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All articles Latest Articles and Posts Pill counters and automation reduce error rates in medication disbursement

Pill counters and automation reduce error rates in medication disbursement

Automated pill counting and e-prescriptions are both relatively new technological advancements, but they've already proven their worth. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association has shown that automated systems helped prevent more than 17 million medication errors in 2008. That’s the number of errors prevented in a single year! For some perspective, 17 million is close to half the number of people living in California. That's a lot of errors that didn't happen.



Medication administration errors cost money and can be harmful to patients, yet the Institute of Medicine found that the average hospital patient is subjected to, on average, at least one medication error per day, according an article recently published in Pharmacy Times. Consider that next time you or a loved one has a hospital stay as an in-patient.

Due to the fact that automation in medication disbursement and automatic pill counting result in fewer errors, the Institute of Medicine has actually recommended e-prescriptions and more automation in the medication disbursement process. It's a sensible recommendation. Given fewer errors, less time, less money, and the fact that people don't need to be employed to count pills, who would recommend against it?

As the Pharmacy Times notes,

"The researchers estimated that processing a prescription drug order through a CPOE system reduces the chance of a medication error by 48%. Based on this effect and the extent of CPOE adoption and use in hospitals as of 2008, the researchers estimated that the overall rate of medication errors was reduced by 12.5% as a result of CPOE system use, which translates to 17.4 million medication errors averted in the United States in a single year."

This study clearly shows that people make mistakes but automation in pill counting and filling prescriptions shows that those error rates can be reduced by almost half. By implementing an automated system and cutting error rates in half, money is saved and peoples' lives are improved.

The other important finding in this study is the increased implementation of automated systems when it comes to allocation of medicine. It's unlikely that the future is bright for people who plan to continue to count pills manually. It's simply not where technology is going.

Given the importance of accurate medication administration and the fact that automation reduces errors, which saves money, time, and even lives, it’s a prudent business practice to get the best available automated pill counter. Contact us and let us help you find the best automated pill counter for your needs.