Until recently, IV compounding was either handled manually or outsourced at Palmetto Health in Columbia, SC.
But now, the multi-campus system is automating more IV compounding tasks—a development that Pharmacy Manager George Smith, PharmD, says is a welcome change.
“I prefer insourcing, because I can more effectively control the quality of the product we deliver to our patients,” said Smith.
Palmetto turned to the newest version of the RIVA system from ARxIUM. RIVA is an automated IV compounding system that prepares syringes and IV bags in an aseptic International Standards Organization (ISO) Class 5 environment.
“There are more complex IV medications available, and it has become more challenging to deliver safe, effective, efficient therapy with manual compounding,” said Smith.
The hospital is using RIVA as batching for extended dating products.
“I’m able to load those products in our automated dispensing cabinets, which increases efficiencies for the entire system—for pharmacy, and for nursing as well. And that ultimately has a positive impact on patient care because IV medications are more readily available,” said Smith.
Since implementing RIVA, Smith said that quality and efficiency have improved greatly.
Thom Doherty, Executive Vice President of Quality, Process Improvement and Strategic Planning for ARxIUM, said that pharmacists are finding that they can spend less time overseeing production and spend more time clinically.
Doherty explained that the pressure of more complexity in IV medications and the need for greater efficiency are driving pharmacies to look for ways to address growth and capacity demands, while working to increase quality. Automation is increasingly viewed as an answer.
“More and more people are looking to find ways that automation can take over some of the burden in the pharmacy and help increase efficiency and reduce costs.”