30. June 2021
Mediaform’s Praxikett software has been used to print medicine labels in all the intensive care wards at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Hospital, Berlin, since early 2021. The Charité is Germany’s biggest university clinic and one of the first to work using a very large number of licences. But reaching that point was a long journey…
It began in 2016 when Tom Amende, the manager of an intensive care ward, was looking for an uncomplicated solution to securely print medicine labels in the point-of-care process. After comprehensive internet searches, visits to trade fairs and intensive consultation meetings, a decision was taken to choose Praxikett Designer. The web-based software contains a catalogue of more than 500 standardised syringe labels in accordance with the current DIVI/DGAI (German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive and Emergency Medicine/German Society for Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine) recommendation, and guarantees a uniform labelling standard throughout the clinic. This not only increases patient safety and security, but also considerably simplifies the entire workload on the intensive care wards. Initially, a decision was taken to carry out a pilot run on this intensive care ward using a corresponding number of licences, a touchscreen and a matching label printer. As Amende explains, “Everyone was immediately impressed by the software. We were now in a position to create DIVI-compliant labels ourselves and to print them out directly on the ward. The Praxikett software proved to be the better system overall, when compared to all the other offers. No major downtimes – especially of the printer, and no more additional costs to create our own new labels either.”
Capacity problems after the rebuild
Initial challenges arose in late 2016 after extensive rebuilding and renovation work at the Charité Mitte’s ward block. The rebuilding operations added more beds to the pilot ward’s intensive care beds. Logically, the existing software licences were no longer enough for simultaneous access, and in the label printing process it also became clear that the number of printers was no longer sufficient.
As Amende explains: “Relatively quickly, we had the idea of increasing not only the number of licences but also the number of label printers to enable all the Charité’s intensive care wards to use Praxikett software in future.” His suggestion was so well received by the decision-making bodies that the software licences were increased in January 2021.
All the Charité’s intensive care wards are now able to create and print the individually required labels at any time and regardless of location.
Various ways of using Praxikett software
In this respect, every intensive care ward found its own way of using the software to make its everyday work easier. On the pilot intensive care ward, around 50% of the labels printed via Praxikett Designer are currently used for secure medicine labelling in line with DIVI – while the other half are used for various kinds of self-designed labels. As Amende reports:
“The labels we print most often with the software are for syringes and perfusors. But we also use the advantage of free design and creative use for newly-prepared labels in many other areas – e.g. markings on drainage tubes or drip chambers and for line labels, because all the labels are disinfectant-resistant and wipe-proof.” Labels for various antibiotics are also printed through the Praxikett Designer system. These labels are not included in the DIVI range, but are often needed on intensive care wards.
In addition to medicines or disinfectants, equipment is also reliably and safely labelled. For example, ventilators are labelled with an adhesive instruction label after a successful system check. According to Amende: “Colleagues in the various intensive care wards are especially creative when preparing new labels. Every week they create two to three new labels, then save them in the software so they can also be used by all the other wards.”
Open to receive suggestions and requests
What is the big advantage of Praxikett software? As well as the very wide range of identification labelling options, an enormous amount of time is saved by eliminating handwritten wording on the labels, thus also considerably increasing patient safety and security at the same time. Amende explains that “We can also save additional background information in the software – e.g. an instruction about the dilution that must be employed for ready-to-use medicines or whether a darkened syringe must be used. Thus the nursing staff’s awareness is additionally increased, and time-consuming looking things up on the package insert leaflet is eliminated.” There is also no need for the nursing workforce on the wards to allow for long distances, because there is a PC or a touchscreen monitor at every intensive care bed, and a printer in the passageway in front of every patient’s room, thus enabling flexible label printing from any bed at any time.
As well as the software running almost faultlessly, Amende sees a big benefit in “the fact that in Mediaform we have a partner who responds to our requests and suggestions for improvements, and flexibly modifies and adapts the product.”
As Mediaform’s medicinal products division manager Steffen Marienfeld explains, “The Charité is a great reference customer for us. We receive enough feedback and additional input about the software, thus allowing us to undertake the continuous, steady further development of Praxikett Designer. Ultimately, all the other customers also profit from this.” Currently, a total of 150 users in the D.A.CH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) use 850 licensed accesses to work successfully with Praxikett Software.