Photos provided by Ramkhamhaeng Hospital
Interview with Dr. Patrick, Board of Management, Ramkhamhaeng Hospital
Explosive growth in both data and technology utilization have led to the development and promotion of eHealth in many countries. eHealth is aimed at improving healthcare safety, efficiency, and quality, as well as reducing costs. Over the last two decades, the Ministry of Public Health in Thailand has implemented projects and policies aimed at improving accessibility and enhancing healthcare services. These policies include a universal healthcare scheme and a nationwide electronic health record (EHR) system. In fact, Thailand,has higher medical expenditures than most South East Asian Countries. Likewise, its hospitals are certified by the Joint Commission International (JCI) organization.Therefore, a ll major hospitals in Thailand have implemented electronic health record (EHR) systems and HIS, including Ramkhamhaeng Hospital—a client of Advantech.
System integration flexibility for various healthcare environments
Ramkhamhaeng Hospital, which is among the top five largest private hospital groups in Thailand and certified with JCI accreditation, has a dedicated health IT team and developed their own HIS. To further improve services and reduce medication errors in their inpatient department(IPD), Ramkhamhaeng Hospital sought solutions that can be integrated into their HIS.
Medication errors are common in many healthcare systems, and can occur in the prescription, dispensing,storage, preparation, and administration of medicines. ePrescribing functions in Ramkhamhaeng Hospital’s HIS have minimized the risk of prescription errors, but neither the nursing workload nor errors in the IPD were significantly reduced. Dr. Patrick, Board of Management at Ramkhamhaeng Hospital, stated that the hospital would like to improve the system by connecting the HIS with eMedication carts for safety and accuracy of medication administration in inpatient wards.
To achieve the Five Rights of Medication Safety, the hospital commenced eMedication solution evaluation and tested several products from several suppliers around 2018. However, they soon found that the tested products had many issues, such as being incompatible with their workflows, lacking system integration flexibility, having a high total cost of ownership, and not being designed for intensive usage in IPD, particularly in terms of durability and ergonomic design.
During Advantech’s visit in late 2019, the AMiS-850 Intelligent Medication Cart was introduced to Ramkhamhaeng Hospital. They were impressed by its reasonable price, durability, intelligent management API, and flexible SDK. Advantech’s support team helped the hospital’s health IT team successfully integrate the AMiS-850 with their HIS, without major modification to their workflows. This saved them a considerable amount of time and reduced their total cost of ownership.
Robust and ergonomic design with an intelligent lock mechanism
The AMiS-850 is built with a robust industrial computer and is medical-certified to ensure safety. With the inclusion of medication storage boxes, the AMiS-850serves as a mobile medication dispensary, enabling easy administration of the right medication at the right dosage to the right patient. Its motorized height adjustment function and ergonomic design, which has no sharp edges, offers comfortable and convenient usage.Moreover, the cart can be used as a nursing workstation and be easily cleaned to ensure strict hygiene while preventing infection and contamination.
Integrated with RFID, each medication bin can be encoded with patient ID and medication ID via Advantech’s medication bin setting station in the nurse station. Medication is then locked in the medication cabinet of the AMiS-850, ensuring that medications are dispensed to the right patient. Nurses can use barcode scanners to scan a patient’s wristband and unlock the medication bin assigned to that patient. At the same time,each dispensation is recorded and the data is added to the patient’s EHR, which reduces time spent on medication preparation and paperwork.
After using these highly functional mobile workstations, IPD nurses have reduced their workload and thus have much more time for patient care. This reassures patients and their families. Additionally, the overall efficiency and level of patient safety in Ramkhamhaeng Hospital has been greatly improved. Ramkhamhaeng Hospital plans to implement AMiS-850 Intelligent Medication Carts into all the hospitals in their group.
Furthermore, they are also evaluating how to apply similar eMedication solutions to outpatient departments(OPDs). According to Advantech’s deep experience in intelligent healthcare applications, for patients requiring more complex medical prescriptions, such as those with chronic illnesses, a large eMedication dispensing cabinet with similar functions to the AMiS-850, like Advantech’sAMiS-870 automatic dispensing cabinets, would be ideal for patients and free up more time for physicians and pharmacists in OPDs, while providing greater patient healthcare at the Ramkhamhaeng Hospital.