What’s Driving the Growing Demand for Medications Automation?
As the nursing shortage continues to impact hospitals, long term care facilities and everything in between, health care providers are bracing themselves for conditions to continue to get worse, not better. An article in The Atlantic states that an estimated 700,000 registered nurses will be leaving the workforce by 2024. What is happening, as the article points out, is the mass exodus of an entire generation of nurses in their 60’s, either already retired or getting ready to do so.
Skilled nursing and long-term care community operators are beginning to wise up and plan ahead. Many are already putting together attractive employment packages with heavy incentives to attract the next generation of nursing talent.
One way to compensate for fewer nurses is to automate routine tasks.
The other side of the equation, as providers feel the effects of a dwindling nurse base, is to automate those processes that take valuable nursing time and are prone to human error. And one area considered particularly well suited for automation is in pharmaceuticals. New, highly sophisticated medications management platforms are able to automate such processes as ordering, packaging and dispensation.
Medications management, as those who have performed it know, is one of the most time consuming, error prone medical processes, not only in hospitals, but in skilled nursing and long-term care facilities. It goes without saying that this critical process can cause major issues if not conducted accurately. We’ve all read the horror stories about a nurse at the end of a twelve-hour shift accidentally over-medicating an elderly patient.
Medications management automation frees up valuable nurse time, reduces errors and waste.
Knowing they will soon be in the unenviable position of having to accomplish more with less has fueled the interest in platforms such as Talyst’s InSite® medications management and dispensary solution, which has made the process of ordering, processing and dispensing medication virtually hands free and, subsequently, error free. Systems like Insite not only update an antiquated, manual process; they also create a seamless conduit between the pharmacy and the dispensation of the drugs, eliminating the expensive waste from damaged, out-of-code or lost medications.
Other areas that are increasingly being addressed through automation are “point-of-care” testing systems for glucose levels, pregnancy testing and blood pressure. By taking these routine tasks off the backs of nurses, they are giving them precious added time to attend to patients and perform high value work.
There may not be much care providers can do to stem the nurse attrition. However, by using automation to take over tasks that overburden their nurses they can ensure they are making the most out of these highly skilled, valuable employees.