A decent approach to patient safety is vital for healthcare providers in order to reduce the number of errors and avoidable incidents. The Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare & Sport considers patient safety a key priority. The question is: how to improve patient safety without a huge cost increase? The answer lies in smart innovation.
The Netherlands is a frontrunner when it comes to innovations to improve patient safety. These innovations keep rising healthcare costs in check and empower patients to look out for their own safety.
An example comes from Global Factories. Founded in 2004, they were the first company in the world to offer products which repack medicine and vitamines and take over the verification process. Global Factories is now a leading company in pharmacy automation for pharmacies and care providers in 30 countries.
Why are they looking forward to meeting Colombian healthcare specialists? “The Colombian and Dutch healthcare systems are quite similar, so there is an opportunity to learn from each other,” says mr. Marco de Jong, Business Development Director at Global Factories.
“For health insurance companies in Colombia, our repacking solutions are interesting because they lower the risk of readmittance to hospitals, thus reducing healthcare costs drasticallly. This is achieved through personalized dosages and increased adherence. ”
“It would be valuable addition to premium insurance programs in Colombia. As I understood, repacking medication is something that is not yet the norm in Colombia. When Colombian patients go to the pharmacy, they receive the medicine in the original boxes. For many patients, especially those with a chronic condition, there is a long waiting time at the pharmacies. That is a motive for us to offer our solution. People can then have their medicines sent home safely. The right doses are repacked into personalized blistercards, simplifying the intake for the patient.”
This approach is also useful in order to prevent medicine waste, Mr. Marco de Jong says. “A recent report showed that here in The Netherlands, at least a hundred million of euros’ worth of unused medicines are thrown away. Sometimes, people are obliged to take certain combinations of drugs, while they do not use all of it. Some people take this back to the pharmacy, some throw it away. The enormous value of these meds is flushed down the toilet. Also, it is a burden on the environment.”
“Our repacking solution means people receive the medicine or vitamins they need, in exactly the right frequency. Family members and caregivers can monitor their intake remotely. This reduces waste, increases adherence, and prevents readmittance, thus lowering healthcare costs.”
“Because of COVID-19, there is an increasing demand for vitamins to boost the immune system,” Mr. Marco de Jong elaborates. “We then realized our machines are also suitable for repacking vitamins. Dispensed according to people’s preferences. If you take multiple vitamins every day, it is very practical and hygienic to have them conveniently repacked by our packing robot, fully automatically. This application is an ideal way for Colombian healthcare providers to become familiar with our approach, and to see how the verification process works, with the algorithm checking whether what is packaged corresponds with what was prescribed.”
“This verification is crucial. The robot meets the highest safety standards and leaves no room for human error. Because it takes away the manual labour, the pharmaceutical professional can dedicate more time to more important tasks.”
Smart innovations like Global Factories’ repacking solutions can improve patient safety in Colombia while reducing healthcare expenditure.