Medication and health care go hand in hand. It’s hard to imagine one without the other. Bring up the subject of medication and most people summon up a whole host of images and ideas. But one of the most common involves all the numbers and indications on the back of medications. There’s usually a whole host of information that one needs to look at in order to properly use medications. And that’s just from the more common over the counter medications. Move into prescription drugs and things become even more complicated. It’s little wonder that the medical practice involves a larger interplay between doctors, nurses, pharmacists and various distribution outlets.
But people tend to give a lot less consideration to how medications are dispensed within larger medial systems. There’s usually an underlying assumption that people will receive the exact dose of the exact medication needed. But that’s not always the case. Intent and best-case scenarios will result in the best possible treatment. But human error can creep in with even the best intentions.
The normal hospital distribution phase begins with a doctor’s diagnosis. This will also result in a prescription and treatment protocol. Oral, topical and IV medications alike will come from the hospital pharmacy. The exact rate of distribution differs on a hospital by hospital basis. But in general, one can expect the order to be within the hospital pharmacy for processing within a few hours. A STAT order will of course receive a higher prioritization.
And this is the stage where things depend on the underlying technology within an institution. If the doctor wrote a script for IV treatments than the resulting medication will of course come within an IV bag. But this is just a clear bag with general medication information on top of it.
How the IV medication is administered will depend on whether or not a Smart IV Pump system is in place. This means that one person will determine how fast and how much of the liquid goes into a patient’s system. Or it will in large part come down to electric regulation.
The main reason why this is so important comes down to human error. There’s good reason why there’s so many steps involved with medications. The doctor might make an error when it comes to interactions with other medications the patient is taking. The pharmacist should notice it but might not. The pharmacy technicians would then have a chance of doing so. And finally, the nurse would have a chance of noticing anything which snuck by the others.
This situation becomes even more worrisome when one considers unreported errors. And all of this points to the overall importance of machine regulated assistance. An IV system with self-regulatory ability can bypass some of the more common sources of human error. And this, in turn, can help ensure that people are able to stay as healthy and safe as possible.
It can prove slightly more expensive for hospitals in the short term. But …