Facing a Nursing Staffing Crisis, Correctional Facilities Seek Solutions to Streamline Medication Management

Swisslog Healthcare addresses staffing concerns and operational inefficiencies in medication management processes through packaging and dispensing technology

Correctional facility clinicians are responsible for the healthcare and medication needs of inmate patients. However, meeting these needs is becoming increasingly challenging. Many correctional facilities are facing inadequate nurse staffing levels and turnover.

To mitigate the financial and operational impact of these challenges, correctional facilities are partnering with Swisslog Healthcare to deliver InSite®, an automated medication packaging and dispensing technology that saves valuable employee time and ensures accuracy in medication administration.

Nursing shortages mean fewer nurses available to care for more patients with less time. At some facilities, this can mean their staffing levels are half or less of what they should be. This can lead to inmates not receiving the care they require, including not being given their medications because there are not enough nurses to staff the medication calls.

The pandemic has increased correctional facility staffing challenges. Facilities have had to make difficult decisions including requiring healthcare workers who may be infected with Covid-19 report to work or risk having insufficient staff numbers to provide daily care to inmates. Due to inadequate staffing, some nurses are required to work 12 hour days, 5 days a week. This negatively affects staff retention, and it is projected to worsen.

Correctional facilities are tackling the staffing crisis by streamlining their medication management processes with automation technology to package and dispense medications on demand. In-facility medication packaging and dispensing systems can help by eliminating time consuming, tedious processes for correctional nursing personnel and freeing up more time for higher value tasks. This enables better adherence to recommended therapies, ultimately leading to a healthier population.

Through in-facility packaging, medications are organized into labeled, individual pouches for each inmate by their location. This not only increases medication accuracy but significantly speeds up the medication administration process, providing a smoother, more organized medication call line. A Swisslog Healthcare customer stated that it previously took 4 nurses, in one facility, 3 hours each to set up their medications and then pass their medications. Now, with the InSite medication packager, they can deliver medications for their entire facility in less than 30 minutes.

“We are hearing from many correctional facilities about their staffing concerns,” says Mike Carmody, Vice President of Long-Term Care at Swisslog Healthcare. “These challenges are demonstrating how automated medication packaging and dispensing is a must-have technology to ensure accuracy and efficiency in their medication management process.”

A leading provider of in-facility packaging and dispensing systems, Swisslog Healthcare offers medication automation solutions to correctional facilities enabling them to simplify medication administration, provide down-to-the-dose accountability, reduce waste and decrease avoidable drug spend. Swisslog Healthcare’s InSite® In-Facility Medication Packaging and Dispensing System transforms the process of medication dispensing from a tedious, error prone set of tasks to an efficient, automated workflow.

Correctional health professionals can see a demonstration of the InSite System in the Swisslog Healthcare booth at the Fall National Commission on Correctional Health Care Conference – held October 31 – November 2 in Chicago, IL.

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