Honing the Swap Out Process - Texas Children's Installs Nearly 200 XT Cabinets
“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.”
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 nearly 200 cabinets across three campuses, it needed a streamlined way to make the conversion— without interrupting patient care.
Focusing on Minimal Downtime
For Gee Mathen, Assistant Director of Pharmacy for Texas Children’s Hospital, the thought of upgrading that many G4 cabinets to Omnicell’s XT series was exciting—but also nerve-wracking.
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.
Preparation focused on three key areas:
- Texas Children’s and Omnicell teams assessed the impacted areas and any space limitations.
- Gaining leadership support was key. The hospital communicated extensively with senior leaders, nursing, pharmacists, Information Services, electronic health records staff, and other stakeholders.
- 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.
Securing Controlled Substances
Some of the XT cabinets installed include the Controlled Substance Dispenser. This automated solution stores medications in a secured area in the cabinet and dispenses each dose into a special drawer where nurses can easily access it. It eliminates the need for nursing countbacks and provides greater security for controlled substances.
Texas Children’s began the conversion at one of its smaller satellite campuses. The first cabinet swap took just 30 minutes; the team has since shrunk that time to 20 minutes. The technical “transplant” involves five simple steps:
- Roll up the new XT cabinet.
- Destock the G4 cabinet and remove it from the server.
- Bring the XT cabinet online.
- Use inventory from the offline G4 cabinet to stock the XT cabinet.
- 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 are getting 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.”