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The Advantage Mobile Medication and Database System

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Building a practical, cost-effective mobile medication cart would not have been possible three to five years ago. The technology simply wasn't available at the right price and in a form that was "user friendly" and immediately adaptable.

Only in the last two years have we seen several developments that make this idea a reality. The price of computers and their components continue to drop. Operating systems are now easier than ever to use.Digital cameras are inexpensive and simple to use, which makes it possible to include patient photos in an on-the-go mobile medication system like the AdvantageMobile Medication and DatabaseSystem.

The health care industry also has moved to the point that computerization is no longer a novelty and data base systems are a standard tool. That is especially true in the management of pharmacies, their inventories and patient records.

The Advantage system moves the database to the next logical point: the corridors and patients' rooms.

In the development of the Advantage system, several goals were always in mind.
These goals included:

Keep it mobile.
We wanted to develop a "go anywhere, do everything" unit. No back-tracking, no extra trips down the hall for paperwork.

Make it easier to administer medications.
The system should be a useful tool for the person using it. The cart should make that person's job less stressful and provide an accurate means of dispensing medications.

Clearly document medications given.
The system should be a two-way tool, feeding information on activities on the floor.

Help document "PRN" results, side effects and behaviours for antipsychotic medications.
This vital information becomes an immediate part of the record.

Help document "PRN" results, side effects and behaviours for antipsychotic medications.
This includes the computer data bases that now track a portion of the records. But our approach also was to design a system that interfaces with the human aspect of caring for patients and the reality of daily nursing routines.

The system does all this without eliminating professional judgment or increasing the nursing staff's paperwork burden. And, most important, it does not impede the administration of medications.

Other technologies are available, includingKVM's system, Automed, Medicine On Time, and Artromick. They all have varying disadvantages. Hardware and software are expensive, the systems are costly to set up, and they are laborintensive.