Medical Center of Arlington to Streamline Operating Room Workflow with New Anesthesia Cart

The Medical Center of Arlington (MCA) will continue its long history of collaboration with McKesson by testing the newest updates to Anesthesia-Rx TM - an automated anesthesia cart with a touch-screen driven medication dispensing process. The cart complements the technology already in place throughout MCA's surgical areas to further streamline workflow and improve medication management.


"Bringing automation into the operating room was an important step toward meeting our patient safety goals, improving our efficiency and shortening the time a patient is in surgery," says Nicole Bryan, associate administrator at MCA in Arlington, Texas. "We implemented the Anesthesia-Rx solution in August 2009, and we already are experiencing positive results. Anesthesiologists and nurses spend more time at their patients' bedsides and less time completing documentation. We've also expanded our medication storage capability, so doctors and nurses have even better access to the medications they need during a surgery, right in the operating room, where they need them the most."

According to Bryan, MCA anticipates that Anesthesia-Rx will enhance compliance with medication and syringe labeling, ensure the security of medication in the OR suite, and support MCA's "going green" efforts by reducing paper documentation.

The Anesthesia-Rx touch screen operation speeds the dispensing process, with most functions requiring only two touches for completion. The cart's Virtual Pocket TM technology gives users an onscreen visual roadmap showing the location of each medication in a drawer, making it unnecessary to type and search for the information.

Users cannot be locked out of Anesthesia-Rx in the middle of a case, a problem anesthesia providers had noted with other carts. Once a user has logged in and unlocked the cart, a positive locking mechanism ensures the cart remains available until relocked by the same user. In addition, Anesthesia-Rx is the only cart available with an optional label printer that automatically prints a syringe label for each medication to speed the dispensing process.

All medication usage, returns and waste, along with patient charges, are tracked automatically by the system. The pharmacy receives the information via McKesson's Connect-Rx ® software platform, ensuring accountability and improving regulatory compliance.

"With Anesthesia-Rx, everybody wins," said Cathy Nardelli, a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) at Shore Memorial Hospital in Somers Point, N.J., which was part of the cart's initial field testing program. "The pharmacy has better control over the inventory and charges, and I have quick and easy access to all of the medications that I need for every case throughout the day. With the automatic tracking feature, I have less paperwork and don't even have to manually keep track of narcotics. It's a very simple, practical system."

Anesthesia-Rx has the greatest capacity of any cart on the market, requiring the average pharmacy to restock each cart only once per day and ensuring that anesthesiologists and CRNAs have sufficient room for their required medications and supplies. Customizable cart configurations also allow hospitals to meet their specific medication dispensing needs.

"We are extremely excited about MCA's use of our new Anesthesia-Rx automation solution, which extends bar-code medication management into the operating room," said David Souerwine, president, McKesson Automation Solutions. "With Anesthesia-Rx, this integration triggers automatic restocking orders to ensure that anesthesiologists and CRNAs always have the medications they need, while giving the pharmacy necessary visibility into inventory."

More information about McKesson's Anesthesia-Rx solution, including a video and specification sheet, is available at . Information also can be obtained by visiting booth #436 at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, October 17-21, in New Orleans, La.

 About McKesson 

McKesson Corporation, currently ranked 15th on the FORTUNE 500, is a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to helping its customers deliver high-quality healthcare by reducing costs, streamlining processes, and improving the quality and safety of patient care. McKesson has been in continuous operation for more than 175 years, making it the longest-operating company in healthcare today. Over the course of its history, McKesson has grown by providing pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management across the spectrum of care; healthcare information technology for hospitals, physicians, homecare and payors; hospital and retail pharmacy automation; and services for manufacturers and payors designed to improve outcomes for patients. For more information, visit .