White River Medical Center Uses Meta Pharmacy System to Support Distance Medication Dispensing

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Hospital 35 miles away takes advantage of medication safety technologies

Meta, a supplier of comprehensive medication safety information systems for the healthcare industry, announced today that White River Medical Center (WRMC), located in Batesville, AR, is using its medication information safety system to support remote automated dispensing machines at Stone County Medical Center (SCMC), located 35 miles from the White River facility. Both hospitals are part of the White River Health System.

This remote link allows WRMC pharmacists to provide remote medication order entry and real time review of medication orders for appropriateness of doses, as well as screening for medication allergies and drug-drug interactions. Although 35 miles away, SCMC functions as a virtual nursing unit of WRMC, allowing nurses at SCMC immediate access to medications in their dispensing machines. Two goals are achieved with this arrangement - orders for every patient are reviewed and verified by a pharmacist and nurses have access to medications without using an antiquated medication cart fill each day.

"Implementation of this unique technology has had a significant impact on patient care through the reduction of medication errors, adverse drug reactions and drug-drug interactions," explained Jody Smotherman, PharmD, Co-director of Pharmacy Services at White River Medical Center. "It has also produced improvements in employee and nursing job satisfaction as well as improved drug charge capture. A major unexpected benefit was realized in February of 2008 when an F-3 tornado struck Mountain View, destroyed part of SCMC and forced the closing of the pharmacy area. Without our remote order entry and automated dispensing machines, there would have been no access to medications after the storm."

"Jody's unique concept is an excellent example of how 'thinking outside the box' can overcome many of the challenges that face today's healthcare delivery systems," remarked Sal Barcia, CEO of Meta. "He conceived a way to improve medication dispensing and patient safety using the technology that was available to him. It is our understanding that WRMC and SCMC are the first hospitals in the state of Arkansas to deploy remote order entry. We are pleased that our system has been so effective in reducing medication errors and improving outcomes in the state."

About White River Health System
White River Health System is a not-for-profit, multi-facility healthcare organization serving residents of North Central Arkansas. The system includes two hospitals, numerous medical clinics, physician offices, outpatient therapy centers, long-term care facilities, two home health agencies, hospice, and a home medical equipment company. White River Health System is a major employer in the region with more than 1,300 employees. As a not-for-profit healthcare system, revenues generated over expenses are reinvested into healthcare technology, facility improvements and new clinical services.

About Meta
For nearly 20 years, Meta (http://www.metapharmacy.com) has been developing software solutions that meet the needs and exceed the expectations of the healthcare industry by providing innovative and comprehensive clinical information solutions to hospitals and other healthcare enterprises. Organizations seeking excellent products backed by highly motivated and committed support have chosen Meta for the best solutions at reasonable costs. For more information, contact Meta at (800) 768-1920.

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Holly Meyer
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