Fingerprint technology in use at hospital pharmacy

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High tech fingerprinting security is being used to access a drugs cabinet at the Conquest Hospital.

The new drugs cabinet has all the medicines required by A&E staff in a computer controlled user ID and fingerprint access security system.

It allows only the correct medicine required by a doctor or nurse to be dispensed. The cabinet is linked by computer to the pharmacy to ensure stock levels are maintained. Until now A&E staff have had to order all of their own medicines and then put the stock away themselves. The introduction of these new cabinets means staff no longer hunting for the key within the department to access to the drugs cabinet and the pharmacy being able to keep the drugs cabinet fully stocked with all the correct up to date medicines.

James Flaherty, senior charge nurse A&E, said: “This new drugs cabinet with its James Bond style fingertip security pad helps staff have access to the correct medicines for patients a lot quicker than in the past.

Importantly it will help free up nursing time to spend more with patients. It also has additional features to monitor and record the temperature at which we store our medicines, help to minimise any medicine errors and provide an itemised account of what drugs have been accessed and by whom.” Amanda Isted, pharmacy operations manager, said: “We believe this will all save a huge amount of nursing resource to free them up to care for patients, medicines will be much easier to find because when a nurse asks for a particular item a light on the cabinet will indicate where that item is and essential medicines should never run out because pharmacy will be alerted in good time.”