Many hospitals have integrated drug dispensing robots into their delivery programs in order to maximize safety, and increase efficiency. However, recent screenings at a North Carolina hospital found that the hospital’s drug dispenser was contaminated with a particularly dangerous strain of bacteria.
In the hospitals that use these robotic drug dispensers, the machine is integrated into the hospital’s drug administration system. A doctor’s prescription data is sent to the robot, which then delivers the prescribed amount of medication to the ward, and the patient. These dispensers have increased efficiency at many of these hospitals that use the units.
However recently, staff members at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina, who were conducting a routine screening of the robotic drug dispenser, were shocked to find contamination by the deadly Bacillus cereus organism. This is a particularly dangerous strain of bacteria that can cause serious food borne illnesses. Hawaii medical malpractice lawyers find that these organisms are also linked to severe skin infections, that are resistant to many antibiotics. In most cases, patients recover from a Bacillus cereus-related food borne illness. However, in some cases, the bacterial infection can be fatal.
Fortunately, this particular contamination of the dispenser did not result in any infections in the hospital. However, if the contamination had not been discovered in time, it would have been a different story.
When the hospital staff members investigated the contamination, they found that the contamination was the result of inadequate cleaning of the washing station and tubing. The manufacturer’s recommendations for the robotic drug dispenser did not include proper instructions on cleaning up the washing station, and hence, the contamination.
The researchers recommend that even the medications that are prepared by these dispensers be screened in order to eliminate any chance of contaminated medications being delivered to patients.