|By Business Wire||
|December 9, 2013 12:30 PM EST||
Aethon Inc. unveiled today a patent-pending system that secures and tracks medication deliveries sent through a hospital’s existing pneumatic tube system and guarantees medication is delivered to authorized personnel. Pneumatic tube systems are used extensively to deliver medications through hospitals. Yet, missing or delayed doses cost the hospital millions of dollars in lost productivity, inventory and safety concerns.
The new system, called MedEx TubeTrack™ is commercially available and debuted today at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) midyear conference in Orlando. It combines real-time medication tracking software with a secured pneumatic tube canister to provide chain-of-custody control for medication deliveries sent through existing pneumatic tube systems. TubeTrack is part of MedEx, an overall product suite that controls and tracks all medication deliveries in real time.
“Hospital pharmacy directors need a way to ensure deliveries sent through their existing pneumatic tube system reach their intended recipient,” said Aldo Zini, president and CEO of Aethon. “As we spoke with pharmacy directors and studied their operations, it became evident that medication deliveries sent through pneumatic tubes are frequently delayed or lost for a variety of reasons. Pneumatic tube manufacturers are primarily concerned that the canister arrives at the correct tube station. TubeTrack is unique because it ensures the correct person receives the contents of the canister. It allows pharmacies to finally secure, control and track medication deliveries to the end recipient.”
Medications leaving hospital pharmacies via existing pneumatic tube systems are typically not tracked until after they are delivered to the patient. This can result in lost or missing medications causing delays in patient care, wasted time attempting to locate medications, wasted inventory, and safety concerns. This also limits the utility of the tube system since certain medications or controlled substances cannot be sent due to lack of control. Pharmacists speak about medications falling into a “black hole” when they cannot be located after distribution.
“At Sinai Hospital the pharmacy was frequently getting phone calls and interruptions due to medications being misplaced or lost after delivery through our pneumatic tube system. TubeTrack has solved this problem by providing secure chain-of-custody control of medication delivery from the pharmacy to nursing staff. It was one of the fastest and most straightforward pharmacy automation projects our staff has experienced,” said Lisa Polinsky, director of pharmacy for Sinai Hospital. “Most importantly, the nursing staff was quick to adopt and accept it because it is easy to use and solves the problem of missing medication deliveries, which, in turn, allows them to focus on the patient.”
Aldo Zini concludes, “TubeTrack is a simple, yet effective solution to provide compliance and security control currently missing in a hospital’s pneumatic tube system. There is simply no other system like it anywhere.”
Aethon automates Intralogistics™ in hospitals by delivering goods and supplies using its TUG® smart autonomous mobile robot and tracks deliveries in real time using MedExTM, a software system used to track medication deliveries from the pharmacy. Nearly 400 TUG autonomous mobile robots are making more than 50,000 deliveries each week in hospitals across the United States. For more information, visit Aethon at the ASHP conference, booth #2223, or aethon.com.