Hospitals reduce by 50% the cost of patient care when deliver their medication

May 24, 2018

About 30% of the costs generated in Colombian hospitals are due to expiration, deterioration or absence of medicines for patients, said Darwing Villarte, National Hospital Projects Manager of Tecnosalud America, exhibitor in the VI edition of Meditech, The International Fair of Health, which will be held from July 3rd to 6th in Corferias.

When medications remain expired on the shelves of clinics or hospitals or are not easy to find, even when they are in the inventory, flaws are reflected in the mass dispensation process; this means that the search and delivery system for products that are prescribed to patients has been delayed, which generates more expenses and deficiencies in the health care of people.

According to Villarte, the flaws in the mass dispensation system have led that the people in charge of this search process travel an average of 30 kilometers per month in the look for medicines that have requested patients. This time has been estimated based on conventional processes in which there is no control over the inventory of the products that the commercial products have left at the service of patients.

Despite this, Colombia has implemented efficient systems of mass dispensing of medicines and devices, which have transformed this panorama. It is the case that the cost of patient care has been refused by 50%, which is reflected in the increase in patient care per day in hospitals.

"Patients expect to find their medications in the shortest time possible in order to treat diseases. This has been achieved in the country with the new dispensing systems that have managed to increase patient care per day, which implies savings in expenses", Villarte said.

However, in several hospitals, foundations and clinics in Colombia that have included optimal mass dispensing systems, they went from attending 100 to 200 patients a day, which indicates that these people went from spending an average of 20 minutes waiting to receive the medication to only 7 minutes, according to the National Manager of Hospital Projects of Tecnosalud America.

How do dispensing systems work?

Mass dispensing systems work with visual alerts to recognize if the medicine needed is ready for delivery, if it is coming to the hospital, if the product is sold out or if it must be returned by expiration (the commercial houses allow refunds three months before the date of expiration).

Villarte highlighted that in addition to the decrease in costs of patient care in hospitals that deliver medications to their patients on time, there is a greatest saving represented in providing high quality products.

The medications will achieve the expected effect in the patient if they are not expired or if they have an optimal expiration date, which is guaranteed if they have been stored in places, shelves or refrigerators with the aseptic conditions that rule the health standards such as avoid contact with moisture, dust and temperature changes.

"The medicines may not be expired but they may be affected by humidity or other factors that are not taken into account in their storage. Patients consume them but many times their health does not improve. In many cases, this is a consequence of improper storage", Villarte added.

He also explained that there are still types of storage on open shelves, exposed to external contaminants or the use of homemade fridges for refrigeration of products that must be preserved at a certain temperature.

Home refrigerators are made with pieces of oxide lined in rubber that contaminate the medicine, even if it is in its envelope. In addition, these do not preserve a standard temperature in all their compartments.

"Home refrigerators do not maintain equal temperature in all their compartments. We already see it when we take a soda out of the fridge and look in the bottom for the one that is coldest; this does not happen with special refrigerators to keep medicines protected, where they should always be between 2 and 8 degrees", explained the National Manager of Hospital Projects of Tecnosalud America.

This type of technological systems of mass dispensing and refrigeration will be present at Meditech 2018, an event in which the latest trends in furniture, equipment and essential tools for the strengthening of the health sector will be exhibited, along with the development of the XIII International Congress of Hospitals and Clinics and the V International Congress of Dentistry.

 Juan Carlos Giraldo Valencia, general director of the Colombian Association of Hospitals and Clinics (ACHC) said that "during Meditech visitors will access the technologies that have helped the evolution of the industry in Colombia and the world. And it will also help visitors to acquire knowledge and share experiences to strengthen the health sector. "

Marcela Sánchez, project manager of Corferias, said "the event will bring together professionals from the sector, managers of health institutions, government entities, scientific societies, the academy, suppliers of services and specialized products, exhibitors and international speakers in a scenario that will include an experiential space and a pavilion dedicated exclusively to dental medicine".

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