Nursing perception of the impact of automated dispensing cabinets on patient safety and ergonomics in a teaching health care center

J Pharm Pract. 2014 Apr;27(2):150-7. doi: 10.1177/0897190013507082. Epub 2013 Oct 15.


Purpose: To evaluate how nursing staff felt about the impact of automated dispensing cabinets (ADCs) on the safe delivery of health care and workplace ergonomics. To identify the main issues involved in the use of this technology and to describe the corrective measures implemented.

Methods: Cross-sectional descriptive study with quantitative and qualitative components. A questionnaire that consisted of 33 statements about ADC was distributed from May 24 to June 3, 2011.

Results: A total of 172 (46%) of 375 nurses completed the questionnaire. Nursing staff considered the introduction of ADC made their work easier (level of agreement of 90%), helped to safely provide patients with care (91%), and helped to reduce medication incidents/accidents (81%). Nursing staff was particularly satisfied by the narcotic drugs management with the ADCs. Nursing staff were not satisfied with the additional delays in the preparation and administration of a medication dose and the inability to prevent a medication from being administered when stopped on the medication administration record (48%).

Conclusion: The nursing staff members were satisfied with the use of ADC and believed it made their work easier, promoted safe patient care, and were perceived to reduce medication incidents/accidents.

Keywords: automated dispensing cabinets; focus group; hospital medication systems; nurses/midwives/nursing staff; perception/satisfaction.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ergonomics / methods
  • Ergonomics / standards*
  • Hospitals, Teaching / methods
  • Hospitals, Teaching / standards*
  • Humans
  • Medication Errors / prevention & control
  • Medication Systems, Hospital / standards*
  • Nurse's Role*
  • Patient Safety / standards*
  • Pharmacy Service, Hospital / methods
  • Pharmacy Service, Hospital / standards
  • Surveys and Questionnaires