Omnicell Anesthesia Workstations Provide Erie County Medical Center with Automated Secure Medication Storage

Technology-savvy hospital addresses the unique needs of the Operating Room; gets help in meeting regulatory requirements; increases revenue capture and improves operational efficiency

October 21, 2008


Omnicell, Inc., (NASDAQ:OMCL) a leading provider of system solutions to acute healthcare facilities, today announced that Erie County Medical Center (ECMC), a 550-bed Buffalo, NY-based facility, has installed Omnicell’s Anesthesia Workstations in each of its ten Operating Rooms (OR). The automated system addresses the unique medication workflows and storage requirements for anesthesia providers and assists hospitals in complying with rigorous patient safety guidelines and regulations.  The Anesthesia Workstations also help maintain low inventory levels and maximize medication revenue capture.

“The implementation of Omnicell Anesthesia Workstations has been a really nice feather in everyone’s cap,” said Randy Gerwitz, R.Ph., Department of Pharmaceutical Services, ECMC. “We’ve been able to bring charge capture rates up to 90 percent or greater for OR medications and supplies. The impact has been dramatic.”

Prior to removal, all medications stored in the Omnicell Anesthesia Workstations are associated to a patient.  Controlled substances, locked within unit-dose bins, may be accessed through a touch screen. Other medications and supplies may be withdrawn and scanned from drawers that unlock upon login. All charges are sent automatically from the workstation to the ECMC’s Meditech billing system.

“Hospital ORs often lack automated secured storage at the point-of-care, which leads to a breakdown in charge capture,” said Kathryn Sullivan, product manager, Omnicell. “Our customers recognize the benefits to bottom line revenue after implementing Anesthesia Workstations. In addition to managing inventory and costs, the product offers anesthesia providers the convenience of medications and supplies reliably stocked in each OR suite.”

Accurate documentation of anesthesia medication use is particularly valued due to ECMC’s 340B Drug Program eligibility.This federal program provides discounted pharmaceuticals for use in outpatient procedures to hospitals that offer care to the medically underserved. As nearly half of its OR activity is outpatient, ECMC is pleased with the assistance in realizing 340B savings.

Omnicell Anesthesia Workstations have brought another benefit to ECMC’s OR–a decrease in surgical case turnaround time. The in-suite cabinet has eliminated mid-case calls as well as trips by the OR staff to the Pharmacy to stock additional items between surgical cases. In addition, the unique Anesthesia Work Drawer allows secure preparation prior to cases, a favorite time-saving feature of the anesthesia providers. Medications and supplies are now easily accessible–iterally at their fingertips–and paper charge documentation is a thing of the past.  In turn, the Pharmacy staff spends less time reconciling controlled substances.

About Omnicell

Omnicell, Inc. (NASDAQ: OMCL) is a leading provider of systems targeting patient safety and operational efficiency in healthcare facilities. Since 1992, Omnicell has worked to enhance patient safety and allow clinicians to spend more time with their patients.

Omnicell's medication-use product line includes solutions for the central pharmacy, nursing unit, OR, and patient bedside. Solutions range from complete automation systems for the central pharmacy to nursing unit and bedside dispensing cabinet systems. From the point at which a medication arrives at the receiving dock to the time it is administered, Omnicell systems store it, package it, bar code it, order it, issue it, and provide information and controls on its use and reorder.

Our supply product lines provide a healthcare institution with 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.