Medication Distribution Models


August 2020 - Vol.17 No. 8 - Page #54

The point-of-care distribution model has proven its value by delivering improvements in both inventory control and product access. Looking ahead, even more facilities are expected to switch to this approach and expand their ADC usage. Notably, there is some growing interest in hybrid distribution models. Previously, this approach was likely to be utilized by large academic medical centers only, but some smaller facilities are now considering switching to this approach.

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DEFINITIONS

Centralized: 80% or more of inpatient beds receive medications from the central pharmacy, and/or robot/carousel is the main dispensing platform to unit dose carts

Decentralized, supported by satellite pharmacy: 80% or more of inpatient beds receive medications from satellite pharmacies and/or ADCs restocked from satellite pharmacies

Point-of-care model: 80% or more of inpatient beds receive medications from ADCs on the patient unit, which are restocked from central pharmacy

Hybrid: a combination of dispensing methods, meeting none of the conditions above


Point-of-care distribution maintains its role as the preferred method of distribution, while the number of facilities utilizing the centralized approach continues to decline.

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As facilities look to the future, point-of-care distribution remains the preferred approach regardless of facility size. Notably, there is increasing interest among some of the smaller facilities as well as some of the larger academic medical centers with strong IT support in adopting a hybrid system for medication distribution.

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A variety of devices are required for efficient medication distribution. While most facilities have a strong reliance on ADCs, efficient distribution requires augmentation with additional approaches. Pneumatic tubes, COWs, couriers, and medication carts all play an important role in supplementing medication delivery to the floors.


 

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