Automated Dispensing Cabinets

August 2020 - Vol.17 No. 8 - Page #62
Category: Automated Dispensing Cabinets

Automated dispensing cabinets continue to serve as the backbone of most medication distribution systems. In general care areas, each ADC typically serves 11-20 beds. Profiling ADCs is key to ensuring their efficiency; however, this remains a challenge for many facilities. While most facilities (81%) have profiled more than three-quarters of their cabinets, there has been no overall improvement in the number of profiled cabinets for the past 5 years. Furthermore, just 17% of facilities have successfully profiled 100% of their cabinets, indicating that additional efforts are needed in this area.

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It is quite rare for a facility to not utilize automated dispensing cabinets to deliver medications to the nursing units.

Almost three quarters of all facilities are heavy users of ADCs, meaning the cabinets serve as the primary means of drug distribution. Just 21% of facilities utilize their ADCs for specific line items only, such as first doses, PRNs, or controlled substances.

BD and Omnicell continue to dominate this marketplace with an almost equal number of customers.

ADC satisfaction remains strong at 97%; it is notable that 81% of pharmacy directors give top marks (good or excellent) to their vendor.

Reinforcing the strong satisfaction ratings, most ADC users (55%) plan to increase the capacity of their cabinets over the next 3 years.

ADC monitoring software is increasingly common. Over the past 5 years, there has been a 29% increase in adoption rates. Now, more than 7 out of every 10 facilities take advantage of this software.

BD, Omnicell, and Medacist are the leading vendors in this category.

Omnicell and BD are the leading vendors under consideration for those pharmacy departments looking to purchase ADCs.


With a 15% jump this year, specialized ADC anesthesia systems continue to serve as the primary drug distribution method in the OR.

BD and Omnicell are the leading vendors in this arena.


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