Study Finds Nurse Interruptions A Common And Significant Factor In Hospital Medical Errors

South Jersey Healthcare has Integrated Omnicell’s Anywhere RN™ Solution to Address Interruptions in Drug Administration and Streamline Workflow to Improve Patient Care

May 17, 2010

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.

Omnicell, Inc., (NASDAQ:OMCL) a leading provider of system solutions to acute healthcare facilities, noted that a new study titled "Association of Interruptions with an Increased Risk and Severity of Medication Administration Errors" was published in the April 26, 2010 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine showing that nurses are interrupted frequently during medication administration and that these interruptions cause a significant amount of preventable medical errors. South Jersey Healthcare is among Omnicell partner hospitals nation-wide that are eliminating many of the negative effects of nurse interruptions and reducing common hospital medical errors with Omnicell's automated medication management solution Anywhere RN™.

Omnicell's Anywhere RN is a unique medication management software solution that enables nurses to review and select medication orders remotely, using existing networked hospital computers or mobile carts, with technology that can track and catch potential medication errors. This ability to conduct medication management activities remotely, away from busy, interruption-prone areas is unique to the industry.

"Nurses often complain that they feel rushed while trying to fill medication orders due to the timing demands and volume of orders," said Joseph Alessandrini, AVP, clinical services, at South Jersey Healthcare. "With its remote access and verification tools, Anywhere RN dramatically increases the nurses' ability to access a patient's medication in a safer and more efficient manner, allowing our clinicians to focus on patient care."

The published study found that one-third of all medication errors that cause harm to patients arise during the medication administration process. Distractions, especially interruptions, directly affect the hospital's efficiency and patient safety. Furthermore, the study found it was common to have four or more interruptions within a single drug administration, doubling the chances for a patient to experience a major clinical error.

Using pre- and post-implementation measurements and surveys related to Omnicell's Anywhere RN, South Jersey Healthcare determined that its nurses spent 33 percent less time at the automated dispensing cabinet. Additionally, over 60% of nursing staff reported that their medication administration efficiency has increased as a result of the streamlined process for reviewing and issuing a patient's medication using Anywhere RN.   Directly related to the Archives' study, South Jersey also found that 54 percent of the nurses reported reduced interruptions in the medication administration process and 64% of nurses believe that patient safety was improved  using Anywhere RN.

"With Anywhere RN, my nursing staff can now securely access patient records from any hospital computing station, then easily retrieve all the medications from the automated dispensing cabinet," said Suzanne Accordino, assistant nurse manager of surgical intensive care unit and surgical step down at South Jersey Healthcare. "This has cut down the number of drug administration interruptions and reduced the pressure on the pharmacy to fill medication orders quickly, thus allowing our nurses and pharmacists to focus more on safety."

About Omnicell

Omnicell, Inc. (NASDAQ: OMCL) is a leading provider of systems to enable healthcare facilities to increase operational efficiency, enhance patient safety and allow clinicians to spend more time with their patients.

Founded in 1992, Omnicell's medication-use solutions include complete automation systems for the central pharmacy, anesthesia workstations for the operating room, dispensing cabinet systems for nursing units, and safe, secure medication transportation and verification systems to the patient bedside. From a medication's arrival at the receiving dock to its dosing to the patient, Omnicell systems store it, package it, bar code it, order it, issue it, and provide information and controls on its use and reorder. 

Omnicell supply product lines provide a healthcare institution with comprehensive supply chain solutions that result in fast, effective control of costs, capture of charges for payer reimbursement, and timely reorder of supplies. Products range from high-security closed-cabinet systems and software to open-shelf and combination solutions in the nursing unit, cath lab and operating room.