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Title An Evaluation of a Microcomputer in Reducing the Preparation Time of Parenteral Nutrition Solutions
Author(s) Darryl S. Rich, PharmD; Charles M. Karnack, PharmD; and Louis P. Jeffrey, ScD
Source Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, Vol. 6, No. 1, Pages 71-75
Publication Date Jan./Feb. 1982
Abstract A microcomputer was evaluated in reducing the activities of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in processing orders for parenteral nutrition (PN) solutions. A program in Basic was developed for a Radio Shack TRS-80 microcomputer. The program maintains a patient profile, prints a label, generates a worksheet for the preparation of solutions, and provides statistical data for the Pharmacy Nutritional Support Service. A direct time study by intensive samplings was performed on 24 patients utilizing 51 units of PN solution. The computerized method was compared to the current manual method for processing PN orders. The computerized method significantly reduced the processing time (p < 0.001), saving an average of 2.61 minutes/order. This represented 41.3% of the manual processing time. The time savings was greater when two or more units per patient were ordered (3.37 minutes/order) when compared to patients who received only one unit of PN (0.76 minutes/order). At Rhode Island Hospital, this would result in a savings in time of 300 to 400 hours annually. The authors concluded that a microcomputer is a valuable addition to a nutritional support service. In addtion, it should provide the pharmacist with substantially more time to engage in activities related to the care of patients receiving PN solutions.

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