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Smart Medication Cart: An Innovative Solution for Comprehensive Care

Publish On 19, Nov 2020 | Smart Medication Cart: An Innovative Solution for Comprehensive Care

   Medication carts are essential equipment for in-patient care, from medication administration to patients in rooms and wards on a daily schedule to the performance of various procedures. Selecting the most suitable medication cart to maximize the efficiency of patient care is, therefore, of no less importance to a premier hospital group like BDMS (Bangkok Dusit Medical Services) than with other types of medical equipment.
 

   When it comes to commonly used medication carts, the standard is either general purpose utility carts with no specific functions or models with built-in medicine drawers, which must be imported from abroad. Upon consideration, the types of carts available on the market do not fully meet usage demands. This is the motivation behind the collaborative effort to develop the Smart Medication Cart between BDMS and Chemicals Business, SCG – a partnership with a proven history of success in developing medical innovations with expertise in design and material selection, along with comprehensive solutions.
 

 

 

Safety is the priority.
 

   BDMS aims to evolve medication administration management towards a closed-loop medication system as much as possible. Once a doctor prescribes medication through the computer system, the information must be sent directly and immediately to the medication cart for accuracy and efficiency. SCG’s design team conducted field observation of doctors, nurses, and pharmacists, whose day-to-day functions both directly and indirectly involve the use of medication carts. After performing a full needs assessment, SCG designed a medication cart with six drawers. These correspond to the number of patients for whom each nurse is responsible, with an electronic lock system that requires verification by scanning each patient’s identification barcode in order to unlock the compartment designated to that individual to ensure safe and accurate medication administration.
 

 

 

   Additionally, medical personnel must also log in to verify their identity before utilizing the cart every time for systematic record keeping and tracing. All drawers remain locked at all times, and only one drawer can be unlocked at a time to prevent confusion. Each patient’s identification barcode must be scanned when loading medication into the drawers and once again during administration at the patient’s ward. The Smart Medication Cart is also equipped with a computer monitor screen to facilitate additional verification of the prescription prior to administration.
 

Ease of Use: Another Important Consideration
 

   Having achieved design suitability for safe use in its primary function, another important consideration is user-friendliness and convenience. SCG’s design team devised features like a handle, locking wheels, and a lightweight frame that facilitate ease of use, along with drawer dimensions that can accommodate vertical storage of medicine vials in order to prevent sedimentation and spillage, which are common problems of horizontal storage due to the limitation of traditional carts.
 

 

 

   Based on field observation, SCG has designed compartments for storing other necessary equipment in an orderly fashion, such as compartments for bandages and syringes, holders for sharps disposal bins and IV bags, storage space for documents, and a surface for food trays.
 

Digital Technology: Bridging the Gap for Comprehensive Functionality
 

   Another key feature of this innovation is complete digital data linking because information is what distinguishes the Smart Medication Cart from standard models, thanks to the integration of hardware with data and computer systems via the help of software development by the Digital Team at Chemicals Business, SCG, which was assigned the task of developing a software system that links to the hospital’s existing database in order to increase the accuracy of medication dispensation and administration, reduce human error, and facilitate inspection by logging all activities for effective evaluation.
 

   In addition, the Smart Medication Cart is equipped with sensors that detect opening and closing as well as the temperature inside medication drawers to ensure that storage conditions meet Joint Commission International (JCI) standards and give patients confidence in the quality assurance of their prescribed medication. In the future, we will see increasing prevalence of equipment that integrates hardware with data and computer systems, which will facilitate efficient functioning and improve quality of life.
 

The Next Step in Medical Innovation
 

   At present, the Smart Medical Cart has been used at Bangkok Hospital, headquarter at Soi Soonvijai, and most recently BDMS has expanded its application to other hospitals within the group, including Phayathai Hospitals and Paolo Hospitals, for which the cart has been scaled up to 8 drawers in order to accommodate the needs of these two hospitals, exemplifying the adaptability of this innovation to meet the practical needs of users.
 

 

 

   Chemicals Business, SCG, is prepared to work alongside clients to assess real needs and deliver comprehensive solutions for translating ideas into products and innovations with improved functionality.
 

For more information on products and collaboration opportunities, please contact us at: medandwellness@scg.com

 

 

 

“The Smart Medication Cart will increase the efficiency of care and the safety and accuracy of medication administration, which will directly benefit patients.”
 
Kanlayanee Tounsuwan,
Ancillary Director
Bangkok Hospital

 

 

 

“When it comes to nursing, never stop thinking and innovating to enhance our patients’ safety.”
 
Pornpimol Laongam
Nurse Director
Bangkok Hospital

 

 

 

“Successful innovation is not possible without useful information. With a clear goal, it becomes possible to collaborate on innovation that not only fulfills the needs of a hospital but also elevates the country’s standard of living.”
 
Supathida Ratanaswasd
Medical and Well-being Business Manager
Chemicals Business, SCG

 

 

 

“Delivering a solution is not about selling a product. Rather, it is a multi-faceted collaborative effort to address the client’s pain points. The development of the Smart Medication Cart involved product design, from the framework and the materials used to electronic equipment and software system, which a single team could not accomplish on its own. Cooperation was, therefore, highly important.”
 
Panumas Unhasut
Development Lead, Digital Department
Chemicals Business, SCG

 

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