Peterson Regional Medical Center and Cybernet:
Implementing a Patient Medication Dispensing System
To better serve patients, Peterson Regional Medical Center (PRMC) decided to update their medication dispensing system. The new solution required a PC that could be mounted on a powered medical cart that nurses could move from room to room to accurately dispense medications at the patient’s bedside. After evaluating alternatives, CIO Director Richard Cruthirds and Operations Manager Mark Thomason chose Cybernet’s iOne-GX31s with touch screen capability. The PCs were mounted on carts along with a wireless barcode scanner, and deployed throughout the hospital. The iOne-GX31s
Peterson Regional Medical Center is a not-for-profit community hospital located in the Hill Country in Kerrville, Texas. It was founded in 1949 as the Sid Peterson Memorial Hospital, with 55 beds and quite a few leading-edge conveniences for the time, including the first-ever intercom nurse call system and the first hospital to have central air conditioning. That progressive attitude continued through the years, as the hospital continued to adopt technology to better serve their patients. In April of 2008, they moved to a brand new facility on a 35-acre campus that includes an ambulatory care center. PRMC also offers hospice service and home health care services. The hospital has 124 private patient rooms, each with a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside.
The Business Challenge
It was time for PRMC to update their medication dispensing systems for hospital patients from a manual process to a more modern and automated solution. They formed a Bedside Medication Verification (BMV) Committee consisting of staff members from various departments including nursing, pharmacy, intensive care, women’s services, cardiopulmonary, and information systems to evaluate alternatives. The committee decided that a powered medical cart was the answer, with an all-in-one PC
mounted on the cart along with a barcode scanner. Instead of nurses manually verifying medications, they would have the computerized pharmacy authorizations available on the iOne-GX31 unit on the cart containing the medications and move it from room to room. The process is simply to scan the patient’s armband to display the authorized medications and the proper dosages. As each medication is scanned, the medication and dosage is confirmed against the authorization.
Information Systems was tasked with finding the right combination of carts and PCs for the project. PRMC already had some medical carts in their acute rehab department that had a PC and monitor attached to them, but those units really didn’t perform up to the demands of the new hospital software applications. They considered laptops as an alternative, but they were not economical and lacked the full benefits of a powerful PC that could process all the specialized applications needed. The BMV committee decided an all-in-one PC was the right way to go. Mark Thomason reported to the committee about the Cybernet all-in-one PCs. The PRMC materials management department had utilized a few of the Cybernet all-in-one PCs
in other fixed locations. Cybernet’s iOne-GX31 had the right features he was looking for: available in a 17-inch or 19-inch model, wireless, high performance, and modest power requirements. Also, the pricing structure fit into his overall budget for the project, so he decided to give them a try.
The Cybernet Solution
Mark ordered a Cybernet iOne-GX31 all-in-one PC to test for a few weeks. He mounted it on a Humanscale powered medical cart, loaded the hospital software on it and had the nurses take it through an evaluation period. The iOne-GX31 performed well and without issue, and although the nurses had a few issues with the drawers in the medical cart, there were no complaints at all about the iOne-GX31 PC. Mark had the test unit cloned and sent it to Cybernet to make use of the imaging services they provide. Cybernet loaded all the software on all the other 35 units and shipped them to PRMC. He was then ready to mount them on the Humanscale carts and put them into service.
The nurses adapted to the new system quickly, and found the iOne-GX31s
very easy to use. They are able to dispense medications efficiently and accurately. Patients are able to receive the right medication, at the right time, in the right amount, all the time. The nurses also reported to I.S. that they are able to complete extended medication rounds without a recharge because the iOne-GX31 has modest power consumption. It seems that Peterson RMC found the ideal solution for all concerned.