The healthcare industry has one of the most important parts to play in the everyday life of ordinary people. People expect to have healthy and long lives that give them the time to fulfill their dreams. One of the most important functions that healthcare service systems perform is the processing of medication orders through various pharmacies. However, a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal said that 24% of hospital adverse events are related to medication error*. Hospital adverse events could range from dosage error, wrong drug or wrong patient information to frequency errors, missed doses, duplicate therapy, inadequate monitoring and more.
Though there are a wide range of concerns in relation to medication safety, automating the medication order management system can allow for better communication between caregivers and pharmacy staff, improved medication order workflow and better record keeping which can contribute greatly in the reduction of hospital adverse events. Grey Bruce Health Services became an innovator in this space by automating its medication order management workflow, which resulted in a more efficient and better patient care system.
Grey Bruce Health Services operates with 1,600 staff members and nearly 200 physicians, across six hospitals, within the Grey Bruce region providing a full range of primary and ambulatory care services, emergency care and specialty services, including complex surgeries. Their core values embrace exceptional care and leadership to fulfil their mission to provide their community with quality health care, close to home. However, they could foresee that maintaining exceptional service to their clients would prove to be a challenge if their workload continued to increase at its current pace.
Their staff members were servicing three to twelve hospitals at any given time. A paper-based order entry and management system was proving to be overwhelming and leading to increased workload that was outpacing and exceeding their available human resources. Not only was the paper-based system inefficient and time-consuming, but it also constrained the mobility of their pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, who needed to be physically situated next to a printer – taking away their ability to spend required time at the point of care. This led to frustration among pharmacists, who wanted to spend more time at the front end of the system in the clinical areas, where they were needed, instead of being tied to entering and verifying medication orders.
Grey Bruce partnered with Ricoh to implement a solution that keeps them ahead of the game in patient care and allows them to maintain and grow their reputation as an exceptional health care services center. Ricoh’s Pharmacy Order Management Solution allowed for required data and information to be imported and integrated into Grey Bruce’s existing pharmacy workflow system with minimal disruption, while digitising the entire order management process and eliminating the paper-based prescriptions system. In addition, this new solution allowed for medication orders to be prioritised, tracked and filled from a unified pharmacy dashboard.
The implementation resulted in a vast improvement in the back-end operations for Grey Bruce and the workflow automation benefits are clear:
- Patient records, information and prescriptions are now accessible digitally through an easy search process that saves staff time and effort
- Multiple users can access required patient information at the same time leading to higher accessibility and reduced bottlenecks
- Pharmacy technicians and pharmacists are able to easily manage orders from any location at any time, which has greatly increased workforce agility
- Physicians, pharmacists and care givers can better collaborate due to an improved and efficient communication system
- Increased transparency into the order management workflow allows management and stakeholders to have greater control on required changes to maintain efficiencies
- Workload is now manageable with current staff doing what they specialise in, instead of filling paper forms, leading to higher employee satisfaction and better workplace productivity
- Paper consumption and waste have now seen a vast reduction, resulting in reduced cost of operations, improved efficiency and extra office space
Grey Bruce Health Services now saves almost 30-40 seconds on every single order being processed, which has a massive impact considering that Grey Bruce processes thousands of orders each day. However, the primary win is the increased satisfaction among staff members and Grey Bruce’s dedication to providing its patients with the best care it can give. We need pioneers like Grey Bruce in the healthcare space so that we can use today’s technology to allow people to fulfill their dreams of a better tomorrow. We, at Ricoh, celebrate Grey Bruce Health Services’ innovative spirit and proudly name them a Ricoh Change Maker!
Watch this video to hear more about how digitalisation of their medication order workflow process helped Grey Bruce Health Services improve efficiencies that benefit their patients.