UnityPoint Health awards Omnicell 10-year medical automation contract

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UnityPoint Health has awarded Omnicell a 10-year sole source contract as its provider of medication automation, central pharmacy automation and analytics software across 15 of its facilities.

UnityPoint Health says it expects Omnicell’s solutions to advance the highest standards of patient safety and security while optimizing pharmacist, nurse and anesthesiologist workflows.

Two features offered by Omnicell are the Omnicell Unity enterprise platform, which gives health systems visibility across multiple Omnicell systems, and interoperability with the Epic electronic health record system, which is used by UnityPoint Health. Installation is expected to be completed by the end of the year. 

In identifying a pharmacy automation and analytics provider, UnityPoint says it was looking for technology that was straightforward and user-friendly, but equally impactful in supporting patient safety and workflow goals.

The collaborative selection process involved hands-on demonstrations and extensive internal discussions among hospital leadership, pharmacists, anesthesiologists and nurses.

After speaking with neighboring health facilities in Iowa and nearby states currently using Omnicell systems, UnityPoint determined that Omnicell’s technology supports all crucial goals for their automation upgrade.

As opposed to simply replacing existing hardware, Omnicell offered solutions for process improvement and provides the following features:

  • Systems that are interoperable with existing hospital technology for streamlined clinical workflows;
  • Enhanced security in medication storage, supported by steel construction as well as analytics for detecting drug diversion; and
  • Patient safety enhancements such as guiding lights to help prevent medication errors.

“Selecting the right partner was a rigorous team process across the UnityPoint Health system,” says Troy Martens, system project lead, UnityPoint Health and chief operating officer, UnityPoint Health – Fort Dodge.

“Through the evaluation process our team worked to choose a strong partner that would position us to continue to advance efficiency, patient safety, and cost effectiveness with medication dispensing and inventory management and Omnicell was the best fit.”

Brian Benson and Pat Thies, co-project sponsors, UnityPoint Health, say in a joint statement: “Omnicell’s willingness to listen to the end user and take our suggestions and recommendations to make things better for our patients was important in our decision and process.

“Their willingness to incorporate these into their product solutions for the future will allow us to provide our customers with increased customization options.”

J. Christopher Drew, president, North American automation and analytics for Omnicell, says: “The opportunity for Omnicell to partner with a health system the size of UnityPoint Health is an exciting prospect as we look at expanding our presence significantly in the state of Iowa.

“We view our customers as our partners and we are eager to work with the team at UnityPoint to help them expand their reach throughout the continuum of care while exploring how best to help improve workflow efficiency for their staff.”