University of Rochester realizes quality & safety benefits from IV automation

The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) identified areas of weakness in their IV compounding processes, including wrong product selection, incorrect volume added, omitted ingredients, and missing checks.

The Challenge

URMC was heavily dependent on outsourcing IV preparations. When a series of events impacted the supply chain, URMC opted to consider insourcing.

The Solution

Activated Omnicell Product(s)

Central Pharmacy IV Compounding (i.v.STATION™, i.v.STATION ONCO, IVX Workflow)

URMC’s goal was to adopt a complete automation system for all types of preparation across patient populations. To get there, they adopted a number of Omnicell IV compounding solutions:

  • Non-hazardous IV compounding robots
  • Hazardous IV compounding robots
  • IV workflow automation

These Omnicell solutions addressed URMC’s primary focus on patient safety while also delivering cost benefits—URMC could now reduce medication costs by producing non-commercially available, standardized doses on site.

Taking Control of Known Dangers

The risks of manual processes and checking systems are well known. As ISMP (Institute for Safe Medication Practices) states: “Double checks will sometimes fail for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that the process is essentially dependent on one fallible person assessing another fallible person’s work.” By implementing Omnicell IV robotics and workflow management, URMC was able to replace the decision points in the compounding processes that compromised patient care with automated safety checks that ensured a higher degree of accuracy, integrity and sterility. An additional benefit is the automation improved staff safety, too. Robotic compounding protects the compounding area from contamination and protects the IV room staff from exposure to hazardous drugs.

On the Way to 100%

URMC’s automation strategy focused on three key safety elements: barcode verification, digital image capture, and gravimetric checks. And as they continue to standardize doses and concentrations, they get closer and closer to their goal of 100% hazardous doses prepared with all three safety mechanisms.

Explained David Webster, associate director of pharmacy operations, “This strategy represents a significant step toward ensuring all patients receive medications produced using the safest sterile compounding processes available.”

The Impact

Key Outcomes:

  • Enhanced patient safety
  • Reduced IV medication costs
  • Improved operational efficiency
  • Increased worker safety

Customer Benefits:

  • Achieved ROI
  • Decreased human-based errors
  • Redeployed staff to higher-value tasks
  • Control over the quality and quantity of IV dose preparation
  • Extended BUD (beyond use dating) for IV products

KPI's Impacted: 

  • 100% of transactions scanned
  • 100% dose accountability 
  • 83% faster ordering
Smiling man named David Webster

"URMC is well on its way to reaching its goal of subjecting all sterile compounds to a minimum standard of barcode verification of ingredients and gravimetric validation."

David F. Webster, Associate Director of Pharmacy Operations