Published on March 16, 2021

Concord Hospital’s Pharmacy Department Activates the BD Pyxis IV Prep Software System

Concord Hospital has implemented a new, sophisticated program to ensure the accuracy of hundreds of intravenous (IV) medications prepared daily in its pharmacy, enhancing patient safety and improving their care.

After six months of preparation and testing, the Hospital’s Pharmacy Department activated the BD Pyxis IV Prep software system on January 19, 2021.

“This is a major overhaul of how we make IVs,” said Concord Hospital Pharmacy Director Regina Martin. “It’s a huge advancement for the Pharmacy Department and the safety of our patients.”

Unlike medications such as pills, capsules or creams that are prepackaged by pharmaceutic companies, hospitals mix, or compound IV medications in their own pharmacies.

The IV Prep software and new pharmacy processes add multiple computer-aided, barcoded and photographed checks to the sensitive process of formulating IV medication at Concord Hospital’s busy pharmacy. They help pharmacy technicians compound the medications; help the pharmacist verify that medications are accurate; and maintain a record of every medication, their ingredients, the compounding process and the patient who received the IV.

Each ingredient includes computer barcode identification and each step of the multi-step process is photographed automatically, including with a camera on the sensitive scale used to weigh the ingredients.

“At the end, there is a complete photograph and weight documentation of everything the pharmacy technician does when making an IV product,” Martin said.

The electronic record can be used to trace medications if, for instance, they include a product that later is recalled by its manufacturer.

Concord Hospital is at the forefront of using the new technology. Martin said most hospitals use a manual system to compound IVs but will have to transition to more sophisticated checking and tracing processes under federal mandates expected in the next several years.

Concord Hospital’s system offers many more features, all with patient care in mind.

“We didn’t implement this system to make our job easier,” Martin said. “It is an expense to the Hospital and it takes us quite a bit more time, but the patient safety benefits and the traceability benefits made it the right thing to do.”