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Automated Hospital Dispensing Systems


Both the Pyxis and Omnicell are products that are used to automate operations in a hospital. The handling of and management of medication has undergone a lot of transformations that are geared towards reducing costs and making medical services to be more effective and efficient. The use of automated system has also been utilized to reduce time in the process of dispensing medication to patients and it has also improved the accuracy hence lowering the risk of patients getting wrong prescriptions (Hübner and Elmhorst 207).

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Comparison and contrast of Pyxis and Omnicell

Pyxis system is an automated dispensing system that performs the functions of supporting a decentralized management of medication. It assists in ensuring that accurate medication is dispensed to the relevant patients. The system has feature that prevent loading of inappropriate medication. Pyxis automated system automates the distribution of supplies and medication for pharmacies in hospitals; it does this by providing an ergonomically proficient, retrieval system and vertical storage which is intended to assist in maximizing productivity at the work place leading to reduction in operation cost. Pyxis is designed to be used in the preparation stage of the management process of medication. It also offers bar code labeling and storage for equally bulk and unit dose medication.

The functionality of Omnicell automated system is not very much different from that of Pyxis. The system just performs the same functions as the Pyxis except that they are manufactured by different companies and have some few varied features that vary their preferences by different users and or customers. However, there is increasing improvement in the way the system works; this is most probably to in crease its efficiency and also to gain competitive advantage over the existing and potential competitors (Durgin and Hanan 388).

Pros of Pyxis and Omnicell

Both systems share some many of advantages in terms of their performances. First, both machines use finger prints to allow users to access and use them. This has the advantage of allowing the ease of information tracking process besides enhancing transfer of information on medication. Second, the systems help in saving time for nurses and pharmacists hence providing extra time dedicated for clinical care to patients. Third, the systems support timely administration of drugs to patients; fourth, they are able to control the type of medication their users are allowed to access, fifth, they help ensure accuracy in the process of administering medication to patients hence ensuring the drug safety of the patients.

Cons of Pyxis and Omnicells

Many users of Pyxis have argued that the faxing software that is supported by the system is too expensive to acquire and run. Besides, at certain point in time, it is possible that the medication cart drawers will start gluing together which makes the system to be costly in terms of maintenance. The system is not able to pull items for automated dispensing cabinet; this makes it limited in terms of its usage. It is also difficult and inconveniencing to retrieve report data and other detailed reports that can be utilized as soon as it may be required.

With Omnicell automated system, some users have reported some sort of frequent jamming and breaking of its sliding doors. This gives the notion that the system is not built to last long making it very expensive to maintain once it starts breaking down. Another disadvantage that is also shared with the Pyxis is that in the event the user forgets his or her password then such a user cannot gain access to the system.

It is important to note that since the two systems have almost similar technology and functionality, they share certain disadvantages. One of these is the fact that their users require to be computer literate and must be knowledgeable in the operations of the systems. Besides, whenever they break down they cannot be repaired or attended to by the ordinary staff members of a hospital, but require the services of well trained technicians who are hired or employed at high costs. Again, both systems are also not designed with visually impaired users in mind. It becomes a bit more difficult for users who are visually impaired to operate the systems efficiently and effectively. Most importantly, in case of power blackout, both systems cannot be used. This implies that using them requires acquisition of power backups to maintain their work; this increases the running costs of hospitals.

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It is important to note that both Pyxis and Omnicell automated systems are products manufactured by different manufacturers but perform the same functions (Durgin and Hanan 388). However, the users’ preferences are determined by systems technological structures and the deal between the system providers and the users. The major advantages they have are that they make running and managing medication system in hospitals to be more effective and efficient and they also assist in reducing the risk the patients are exposed to when it comes to the administration of drugs. The two systems share disadvantages; one of them is that it is impossible to access and use the system once a user losses his or her password. Otherwise, the use of the systems has contributed a lot to the management of medication.

Works Cited

Durgin, Jane and Hanan, Zachary. Thomson Delmar learning’s pharmacy practice for technicians. New York: Cengage Learning, 2004.

Hübner, Ursula. and Elmhorst, Marc. “EBusiness in Healthcare: From EProcurement to Supply Chain Management.” Health Informatics. United States: Springer, 2007.

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