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Am J Hosp Pharm. 1983 Jun;40(6):979-81.

Effect of decentralized computer order entry on medication turnaround time.


The medication order turnaround times of two drug-distribution systems in the same hospital using either centralized or decentralized computer order entry were compared. A decentralized medication order entry satellite pharmacy equipped with a pharmacy computer terminal and a small supply of medications typically requested to be administered without delay was implemented on one floor of a 518-bed hospital. Pharmacist-verified medication orders for five of the hospital's 22 nursing units were entered into the satellite computer terminal and transmitted to the central pharmacy for processing. Initial doses of medication dispensed from the satellite's drug supply were noted in the central pharmacy. Pharmacy personnel recorded time they spent in various steps of the medication delivery cycle for routine medication orders handled by the decentralized pharmacy. The same measurements were made for the centralized pharmacy system before implementation of the pharmacy satellite. The mean turnaround time for routine medication orders in the decentralized system was 79.5 minutes, which was 52% less than that of the centralized system (167.3 minutes). Decentralized computer order entry appears to be an effective way of decreasing turnaround time for routine medication orders.

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