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Centralized med order management improves patient safety

By Rebecca Agar

With increasing pressures to reduce turn-around time for delivery and/or access to medication, five small-to-medium sized hospital sites across the province of Ontario have turned to a centralized solution for physician order review by their respective pharmacy departments.

St. Francis Memorial Hospital, Lady Dunn Health Centre, Glengarry Memorial Hospital, and Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (Huntsville District Memorial Hospital site and South Muskoka Memorial Hospital sites) have all implemented Ricoh’s Pharmacy Order Manager Solution, a fully automated medication ordering, processing and fulfillment solution.

These five hospitals now have a virtually paperless medication order management system with full pharmacist support and rapid drug profiling for their patients’ electronic medical records. The solution surpasses the level of pharmacy service at many larger, urban Canadian hospitals.

Each of the hospitals reached out to North West Telepharmacy Solutions (NWTS) to help provide remote pharmacy services and were recommended by NWTS to implement Ricoh’s Pharmacy Order Manager Solution for secure transfer of physician orders.

Kevin McDonald, director of NWTS, a division of Health Products and Services, The North West Company LP, realized the need for a sophisticated but simple software solution to allow his remote pharmacists to safely view physician orders in a timely manner.

“The old way of doing things was to scan physician orders into PDF files. However, there were numerous issues with this method, including quick retrieval of archived scanned orders and obtaining pharmacy workload statistics. We looked at various software solutions and felt that Ricoh’s was the most versatile and best suited to interface with the remote pharmacy services we already provide.”

In April 2015, The North West Company partnered with Ricoh Canada to provide a cloud-based Pharmacy Medication Order Management scanning solution to increase pharmacy workflow efficiency for hospital clients.

The Ricoh solution features DocuScripts software; an automated medication order management system for hospitals that integrates with any scanning device or Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) system to send orders directly to the pharmacy with the touch of a button.

Pharmacists can process orders more efficiently, based on their priority, time, and location. Caregivers can track the progress of their orders in real-time, which reduces phone calls to the pharmacy. Back and forth communication tools allow both pharmacist and caregiver to clarify, consult, and correct medication questions and errors.

“We are excited to partner with North West in delivering a valuable solution to hospitals in Canada,” said Brent Brandmeyer, Sales and Support Manager for DocuScripts. “Together we are helping to drive down costs while improving patient outcomes. It is incredible to be part of a solution where everyone benefits.”

Hospital administrators were pleased to learn that the new solution will now provide them with reliable pharmacy workload statistics, including order turn-around time, staff productivity and full order audits, all instantly available.

One of the best features of Ricoh’s Pharmacy Order Manager Solution is its ready-to-use functionality. St. Francis Memorial Hospital in Barry’s Bay, Ontario, was brought on line and all users were trained in one business day. The solution can leverage a hospital’s existing infrastructure including scanning technologies and other multi-function devices, to significantly reduce start-up costs.

“This is an efficient and cost-effective solution for small to medium-sized hospitals to strongly consider”, says Sammu Dhaliwall, business development manager and clinical pharmacist with NWTS. “The hospitals not only share the costs of implementing this solution, but also share the costs of the remote pharmacists. Essentially, you can have one or two pharmacists reviewing physician orders for numerous small hospitals at the same time, which frees up other pharmacists to maintain clinical programs to improve patient safety.”

Joan Sullivan, a registered Pharmacy Technician at St. Francis Memorial Hospital in Barry’s Bay, had this to say about the DocuScripts software: “The DocuScripts scanning program has improved the link with the healthcare team in providing patient medications accurately and safely.

“Communications are documented directly on the order scan and keep all members informed as to the order status. I love the colour-coding of scans, as it prioritizes the workflow, which helps deliver timely medication access.”

North West Telepharmacy and Ricoh have teamed up to provide an innovative, cost effective solution for hospitals who wish to streamline remote pharmacy services to reduce costs, increase departmental productivity, improve patient safety, and maximize the impact of limited pharmacy resources.

As the leading Canadian provider of remote pharmacy solutions, North West Telepharmacy Solutions currently supports over 40 hospital clients across Canada with services including around-the-clock real-time pharmacist medication order review.

For more than 50 years, Ricoh has been delivering solutions for healthcare clients across North America. Their solutions include on-site and off-site managed services, technical services and support, and customized workflow design and implementation. Ricoh’s team of dedicated healthcare solutions experts work with healthcare organizations to drive efficiencies, support information security initiatives, and improve patient care.

For more information about DocuScripts and North West Telepharmacy, visit www.ricoh.ca/pharmacy and www.northwesttelepharmacy.ca.

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