Using Secure Pharmacy Automation to Combat Narcotic Abuse
By Mike Stotz, Senior Marketing Manager
Help – a dark riptide is pulling me under! It’s the nonstop bad news of our country’s opioid abuses and narcotics mismanagement issues.
One of Capsa’s partners, Henry Schein (a leading distributor for veterinary clinics), shared this information in its Fall 2018 equipment & technology guide: 54 million Americans intentionally used medications for non-medical reasons at least once – about 20% of Americans 12 and older! Driving numbers up are both marijuana use and the misuse of prescription pain relievers (from the 2016 National Survey On Drug Use And Health).
Now, marijuana abuse isn’t a fight Capsa is engaging in. But we excel at solutions to safely handle prescription medications – and I’m personally proud of where Capsa is engaging its future energies and R&D investments.
Capsa’s Dedication to Creating an Additional Layer of Defense Against Abuse
I feel a righteous sense of purpose working with a company that develops hardware and software systems to help health practitioners protect their medication stock, and ensure those medications only get to the patients who legitimately need them for healing. More and more of Capsa’s automation solutions are directly addressing how pharmacies defend against prescription filling errors (wrong patient getting the wrong medication, strength or quantity) and against drug diversion (employee theft or loss).
My Favorite Two Emerging Technologies:
This is a new technology to carefully control the onsite storage and distribution of medications (especially narcotics) and supplies at long-term care facilities, surgery centers, veterinary clinics, hospice, etc. At all times, pharmacies who stock the medications and nursing managers who control the removal of medications know what doses are inside each NexsysADC cabinet, which nurse is accessing them, and what medication dose is getting to which patient.
The pharmacy is connected to the patient facility and NexsysADC cabinet at all times via a cloud connection, so each transaction and inventory is visible and traceable. Automated dispensing cabinets (ADC) have been available for a couple decades, but NexsysADC now makes this technology affordable for even smaller volume facilities, not just large hospitals and national LTC providers. We are putting much-needed safeguarding technology into the hands of practitioners who truly need this protection.
This technology has evolved from the famous Kirby Lester tablet counter in use in thousands of pharmacies around the world. The KL1Plus, however, is far from just a pill counting machine that counts 30 capsules at a time. The KL1Plus ensures that the technician filling that prescription is not making a mistake. The device is connected to the pharmacy’s computer system and matches up the prescribed drug to the one that the technician is about to pour out for the patient order.
If the technician has a bottle of 50mg pills, but the doctor wrote the prescription for 100mg, the KL1Plus automatically flags the error. This potentially dangerous medication error is averted even before it gets to the pharmacist to check (and ultimately to the patient). The KL1Plus also helps to discourage employee drug diversion because it is used to count inventory on hand in the pharmacy, especially controlled substances. The more frequent inventory is counted and tracked, the less chance there is for employee theft.
The Next Generation of High Security Pharmaceutical Drug Storage
Future versions of both our NexsysADC and Kirby Lester KL1Plus hold tremendous promise in helping practitioners keep their medication stocks secure, and guard against unlawful access and dangerous patient medication errors. I cannot wait to see next-generation developments.
What Should You Ask Yourself About Your Practice/Pharmacy?
The Drug Enforcement Agency and state boards of pharmacy set security standards for health practitioners, such as Title 21 CFR 1300. The types of questions health practitioners should ask themselves when evaluating their controlled substance and prescription drug storage procedures are:
- Does your practice have in place a controlled substance and prescription chain of custody procedure?
- Are the controlled substances and prescription drugs in your practice secured?
- Are complete and accurate logs kept for the ordering, storage, dispensing, and disposal of controlled medications?
We are part of the solution to help our customers answer “Yes!” to all three important questions so they never risk violating the Federal Controlled Substances Act and DEA regulations. That is where Capsa’s technology can truly help practitioners to protect themselves and their patients. When medications are locked down, then peace of mind is assured.
Have additional questions regarding Capsa’s secure pharmacy automation solutions & storage options? Contact us today.