November 29, 2010


COLUMBIA, Tenn. – The Maury Regional Medical Center Pharmacy recently implemented a new automated inventory management system designed to enhance patient safety, according to Pharmacy Director Jeff Binkley, PharmD.

“Because we want to offer every patient the highest quality of care every day, our medical center has made a commitment to provide additional safety through the use of barcode technology for medication administration,” said Binkley. “In order to achieve this initiative, MRMC has partnered with Swisslog to implement an innovative approach to packaging and inventory management to enhance accuracy, efficiency and flexibility for dispensing medications.”

The revolutionary Beacon system distributed by Swisslog offers pharmacies the ability to better organize medications, track real-time utilization and inventory, and further advance patient safety. When orders for patients are sent to the pharmacy, they are entered into the computer system. A pharmacy staff member then uses a color-coded computer station and accompanying scanner to locate the medication in the pharmacy. To complete the order, the staff member then uses a scanner to read the barcode on the medication. If the wrong medication is selected, the light on the storage unit begins to blink, a visual display message alerts them that the wrong product was selected, and the computer will not allow them to complete the order. In most cases, a photo of the medication is displayed on screen as an added security measure.

A high speed packager works in conjunction with the system and holds 320 canisters of fast-moving medications at a time. The system will package and barcode hundreds of unit and multi-unit doses in minutes, thus saving the pharmacists’ time and increasing patient safety.

“Maury Regional is dedicated to patient safety at every level of operation, and this latest advancement helps to ensure accuracy in medication dispensing and administration,” said Binkley.