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Columbus Fire Says New Machines Will Help Paramedics Track Drug Dispensations

May 4, 2018

Credit Mike Foley

The Columbus Division of Fire has a new system in place to better track and stock medical supplies and life-saving drugs. 

Mike Foley reports.

Columbus Fire officials say the new Controlled Access Pharmaceutical Dispensers help the division provide the best care possible in a more efficient and transparent way. Deputy Chief of Training Patrick Ferguson explains the benefits.

“It was pretty antiquated what we did before, basically a locker with a padlock on it,” Ferguson said. “Now, if we have a recall on some type of drug we’ll know exactly which machine it was vended out of, the paramedic who dispensed it, and the patients given the drug. So we can follow up and let them know what has to happen since they were given that drug. It just gives us a greater accountability across the board for all of our medications. Our main reason for it is the accountability on the pharmaceuticals, but we can track the high-cost medical supplies as well to see who has them and maintain our inventory.”

Funding for the $12,000 per unit dispensers at 19 of the city’s 33 fire stations comes from the 2017 Capital Improvements Budget.

With medical supplies and life-saving drugs more expensive and in some cases in short supply, the system provides the city the ability to purchase only what’s needed rather than having to always buy in bulk and running the risk of the drugs expiring.