Impact of automated drug dispensing system on patient safety

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Majed Falah Alanazi
Majed Ibrahim Shahein
Hamad Mohammed Alsharif
Saif Mohammed Alotaibi
Abdulsalam Owaidh Alanazi
Ahmed Obaidallah Alanazi
Umar Abdolah Alharbe
Hanad S.S. Almfalh
Palanisamy Amirthalingam
Ahmed Mohsen Hamdan
Vinoth Prabhu Veeramani
Shahul Hameed Pakkir Mohamed
Mostafa A. Sayed Ali


Drug dispensing, Pharmacist, Perception, Patient safety, Factor analysis


Objectives: Automated drug dispensing system (ADDs) is an emerging technology positively impacts drug dispensing efficiency by minimizing medication errors. However, the pharmacist perception of the impact of ADDs on patient safety is not well-established. This cross-sectional observational study aimed to evaluate the dispensing practice and pharmacist perception of ADDs towards patient safety through a validated questionnaire. Methods: A selfdesigned questionnaire was validated and the pharmacist perception of dispensing practice was compared between two hospitals adopting ADDs and traditional drug dispensing system (TDDs). Results: The developed questionnaire had an excellent internal consistency (both Cronbach’s α and McDonald’s ω coefficients were >0.9). Factor analysis retained three significant factors (subscales) that explained pharmacist perception of dispensing system, dispensing practice, and patient counseling (p<0.001 for each factor). The average number of prescriptions dispensed per day, drugs contained in each prescription, average time for labeling each prescription and inventory management were significantly varied between ADDs and TDDs (p=0.027, 0.013 0.044 and 0.004, respectively). The perception of pharmacists using ADDs on three domains were higher than the TDDs. The pharmacists in ADDs agreed that they had enough time to review the medications before dispensing than TDDs and this difference was found to be statistically significant (p=0.028). Conclusions: ADDs was highly effective in improving dispensing practice and medication review; however, the pharmacists need to emphasize the importance of ADDs to translate the pharmacists’ freed-time towards patient care.

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