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AHN Invests in Omnicell’s Advanced Robotic Sterile Compounding Technology

Allegheny Health Network (AHN) has invested in state-of-the-art robotic sterile compounding technology from Omnicell, Inc. (Omnicell) that is transforming pharmacy operations at the 14-hospital health care system. The new technology, currently installed at AHN's Allegheny General Hospital, compounds sterile medications on site, driving more efficient and effective delivery of medications to patients and reducing costs associated with outsourcing medications and shortages.

According to Laura Mark, vice president of Pharmacy for AHN, the new robots produce IV medications used in critical care areas as well as operating room (OR) syringes. "Compounding the medications in house is more cost effective than outsourcing, it reduces waste, and it allows AHN to mitigate some critical medication shortages," she said.

"Heparin is a great example. It's a commonly used, essential medication that prevents blood clots and there was a national shortage of the drug earlier this year. Using the Omnicell system, AHN was able to mitigate this shortage by compounding Heparin, avoiding supply disruption of this high-risk medication and continuing to provide safe, effective care for our patients."

AHN is leveraging Omnicell's XT medication storage cabinets located on patient care units across all hospitals, as well as anesthesia carts in OR areas. This closed loop system updates patient records automatically upon dispensing of medication. The result is increased accountability and inventory optimizing surveillance of Controlled Substance medications.

AHN is also implementing Omnicell's IVX Workflow management solution, which facilitates safe compounding of IV medications. IVX Workflow utilizes gravimetric or volumetric verification of IV medications, along with barcode scanning and image capture. This automation will enhance medication safety by allowing AHN to provide standardized, safe, and efficient care for patients across the network.

AHN is leveraging Omnicell's data and analytics called Omnicell OneTM, which provides real time inventory visibility. The data and analytics platform allows AHN to manage inventory, minimize waste and optimize usage of medications.

"When your technology is fully integrated and communicates effectively, you can spend more time focusing on patients, and less time on dispensing medications or on paperwork," said Mark. "The Omnicell system is another great example of our organization investing in the quality and value that we need to assure our patient experiences are exceptional."

"As health systems navigate escalating staff shortages and increasingly complex drug therapies, the need for a high-performing pharmacy has never been more clear," said Scott Seidelmann, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, Omnicell. "AHN recognizes the importance of pharmacy automation, software, and expert services to address these challenges, allowing their staff to focus on higher value tasks that will reduce cost, enhance patient safety, and improve outcomes.

Mark said the enhanced capabilities afforded by the Omnicell technology will also help support additional new pharmacy programs being developed by AHN, including its Meds to Beds Program which enables AHN pharmacists to meet with and provide prescribed medications to patients prior to their discharge, and its Medication Reconciliation Program that builds accurate medication lists so that when a patient is admitted, medical professionals can better collaborate on treatment options. 

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