Texas Children’s Hospital experiences seamless conversion to XT cabinets

Texas Children's Hospital is the world's largest freestanding pediatric hospital. It is ranked No. 3 (tied) on the U.S. News & Report Best Children's Hospitals 2019-2020 Honor Roll. The hospital has three campuses, 797-plus beds, and more than 31,000 annual admissions.

Texas Children’s has been relying on Omnicell technology since 1995 to support efficient medication management for its mother-baby and pediatric patient populations. As an innovative leader, Texas Children’s sought the most advanced technology available in automated medication dispensing cabinets.

The Challenge

An Omnicell customer for over 20 years, Texas Children’s Hospital was eager to upgrade to the XT Automated Dispensing Cabinets to meet its growing needs for more accountability, efficiency, and safety in medication management. But with 256 cabinets across three campuses, it needed a streamlined way to make the conversion—without interrupting patient care.

The Solution

Activated Omnicell Product(s)

Point of Care (XT Medication Dispensing Cabinets)

The hospital worked side by side with Omnicell to create an efficient conversion process that minimized downtime and allowed staff to seamlessly maintain patient care. The time to switch out one cabinet? A mere 20 minutes.

Focusing on Minimal Downtime

For Gee Mathen, Director of Pharmacy Clinical Applications and Technical Services, the thought of upgrading 200+ G4 cabinets to Omnicell’s XT series was exciting—but also nerve-wracking. “We were switching out a living, breathing unit; we couldn’t afford to have a lot of downtime,” Mathen explained. “But because of the way Omnicell had prepared for the conversion, it worked out beautifully.”

Converting to XT Cabinets, Step by Step

Getting Ready

1. Texas Children’s and Omnicell teams assessed the impacted areas and any space limitations.

2. Gaining leadership support was key. The hospital communicated extensively with senior leaders, nursing, pharmacists, Information Services, electronic health records staff, and other stakeholders.

3. The teams conducted testing and troubleshooting, created schematics of each drawer’s contents (accounting for differences between G4 and XT bin sizes), and preconfigured the new XT cabinet—assigning bins and shelves; and, labeling and barcoding non-controlled medications.

Going Live

Texas Children’s began the conversion at one of its smaller satellite campuses. The first cabinet swap took just 30 minutes; the team has quickly reduced that time to 20 minutes. The technical “transplant” involves five simple steps:

1. Roll up the new XT cabinet.

2. Destock the G4 cabinet and remove it from the server.

3. Bring the XT cabinet online.

4. Use inventory from the offline G4 cabinet to stock the XT cabinet.

5. Install the FlexLock Refrigerator Lock and Temperature Monitor, external return bins, and pull-out drawers for supplies. The team meticulously timed every task in the planning and go-live process. This helped the hospital allocate the right resources and create on-time rollout schedules. The XT cabinets received rave reviews from nurses. “It’s been fantastic,” Mathen said. “Everybody else was asking, ‘When do we get ours?’ It’s been positive across the board.”

Transition Tips

  • Time each step of the conversion process
  • Plan for differences in drawer configurations
  • Communicate clearly with all stakeholders

The Impact

Key Outcomes:

  • Enhanced patient safety
  • Increased efficiency
  • Greater accountability

Customer Benefits:

  • Create a uniform system across campuses
  • Add Controlled Substance Dispenser
  • Improve capacity and efficiency

Smiling man named Gee Mathen

"The biggest key was partnership— having the Omnicell team and techs right beside us and understanding our strategy."

Gee Mathen, Director, Pharmacy Clinical Applications and Technical Services