Safety in oncological administration processes with FarmaTools


FarmaTools, the comprehensive management tool for the Hospital Pharmacy developed by DOMINION, has been one of the key aspects when carrying out a study on the 'Administration of chemotherapy associated with identification with bar code in day hospital'. In the same, which has been carried out by the Pharmacy Service of the Infanta Cristina de Parla University Hospital, it was concluded that "the application of new technologies avoids medication errors and is well received by health personnel and patients"

The importance of error control

Medication errors with chemotherapy can happen at any point in the drug use chain and its consequences are serious; In fact, these errors represent one of the most persistent and lasting dangers in the health care system. On the other hand, errors can be more easily intercepted as soon as they occur in the process of using the drug, being very difficult to intercept those that occur in the administration.

New information technologies can reduce the incidence of errors through the circuit of drug use, thus guaranteeing the five necessary points for an adequate treatment: patient, medication, dose, route and correct times. On the other hand, it is also important to bear in mind that medication errors related to chemotherapy can happen at any of the points in the chain: medical prescription, pharmaceutical validation, preparation of intravenous mixtures, dispensing - distribution and final administration of the cytostatic agent by the nursing team.

Therefore, to ensure a safe pharmacotherapeutic circuit, it is necessary that the use of technology can be extended to other points in the chain, also including manufacturers and suppliers.

And it is in that environment where FarmaTools is located, since it is a solution pointed to the management of the medicine in the hospital environment; In addition, it provides high-level clinical tools to control the use of medication and facilitate the management of stores, prescriptions, blends, cytostatic and other necessary circuits in hospital pharmacy services.

"Our goal in the development of our solutions is focused on the continuous search for zero error in medication and the complete traceability of processes. This scenario must be viable from the operation of the human capacities of the hospital centres, so that their implementation implies, in addition, an execution by means of which we gain in security with less or equal human cost and working time", explains José Antonio García Pérez, FarmaTools product manager.

Reduction of medication errors

The objective of the study carried out at the Infanta Cristina de Parla University Hospital was to evaluate the impact of the implementation of a management system based on bar code identification, for which a barcode administration software was developed within of the FarmaTools system that allows to assure the correct administration from the perspective of the identification of the drug and the patient and from the monitoring of the correct sequence and mode of administration of each drug.

All the patients were identified in the day hospital with a bracelet containing a bar code, and, on the other hand, the medication was also labelled with a unique bar code, being able to measure the effectiveness of the technology with the registration of medication errors, before and after.

The project was structured in three phases: development, implementation and monitoring. In the first, a software was developed for the positive administration of chemotherapy mediated by bar code; this system was designed so that it would only allow administration once it was proven that it was the correct drug for the correct patient, on the correct day of treatment and in the correct sequence.

In the second phase, the system was implemented; all the personnel included in the project received training regarding the new circuit, the functioning of the tablet PC and the software. All the patients who came to receive chemotherapy were identified with a bracelet with a bar code that contained their name and history number, before their entry into the day hospital, as well as the mixtures were identified when they were labelled with a sticker that contained a unique bar code, consisting of the clinical history number, the episode number and the administration order number. The identification of the patient was produced through the reading of the barcode contained in the patient's bracelet, and the identification of the mixture was produced through the reading of the barcode of the label attached to it and, in the case of premedication or medication prepared in the plant, through the bar code included in the nursing sheet.

In the third and final phase, the follow-up period, the evaluation of the effectiveness of the technological implementation and patient satisfaction was carried out.

"The evaluation of the patients was not only very positive and satisfactory as shown by the study carried out by the hospital, but it also provided a great sense of security to patients who were aware that their treatment was being monitored by a system that ensured the correct execution of the process ", adds José Antonio.

FarmaTools, a competitive advantage

Currently, around 80% of the hospitals of the Spanish National Health System rely on FarmaTools. Among other benefits that its use provides, are the following: reduction of the problems related to the medicine and its associated costs (savings of € 2.3M per year per centre of more than 500 beds), since each adverse event increases the cost average per stay at € 3,700); improvement of the prescription, monitoring and management of alerts (5% reduction of costs derived from the improvement in communication between doctor and pharmacist); optimization of purchasing management (20% reduction in the time required for purchasing management and compass optimization, reducing costs by 10%); optimization of the management of pharmaceutical warehouses (reduction to "0" of losses due to expiration or expiration of the drug and reduction of 20% of the fixed assets of pharmacy warehouses); and finally, reduction of administrative costs (saving 30% of the time required for administrative and management processes).

Not for nothing, FarmaTools facilitates the management of the needs of the pharmacy, helps in making decisions and improves safety in the use of medicines. In addition, it provides high-level clinical tools to control the use of medication and facilitate the management of stores, prescriptions, mixtures, cytostatic and other pharmacy circuits.

The hospital pharmacy solution (FarmaTools) and the hospital dietary and nutrition solution (DietTools) are leaders in the Spanish market, where they have more than 180 facilities and look for and select certified distributors to give better commercial and after-sales support in each country.