ePMA as first aid: what can we learn from the times of adversity?
Amidst a global crisis, the healthcare industry witnessed a rapid digital transformation. At the epicentre of this shift stood implementations of cutting-edge digital solutions. Healthcare facilities had to swiftly embrace these solutions to safeguard patient care while preserving the well-being of frontline caregivers. One such case was the rapid implementation of the Better Meds ePMA at the Slovenian University Medical Centre Ljubljana.
In the face of unprecedented challenges posed by the pandemic, the largest healthcare institution in Slovenia, The University Medical Centre Ljubljana (UMCL) with 8,500 employees and 2,100 hospital beds, rose to the occasion and achieved resounding success through rapidly implementing the Better Meds ePMA.
Better Meds had first been implemented within the Intensive Therapy Unit in 2017, however, only a handful of staff were familiar with the system. When the numbers of both patients and staff increased during the pandemic, the need to train the staff rapidly arose, as well as the ever-higher demands of patient care.
The pandemic demanded immediate action, and we embraced the challenge with a proactive approach. UMCL adopted new technology and methodology, keeping ahead of the curve. By leveraging a digital platform and a collaborative tool, they fostered seamless communication among teams, enabling real-time feedback and rapid adjustments.
The changes in the hospital included: adapting to new equipment, patient ratios increasing to allow medical students to care for more patients, pharmacists employed for preparing medication, and 450 nurses, students and volunteers quickly trained for the use of the ePMA.
The hospital staff found that users became confident using Better Meds in only 3-5 days and have seen benefits quickly, and at a time when they needed them the most.
These benefits included:• eradicated issues with the legibility of handwriting,
• system alerts regarding medication issues,
• reduced opportunities for mistakes,
• and other efficiency and patient safety improvements.
Although there were some initial hesitations, as UMCL didn’t have a big digitalisation team, and nurses were training other nurses, challenges were swiftly resolved. It took the frontline nurses less than 5 days at most to get other nurses fully operational on Better Meds. One of them, Anja Drobne, a registered nurse at UMCL, remarked how impressive the pace of the roll-out was and how well they collaborated during the time that proved challenging for many.
Once again, this underscores the crucial role of embracing digital medication management systems in shaping the future of healthcare. As we look ahead to new challenges, adaptability and agility will remain paramount in meeting the demands of tomorrow. And while the pandemic may have presented a formidable obstacle, it also provided us with an unparalleled opportunity to enhance collaboration, optimise time use, and improve patient safety.
Throughout the crisis, the healthcare professionals at the UMCL exhibited a united front, effectively communicating and collaborating. This spirit of collaboration demonstrated their collective strength, supporting one another during the most challenging times.
As the world navigates through uncertainties, the integration of digital solutions remains a critical pillar for building a robust and patient-centric future in healthcare.
This case was presented at our Better Meds event in February in London. You can read more about the topics from the event in our report: