In today’s technologically driven world, most people and businesses use some kind of hardware and software to stay connected, competitive and efficient. Many hospitals and clinics are availing of the advances in technology to make clinical practice more effective and safe for patients.

Montana residents may find it interesting to learn, according to recent reports, the Billings Clinic healthcare system is the very first organization that is implementing integration between its electronic health records software, and its medication management system. This one-of-its-kind integration was made possible by Omnicell, which not only integrates the two systems, but also uses its own software to track the pharmaceutical drugs dispensed.

The intent of this integration is to enhance productivity, and ensure patient safety. The Omnicell system offers safety checks, such as mandating a pharmacist’s authorization before dispensing a drug. One pharmacist noted, there is always room for improvement, and one of the reasons why the Billings Clinic healthcare system was interested in this integration is because the hospital had identified some problems. For instance, under the old system the information before the healthcare provider, such as a nurse and the pharmacist was not always accurate, and it was not clear what medication the patient had gotten. In fact, in one case a medication error, specifically, a double dose, was identified in the “nick of time,” and a potential serious medication error, which could have resulted in a serious health complication, was prevented.

The Omnicell software integration will, hopefully, help minimize double work, and allow healthcare provides to have a more accurate picture of patients’ medication needs. The steps Billings Clinic healthcare system has taken are a positive movement in patient safety. Nonetheless, even though such software is helpful and may help reduce medication errors, such mistakes still happen and may potentially cause serious harm and injury to patients. In such cases, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to have one’s specific facts evaluated and to discuss one’s legal options, if any.

Source: Information Week Healthcare, “Medication Cabinets ‘Talk’ To Cerner EHR,” David Carr, Feb. 5, 2014