Storing medications securely in a healthcare facility is of utmost importance. Medications that are not stored correctly can be broken into by patients, causing both potential health issues and liability issues. Solutions for this include medication carts for hospitals and locked cabinet storage in secure rooms.
Hospitals generally have requirements for the security of medications. The Director of Pharmacy in a hospital is the one who is ultimately responsible for getting the drugs and preparing, storing, distributing and securing them. In addition to setting policy, the Director works with other personnel throughout the hospital to ensure the policies are being followed. There is technology available to make this process easier, such as medication carts.
Components of Proper Medication Storage
Hospitals should refer to accredited organizations to help them determine the proper standards when it comes to securing medication. Usually, medications must be locked up in some way, and the only parties that have access are the authorized healthcare professionals.
All hospitals should make a list of the high-alert medications that may not be safe or need to be watched, which can include anticoagulants or concentrated electrolytes. These medications should be closely monitored.
Certain medication requires storage at a certain temperature, and many have an expiration date. It is important to keep track of these dates and to store the medication at the proper temperature to ensure the integrity of it.
Cabinet storage is the traditional way to secure medications, but medication carts for hospitals is an even better way as carts are mobile and can go with the healthcare professionals to visit each patient while remaining locked.
The best carts have different drawers that secure medications by electronically locking them. Each drawer should lock individually, and any unlocked drawer will protrude slightly to let the healthcare professional know it is unlocked. This helps ensure that mistakes are much less likely to be made where medication is left unsecured.
Medication carts should be easy to move and have an adjustable height. They come with a large desktop and keyboard for use so that healthcare professionals can enter in user data and pull up what kind of medication they need. This takes away some of the risk of accidentally giving a patient the wrong medication. As long as the data in the computer database is correct, there is no way to accidentally write down the wrong information and get it mixed up when visiting the patient’s room after going to the medicine cabinet. The medication supply can be updated in real time as it is administered, leaving no question to what should be in stock at any given time.
Medication carts for hospitals can ensure proper storage with the flexibility and convenience of mobility. They can ease the process of getting medication to patients while keeping them secure. There are great companies out there that supply high-quality medication carts to hospitals and other healthcare professionals.