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Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2019 Jul 2;76(14):1071-1077. doi: 10.1093/ajhp/zxz097.

Evaluation of gravimetric-based technology-assisted workflow for nonhazardous sterile product preparation.

Author information

University of North Carolina Medical Center, Chapel Hill, NC.
Cleveland Clinic Euclid Hospital, Euclid, OH.
Lifespan Pharmacy, Providence, RI.
UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, and University of North Carolina Medical Center, Chapel Hill, NC.
UK Healthcare, Lexington, KY.
University of North Carolina Medical Center, and UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, Chapel Hill, NC.



The impact of a gravimetric-based technology-assisted workflow (TAWF) system on the nonhazardous compounded sterile product (CSP) error capture rate, production times, and pharmacy staff perceptions of compounding methods was evaluated.


For 2 weeks prior to TAWF implementation, staff used a punch clock to document production times with a volumetric method. Preimplementation error data were captured in a previous study; TAWF software captured error and time data in the postimplementation period. An online staff survey was administered before and 90 days after TAWF implementation to evaluate perceptions of the 2 methods.


The error capture rates were 0.47% in the preimplementation period and 41.48% in the postimplementation period. The median time to prepare CSPs was significantly shorter in the preimplementation period versus the postimplementation period (p < 0.0001). The median time to check CSPs was significantly shorter at both 90 days (p < 0.0001) and 180 days (p = 0.0006) after TAWF implementation. When asked if the current method was the safest and the most accurate method for preparation, staff members' perceptions improved from neutrality to agreement when the TAWF was implemented. Staff members were in agreement that the volumetric method was faster than the gravimetric TAWF method but were neutral as to whether the latter was the preferred compounding method.


The study results indicated that gravimetric-based TAWF preparation of nonhazardous CSPs is slower than manual volumetric preparation but can improve the error capture rate. Staff perceived the gravimetric TAWF method to be the safest and most accurate for producing CSPs.


automation; drug compounding; intravenous infusions; pharmacy; specific gravity; workflow


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