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UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital
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Unit Dose Drug Distribution and Safe Medication Storage Systems

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Unit Dose Drug Distribution System
 
A unit-dose (unit-of-use) drug distribution system is in place for all dosage forms to provide patient-specific, individually packaged medications, which minimizes nurse/caregiver drug product manipulation (e.g., cutting in half) in order to arrive at the correct dose prior to administration. Such manipulation could result in patient harm and consume valuable caregiver resources.
 
These unit doses of medication are also dispensed with individually labeled bar code packaging to enable nurse scanning of the medication at the bedside just prior to medication administration.
 
Safe Medication Storage Systems
 
Over 90% of doses stored in the main pharmacy are located in automated dispensing technology that uses bar code scanning to eliminate human error in medication dispensing.
 
All medications stored outside of the pharmacy are reviewed and approved by a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, and stored in dedicated, properly labeled bins. Products with look-alike drug names and packaging that are potentially problematic are stored separately and segregated (e.g. not alphabetical).
 
Regular reviews of medication storage areas help us audit for error-prone situations, such as the nearby storage of look-alike or sound-alike medications or of medications in similar manufacturer packages.