Prepare Your Medical Personnel for COVID-19 with Controlled Dispensing Solutions for EMS and Pharmaceuticals

IDS’ UCapIt allows your EMS and medical personnel to safely and securely access emergency medical supplies, narcotics, and life saving medical equipment

As COVID-19 continues to spread, it is essential to provide EMS, first responders, and hospital personnel with PPE supplies and processes to best protect themselves while not compromising the ability to provide life-saving medical treatment to patients when every second counts. This is especially important as EMS agencies, fire stations, hospitals and other critical care medical organizations’ resources are being strained due to the influx in demand related to surging numbers of COVID-19 patients. 

As a part of protecting personnel from the risk of exposure or transmission to COVID-19, it is more important now than ever before to ensure that medical supplies are being handled by as few people as possible.  While it is impossible to eliminate face-to-face interactions when providing emergency medical treatment to patients, it is possible to limit face-to-face interactions internally and reduce the handling of critical supplies.

Why is this so critical?  According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the lifespan of the Coronavirus can vary, based on different surfaces and can last anywhere from 30 minutes to three days. 

  • Airborne: 30 minutes to 3 hours
  • Cardboard: 24 hours
  • Stainless Steel: 2 days
  • Plastic: 3 days  

Intelligent Dispensing Solutions provides controlled dispensing solutions, specifically for EMS, PPE and pharmaceuticals through its brand UCapIt.  UCapIt offers a contactless transaction experience through controlled dispensing to allow EMS staff, hospital personnel and first responders to easily access emergency medical supplies without direct, face-to-face interaction with other staff members.

Today agencies are tasked with ensuring they have an urgent plan of action regarding EMS narcotics in place while being faced with the fear of a drug shortage and PPE shortages. The need for inventory management is more crucial than ever before. With COVID-19 having up to a three-day lifespan on supplies, the above CDC guidelines have prompted many emergency medical and health care organizations to re-evaluate the use of supply closets as a means to store and access critical supplies.  

Unlike open supply closets, in which multiple staff members can access and return EMS supplies and medical equipment, controlled dispensing through UCapIt’s dispensers and supply lockers control which staff members have access to what items. Plus, the staff member’s credentials must be verified for access before the supply is dispensed and the employee is able to touch the item.  This verification is especially important for controlled substances and provides a method for organizations to comply with FDA and DEA regulations.  

Conversely, in an open supply closet setting, many people before you may have picked up medical disposables and put it back on the shelf.  With controlled dispensing, your supplies are at a much lower risk of contamination by being handled by fewer individuals and you don’t have to worry about unauthorized users accessing controlled substances.

Another advantage to IDS’ UCapIt solution is the ability to limit access to products for a certain period of time to ensure that any virus transfer or contamination risk is eliminated. For instance, a staff member can fill the supply dispenser or locker and then place the selection or compartment out of service until a specified date/time.  Plus, IDS supply dispensers offer first-in-first-out loading (FIFO). This ensures the newest supplies loaded into the machine will not be dispensed until the older supplies in that selection have been dispensed, which further reduces any risks due to transfer on the supplies.  

In addition, the FIFO loading reduces costs due to expired supplies such as narcotics.  In fact, many of UCapIt’s customers have experienced a decrease in loss of expired products of more than 30% in the first year of implementation. For many fire stations, hospital personnel and EMS organizations, this equates to big dollars that can be reallocated to other priorities and initiatives within the organization.

“With the UCapIt system, we are able to have a tighter inventory control on our medications, minimize the loss through the expiration of the medication, and limit the amount of downtime and out of service time our units encompassed with restocking,” said Dan Lottes of Washington DC Fire/EMS.

Another advantage of IDS’ UCapIt solution is the real-time data and reporting capability through its proprietary iQ Technology software.  iQ Technology allows administrators to track who accessed what item(s), when they accessed the item(s), and the quantity of the item they accessed.  This chain of custody is critical when identifying and mitigating risks in a crisis situation, as well as is useful on an inventory management basis during normal operating circumstances.

“The cost reduction we realized once we had implemented IDS’ UCapIt solution is a big benefit to our agency.  Plus, we receive notifications for the web service that allows us to track all of our equipment, certifications, and product in real-time. I would recommend UCapIt to other agencies that are looking to reduce costs and efficiently increase their inventory tracking capabilities,” said Rich Tvelia, EMT-CC with Mastic Beach Ambulance Company. 

Having a solution in place to manage and track inventory, reduces an agency’s risk and also protects your most critical assets – your staff members.  It is these individuals that are on the front lines of combating crises such as the global pandemic we are currently facing.  

UCapIt can help.  As you are evaluating and initiating your response plan, we want to help you keep your staff members safe, while providing a solution that reduces product loss due to expiration and provides compliance with FDA and DEA regulations.

For more information about UCapIt’s EMS and pharmaceutical vending machines, contact Intelligent Dispensing Solutions at 1-855-945-0789.

Inventory Management

Intelligent Dispensing Solutions takes pride in being leaders in serving companies manage their inventory. We are working to develop the best software and hardware to help all types of organizations save money.

“What we do at IDS is: How can we help with managing your operations?” said IDS VP of Sale John Van Horn. “So we put our efforts into our software from a managing perspective. Managing what you have and that could vary.”

Our inventory management and control solutions are designed to save you time and money. IDS has designed many successful applications to assist businesses, EMS, schools and hospitals securely dispense important supplies. Our applications are used to track supplies, sell products and control dispensing.

Companies spend a great deal of money either tracking inventory or losing money from “lost” invent. IDS has inventory management and control solutions that are easy, effective and automated so supplies and inventory can get in the hands of those they were intended for when they need it. We understand that for any organization it’s about the money.

“Historically 30% has been saved by using our equipment,” said Van Horn.

IDS is committed to working with our clients to create money saving solutions that allow them to spend time and money on responsibilities other than inventory control. Call us today at 1-877-771-4446 to learn how we can help you.

Vending Machines Aren’t Just for Snacks

                  It is most common for people to associate vending machines as only serving food and drinks. However, more and more we are seeing vending machines that have a variety of uses besides dispensing food. Businesses are understanding the value of convenience and the ease with which products can be stored and delivered in vending machines. Vending machines also provide a secure location for items and easy tracking and inventory information.

                  Companies are learning that vending machines help them get their products in front of their possible customers sooner. A recent Small Business Trends article titled “Vending Machines Aren’t Just for Snacks Anymore” noted that companies are selling jackets and headphones out of electronics vending machines in airports. Vending machines help companies go to their customers rather than on relying their customers coming to them. In addition to airports, schools and universities are becoming popular places to place non-traditional vending machines.  These machines can help travelers that are missing something they want for their trip or a student who needs a piece of technology for class.  Fitness centers are also great places to reach a target market through automated dispensing. Just like in traditional snack vending where location is important and a business profits when they can take their product to where people interested in their product already are.

iVendTech Satellite Machine

                  Organizations are also learning how vending machines are efficient and cost effective ways to get necessary supplies to their own employees. Businesses can use vending machines to track supplies, so they know exactly who is taking the supplies, and can limit how many workers can take. Employees can also take supplies 24/7 and do not need to wait on anyone else to access what they need. Intelligent Dispensing Solutions had been very successful helping hospitals dispense and sort their scrubs and other medical supplies. IDS also has helped fire departments track and dispense emergency supplies. Improved inventory management with vending machines is helping organizations save money and better serve their workers.

             We will let other companies get customers snacks and drink. We are proud to be on the cutting edge of automated inventory management systems helping businesses save time and money. Helping companies develop automated retail plans to reach their target market is important to us. Intelligent Dispensing Solutions is excited about the future of vending and the growing awareness and opportunities to vend non-food items. Do you have an idea of something you would like to vend but need helping making it happen? Contact us today at 1-877-771-4446. We would love to learn how we can serve you!

IDS New Web Service Features

Intelligent Dispensing Solutions is excited to announce new web service features that will enhance reporting and accountability allowing you to further streamline administration costs. The new features include: Supply Room, Electronic Checklists and Ambulance Stock Inspection Sheets as well as Transaction Reporting.

Supply Room

Supply Room makes sure that you always have the items needed to restock your machine.  With Supply Room you can set critical alert level and par levels for items that are ready to be stocked in your IDS UCapit machine(s) and items that will remain stocked on the shelf. You can be alerted when you need to reorder products and if you need to restock products. Soon this service feature will include the ability to run purchase orders based on your supply levels in both machine and supply room.

Electronic Checklists and Ambulance Stock Inspection Sheets

Electronic Checklists and Ambulance Stock Inspection Sheets provide the ability to better manage tasks by creating your own checklist. The checklists tracks who completed a task and when. A completed task can be reported automatically by sending an email to the designated crew member. The completed checklist is easy to share with those on your team as well.

Electronic Checklists and Ambulance Stock Inspection Sheets

Electronic Checklists and Ambulance Stock Inspection Sheets provide the ability to better manage tasks by creating your own checklist. The checklists tracks who completed a task and when. A completed task can be reported automatically by sending an email to the designated crew member. The completed checklist is easy to share with those on your team as well.

Transaction Reporting

In the Transaction Reporting feature the allocation displays automatically when a report in run. For example, if you are prompting your crew members to enter the Run Number and Unit Number it will automatically display with the individual transaction record without having the change the account setting. Also, when you check the ‘Customize Columns’ box, further options for returning the data you want appears. You can now make selections for displaying the Lot Number and Expiration Dates. This means that the individual Lot Number and Expiration Date will display for each individual product that has been dispensed. Remember that any time you run a particular query, you can automate it.

IDS Advancing Technology

IDS expects to continue improving our solutions in order to provide your organization with increased value. Please contact us to schedule an online demo on these new web service features or have general questions about optimizing your use of the IDS UCapIt solution.

Customer Spotlight: Columbus Fire Division

Columbus Fire Division

This month, we want to highlight our customer, the City of Columbus Division of Fire (“Columbus Fire”).

In an effort to cut down on waste and human error and improve tracking of the life-saving medications that fire paramedics use every day, Columbus Fire has incorporated the use of IDS’ UCapIt Controlled Medical Supply Dispensing Pharmaceutical machines.

IDS machines have been strategically installed in 18 of the city’s 34 fire stations and the City is hoping to install more machines as the system saves the City more money, says Columbus Fire Chief, Kevin O’Connor.

The UCapIt system catalogs the drugs stored inside, tracks their expiration dates to avoid dispensing expired products, and alerts supervisors if the department is running low on any drugs ultimately reducing the amount of narcotics lost to expiration.

“The UCapIt solution gives us a greater accountability across the board for all of our medications,” said Patrick Ferguson, deputy chief of training for the division. The cloud-based tracking system “tells us what machine it was vended out of and the paramedic that took it out of the machine.”

The convenience of 24/7 real-time data featured in our medical vending machines is a huge asset to Columbus Fire. “Instead of logistics people running from station to station to verify quantity, we can just check that online,” Assistant Chief Jim Davis said.

Because the department ordered drugs in bulk every month, before implementing IDS’ solution more times than not they would order too much to avoid the possibility of having a dangerously low inventory. Now, firefighters can order drugs in smaller quantities more frequently, restocking drugs based on system tracking of inventory.

“This way the supplies get utilized before the expiration date,” O’Connor said.

Also, previously, the department relied on sign-in sheets and locked storage rooms to store drugs. With the new system, Davis said, “we can see who is taking what out. If somebody takes four (of a certain medication) we can ask them why they took four.”

The neighboring Jackson Township, Westerville and Grove City Fire Departments already utilize UCapIt.

For more information about our vending machines, visit www.intelligentdispensingsolutions.com.

The Hidden Cost of Cheap Machines

You may be tempted to buy an inexpensive dispensing machine as a way to cut costs and bulk up your bottom line, but you’ll probably want to rethink this. Though they are tempting, cheap vending machines come with many hidden costs.

Most of these dispensing machines have extremely limited capabilities and limited  upgrade options making them cost more than they are actually worth. Helix machines (traditional candy bar-type dispensers with a coil screw holding the product) are designed for low-SKU count, high-turnover applications. These machines work well in applications where the facility is using a high-volume of few products but won’t work well for most other applications such as manufacturing floors or EMS facilities that generally require high SKU and low volume machines. Cost-per-bin of helix machines is significantly higher than industry leading machines due to low-SKU count capabilities. In short, if you are looking for a machine that will help you  distribute a variety of product, this isn’t it.

Additionally,  low cost machines have some generally unknown fees and costs. Most maintenance, repair and operations supplies have to be repackaged in order to work in a low cost machine. This can only be done manually and can be incredibly labor intensive!

Most importantly, these machines are typically seriously lacking from a software standpoint.

Technological capabilities helix machines are missing include:

  • First-In, First-Out technology
  • Inventory algorithms for their replenishment systems
  • Easy integration into suppliers’ backend ERP systems
  • Managing both consigned inventory and end user owner inventory
  • They rely on remotely hosted web servers and so have limited onboard memory as well as potential to crash when internet connection is lost

The distributors selling these cheap dispensing machines don’t inform customers about these high costs. Instead, they just pass buyers along to their price per unit for their tools and supplies.

On the other hand, industry leaders in distribution are moving rapidly to more intelligent supply vending machines in order to keep their total costs globally competitive.

When you automate inventory management with an intelligent dispensing solution, you can replicate best practices and standardize business processes across your entire organization. The flexibility of our equipment along with iQ Technology offers an ideal asset management solution across almost any industry or application.  Equip your organization with the most seamless, technologically advanced inventory tracking system in the world.

Automated dispensing will lower your inventory costs and improve productivity while ultimately improving your organization’s bottom line.

For more information about our vending machines, visit www.intelligentdispensingsolutions.com.

Every Moment Matters

pharmaceutical vending

Getting What You Need When You Need It

Every moment matters in the medical field. The medical industry is growing and evolving and it’s now easier than ever for healthcare workers to get the medical supplies they need, when they need them.ESM and pharmaceutical vending machines are a game-changer for healthcare workers requiring access to care critical narcotics and EMS supplies.. Being both cost and time-saving solutions, these machines allow healthcare workers to access EMS and narcotics in compliance with access dual verification access protocol 24/7 which can be critical for the timeliness of patient care.

Solving Inventory Management Issues One Machine At A Time

One of the greatest challenges that today’s EMS professionals and pharmaceutical managers face is medical product management and security. IDS is putting the control back into your hands by providing a safer, smarter, and more secure way to accurately assess and track your employee’s usage.

The best way to reduce medical supply costs has little to do with the actual supplies themselves, but rather how they are managed. Through iQ Technology, our supply dispensers and supply lockers maintain controlled access to pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, meticulously track inventory, and allow instant access to all records.

Isn’t it time to take control of your EMS and narcotics inventory while improving the level of care you provide to your patients?  Let IDS help you with your medical product management by controlling, tracking, and dispensing narcotics and medical supplies with an EMS and Pharmaceutical vending machine.

For more information about our pharmaceutical and EMS vending machines, visit www.intelligentdispensingsolutions.com.

Large Item Dispensing Revolutionized

cap12locker1

Emergency medical professionals regularly need access to large costly items that an entire team shares. Oxygen tanks, medical toolkits, and emergency medical devices are all very costly, and improper storage of these items can wreak havoc on already financially strapped organizations.

The UCapIt locker and dispensing system handles large or bulky items that need to be check out and checked back in. We’ve heard from emergency medical professionals from across the nation, the need to have a central access point for all critical medical devices is unanimous across the board. That’s why we developed the locker dispensing system to help medical professionals keep track of expensive tools and equipment, that is easily accessed by those who are trained and qualified to use such devices.

Our CAP 12-Door Equipment Locker Features:

Adjustable Back Panels – Size to fit each compartment for varying product depths.

LED Lighting – High visibility and high efficiency LED lighting option for dimly lighted locations.

Recharging Adapters – Charge and check out radios and other powered equipment.

Ideal for Single-Item Dispensing and Asset Management

There are several other ways that UCapIt CAP 12-Door large item supply locker can help emergency medical professionals. Be sure to look into this company and their unique large item vending machines to see how they can help you.

How UCapIt Can Help EMS Providers Save Money

UCAPIT

Today more than ever hospitals, EMS providers and other healthcare organizations are challenged to provide a higher quality of patient care while reducing operating costs and facing increased regulatory requirements and patient volume. UCapIt provides an innovative, yet simple, solution to a persistent problem. Through cloud-based technology and an intuitive, easy to use software platform, UCapIt and IDS increases employee productivity and provides management with real-time analytics from their EMS supply tracking vending machines in order to make data-driven executive-level decisions.

UCapIt and IDS provides medical inventory tracking by allowing administrators to set limits on the number of items a user may take out at a time. Once the user hits that limit the user must return an item(s) before access is returned. Restrictions on usage can be adjusted on a departmental level by authorized administrators and multiple alert options are available via e-mail to multiple individuals based upon client established criteria. Reports include, but are not limited to:

  • Usage Summary
  • Inventory Consumption
  • Comparative Usage by Time
  • Transactions
  • Restock Summary
  • Par Optimization
  • Item Turnover Rate
  • Inventory Totals
  • Discrepancy Report

Here is a direct quote from Capt Beth Hines of Jacksonville NC (Onlow County EMS) about our drug expiration tracking feature:

“The report tells me what I need to know, how many are expiring, where they are located and the name of the medication. I really like that I can run the report for 90 or more days because I order replacement medications 3-4 months in advance, plus my regular stock… so I know I won’t run out. Now instead of having to do a count by hand at the end of the month or so I check them in when I receive them and simply run the reports I need.”

The Controlled Access Pharmacy (CAP) allows many medical professionals, including EMS, Pharmaceutical, Veterinary the ability to restock their units 24/7 and have real-time usage and inventory tracking. The CAP can check multiple forms of ID and will prompt for station or dispatch specific data.

All withdrawals are cataloged, time stamped and regulated by tech clearance/training level. A unique solution to today’s challenge of controlling access, tracking inventory and dispensing of products according to access protocol. Contact Us Today!

Vending Solutions in Public Premises

If you happened to walk by a vending machine in a public place, you probably wouldn’t bat an eye. However, if you took a closer look inside the contents of THESE University and Public vending machines, you just may stop for a closer look. Make no mistake: vending machines house a lot more than just soft drinks and potato chips these days, as these particular solutions go a long way towards proving.

  1. Shippensburg University

Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania recently made headlines when it outfitted its campus with a vending machine stocked entirely with health-related items. Located within the campus’ student health center, the machine caused a great deal of controversy when the university announced it would offer Plan B, also commonly referred to as “the morning-after pill.”

  1. Sacramento California

Nothing is worse than needing a roll of duct tape and not having it, but thanks to one dedicated vending machine manufacturer employees of many Sacramento government agencies will never have to worry about this again. Many vending machines have been deployed throughout the area that are stocked with industrial equipment like duct tape, rubber gloves and more.

  1. The University of Florida

Students at the University of Florida will never find themselves without a notebook, pencil or other important item in the near future. The University of Florida recently installed office vending machine options in their libraries that sell school supplies like note cards, blue books, pens, pencils and beyond.

Benefits of Vending Machines for Hospitals

ScrubTrak Scrub Dispensing for hospitals

The key takeaway from these vending machines is that the machines themselves can be highly customized to fit the environment they’re placed in. Take a scrub vending machine, for example. ScrubTrak is one such option that not only allows medical professionals quick access to scrubs and other important items they need to do their jobs, but it also offers an unparalleled level of functionality to businesses. ScrubTrak allows a vending machine to be stocked with multiple sizes of items, can track both purchase and returns for detailed reporting, offers insight into buying patterns to be used for more informed purchasing decisions in the future.

Benefits of Vending Machines for Office Employees and Management

 

ivendtech office supply and it vending machine

These benefits don’t just stop at universities and hospitals, however – thanks to companies like iVendTech, office and IT employees can also get in on the action. iVendTech offers a wide range of office vending machine solutions designed to make sure employees always have access to the important office supplies they need when they need them the most. These machines also come with will-call lockers, real-time reporting, advanced inventory management and control capabilities and more.

One thing is for sure – the days of vending machines being “just” a way to get a quick snack in during the day are long gone. With vending machines offering an incredible level of customization based on the environment they find themselves in, they’re taking a bold step in the direction of becoming an integral fixture in all of our lives once again.

For hospital and medical facility managers, we highly recommend that you check out the ScrubTrak site and features.

For office supplies and IT management we highly recommend that you check out the iVendTech site and features.