Up Close: Chemotherapy mixing system is designed for patients’ safety
What happens when your doctor prescribes an infusion?
The prescription order travels electronically to the pharmacy team. When you arrive for your scheduled infusion, your nurse gets you ready while your medication is prepared by a pharmacy technician.
The Upstate Cancer Center uses a system called Pyxis IV Prep for the mixing of cancer treatments. “The system adds many layers of safety to our chemotherapy mixing and dispensing process,” says Andrew Burgdorf, PharmD, senior clinical pharmacist.
Each step of the mixing process relies on “real-time, weight-based gravimetric verification.” That means pictures are taken and weights measured at every step. Medications have bar codes, so as technicians scan the codes during preparation, the pharmacy inventory automatically adjusts.
After the technician finishes mixing your chemotherapy infusion, a pharmacist reviews the records. Then the infusion is ready for you.
Pyxis IV Prep means every technician mixes medications in exactly the same way. The overall process takes a bit more time. Burgdorf says it’s worth it to increase patient safety.