Automated drug dispensing systems in the intensive care unit: A financial analysis

Claire Chapuis, Pierrick Bedouch, Maxime Detavernier, Michel Durand, Gilles Francony, Pierre Lavagne, Luc Foroni, Pierre Albaladejo, Benoit Allenet, Jean Francois Payen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Introduction: To evaluate the economic impact of automated-drug dispensing systems (ADS) in surgical intensive care units (ICUs). A financial analysis was conducted in three adult ICUs of one university hospital, where ADS were implemented, one in each unit, to replace the traditional floor stock system. Method: Costs were estimated before and after implementation of the ADS on the basis of floor stock inventories, expired drugs, and time spent by nurses and pharmacy technicians on medication-related work activities. A financial analysis was conducted that included operating cash flows, investment cash flows, global cash flow and net present value. Results: After ADS implementation, nurses spent less time on medication-related activities with an average of 14.7 hours saved per day/33 beds. Pharmacy technicians spent more time on floor-stock activities with an average of 3.5 additional hours per day across the three ICUs. The cost of drug storage was reduced by 44,298 and the cost of expired drugs was reduced by 14,772 per year across the three ICUs. Five years after the initial investment, the global cash flow was 148,229 and the net present value of the project was positive by 510,404. Conclusion: The financial modeling of the ADS implementation in three ICUs showed a high return on investment for the hospital. Medication-related costs and nursing time dedicated to medications are reduced with ADS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number318
JournalCritical Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 9 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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