Efficiency and security drive medication management system upgrade


Trying to enhance medication management across a continuum of care in a multi-facility hospital IT environment is no easy task.

Trying to enhance medication management across a continuum of care in a multi-facility hospital IT environment is no easy task. Add to that managing inventory and optimizing multiple devices and you have a challenge on your hands.

Michael Mohundro, PharmDJust ask Michael Mohundro, PharmD, senior director of pharmacy at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, LA.

"The machines give you such a vast amount of data and information - you have to take that information and make it actionable. That takes a lot of time and energy," said Mohundro.

Making sure that the right medications are loaded into the dispensing cabinets, managing stock-outs, dealing with discrepancies, keeping track of outdated medications, and making sure the right drugs are in the cabinets encompass just a small sample of a pharmacy's responsibilities.

To address these and other challenges, Our Lady of the Lake turned to the newest version of the Pyxis ES system. Among the goals, according to Mohundro was to help improve efficiency, tackle patient safety concerns and provide easier access to information. Our Lady of the Lake was a beta site for the new version of the software.

The Pyxis MedStation ES system is an automated medication dispensing system that supports decentralized medication management.

Main features include: patient-centric clinical workflows guide nurses to medication and patient information in one place; enhanced formulary integration and management; flexible storage space options support size, scope and capacity needs including storage for larger medications; new safety enhancements to help prevent medication errors and adverse drug events.

The ability to do patient-specific labels, a more secure and functional storage drawer and the ability to identify alternate locations where medications might be stored, are among the key features that Mohundro finds valuable.

"This new upgrade allows the nurse to see in another Pyxis machine, if the medications are stocked-out of their machine. They can actually see that it's loaded in a machine nearby that they can go to." said Mohundro.


Bill Blackledge, worldwide vice president for BD's Pyxis ES platform, said that the previous platforms were delivered in a combination of hardware and software and the cyclicality of technology adoption was every five years.

"With ES our customers we are now able to acquire the latest and greatest technology and innovation anytime," said Blackledge, adding: "the delivery of today's technology is now largely software based."

He explained that consolidation and standardization are major trends and BD is trying to do more from a quality perspective while at the same time, minimizing cost.

"Customers are looking for tools that allows them to do exactly that and that's why the Pyxis ES with its scalable and flexible enterprise structure allows exactly for that standardization," said Blackledge adding: "We're talking about standardizing formularies tying into active directories to manage users and specific configuration that allows you to design and customize your automated dispensing solution at a site in a region and or from a corporate perspective depending on an institutions needs."

Blackledge pointed out that Pyxis ES integrates with top-tier HIT providers including: Cerner, Epic, Meditech. "We interface with each of those it's mission-critical to the entire system."

Key innovations and enhancements in the new software version:

  • Advanced server scalability and optimization with flexible deployment options and centralized database management features.

  • Expanded return and waste processes to support patient safety and clinical efficiency with workflow, documentation and interface enhancements.

  • Support for advanced half-height CUBIE drawers and pockets, bringing enhanced security and reliability to the flexible storage space and configurability options

  • New Medication Label Module that can print a patient-specific medication label upon removal to support patient safety and compliance with Joint Commission requirements.

  • Enhanced server functionality to provide more flexibility through medication configuration and user permissions, plus improved reporting features.

Source: Becton, Dickinson and Company




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