News Feature | December 7, 2016

Technological Innovations Keep Workers Safe While Compounding Hazardous Materials

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Hazardous Materials Placards & Orange Panels

Equashield introduces new robot with CSTD to protect workers preparing chemo drugs.

IV compounding, especially of chemotherapy drugs, poses a serious safety hazard to hospital workers if not done properly. This is particularly difficult when industry experts still have not developed clear standards for protection, as Health IT Outcomes reported. That means automation of the process can not only simplify the workflow, but also minimize exposure of hospital staff to potentially dangerous materials and help eliminate medication errors and boost patient outcomes.

A recent Baxa white paper revealed hospital pharmacies are turning to IV room automation technology in order to improve patient safety, reduce costs, and optimize the use of pharmacy personnel. Employing robotic systems also reduce the chance of human error in dosing and compounding of medications, reduce the contamination of doses, and provide a significant reduction in labor hours.

Now, Equashield has announced the release of the Equashield® Pro, a drug compounding robot that includes a Closed System Transfer Device (CSTD) that provides protection of hospital employees while preparing hazardous chemotherapy drugs. The new robotic compounder also uses proprietary image processing algorithms to help eliminate medication errors and significantly speeds up the compounding process, allowing the completion of an entire day’s work in just one hour.

“The throughput capacities of current compounding robots and their ability to prevent contamination by hazardous drugs is near its peak efficiency, defined — and limited — by the robotic ‘arms’ mimicking dose preparation with a needle and syringe,” explained Marino Kriheli, founder of Equashield.

The industry has accepted that CSTDs were created to prevent deficiencies that exist when compounding with needles and syringes, including the escape of hazardous drug via leakage, aerosol, and vapor. “Equashield Pro also means that healthcare workers are now protected by Equashield CSTDs from the compounding stage all the way through the administration of these drugs to patients, in-line with the upcoming USP800 guidelines,” continued Kriheli.