in the restocking process while also improving kit accuracy. It also left a positive impact on staff satisfaction. “Kit Check has provided us with a safer and more efficient process to fill and turn around our kits. The reporting and documentation features have helped us improve consistency and increase charge capture. We were truly amazed by the amount of time saved by both pharmacists and technicians,” concluded Jeff Wagner, Director of Pharmacy at Texas Children’s.
“We are going to continue to use the analytics to look at all tray inventory. I think having the data is a great way to start the conversation about optimizing what truly needs to be in kits.”Huzefa Raja, OR Pharmacy Supervisor, PharmD., Edward Hospital
But Texas Children’s isn’t the only hospital saddled with tedious, manual processes. Hundreds of hospitals across the country are utilizing Kit Check to become more efficient and consistent. The University of Michigan experienced a 79.6% time-savings. Wheaton-Franciscan St. Joseph had similar results, revealing a 75% improvement over its manual process in an ASHP presentation. “Technicians love this. They absolutely love this because it’s easy. It makes a very overwhelming task much more manageable,” said Dianne Shoemaker, the Allied Health Technical Coordinator overseeing pharmacy technicians at the University of Michigan Hospitals.
These findings are consistent with the results of a time and motion study conducted at three different hospitals comparing the manual process to Kit Check’s automated solution. The study published in a peer review Pharmacy Journal found an 80.4% average time savings across the three hospitals. The results are clear: Kit Check saves time in the pharmacy.
Time Well Spent
Kit Check customers utilize this time savings in many ways. Some customers use it to cut overtime costs. Others, have redeployed staff to important safety programs. Texas Children’s is using that time for clinical activities that directly impact patient care. For example, pharmacists now have more time to focus on individualized dosing and monitoring for their patients.
“For us at Texas Children’s, the culture of safety in care for children is paramount. Kit Check supports this by introducing additional safety parameters in the provision of pharmacy kits that we previously did not have. Many of these kits are used at a critical point in patient care where room for dispensing errors are unacceptable. Any system that dually eliminates opportunities for human error and adds a layer of safety for our patients and providers is always welcome,” says Abhay Patel, Pharmacy Administration Resident at Texas Children’s Hospital.