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Ground-breaking drugs measuring tool supported by innovative new University Hospitals Group

MR1314 eezycd rulers (3)

One of the eezycd rulers in action

An innovative solution to keep a check on controlled drug stocks has been developed by pharmacists at the University Hospitals of Northamptonshire NHS Group.

‘eezycd®’ is the brand name for a specially designed ruler which can be put alongside a drug container and used to measure the exact contents of controlled drug liquids without having to pour from the bottle. It reduces spillages or excess being taken, which leads to waste and ‘unaccounted loss’.

eezyCD ® – was invented by Northampton General Hospital Dispensary Manager, Rosemary Griffiths, and Advanced Clinical Pharmacist, Siobhan Abrahams, with support from Kay Faulkner, the University Group’s Associate Director Research, Innovation, Education, and the Innovate UK Lean Launch Programme (LLP) ran by Queen’s University, Belfast .

The University Group’s Associate Director Research, Innovation, Education, Kay Faulkner said: “The eezycd® development and licensing agreement signals the start of much greater support for innovation and research across the hospital group.

“The Licence deal for eezyCD® is our first as a Hospital Group and signals our commitment to supporting our workforce to be clinical entrepreneurs.”

Rosemary Griffiths, CEO of eezyCD: “For the first time, nurses could check the balance of their liquids whenever they wanted. It only took seconds and they could then cross-reference against their paperwork to identify which nurses had administered drugs, the volume given, and which patients had been administered to.”

She added, “Great Ormond Street Hospital have placed orders for eezyCD® and are among the first customers to roll out eezyCD®.

“The innovation also has wider applications than just the hospital environment. It can be used anywhere where controlled drug use needs to be recorded including hospices, drug and alcohol centres, and specialist children’s centres.”

Within the first year of use, the UHN showed a 35% reduction in unaccounted loss of controlled liquid drugs, saving money and improving patient safety.

It is estimated that if the rulers were to be rolled out across all of the UK’s 192 Trusts, they have the potential to save the NHS £1.2 million a year.

Trials show ruler does work

Trials with Virgin Care; and the University Hospital, Southampton - combined with a rollout at Northampton General Hospital – proved the ruler did work.

Nurses were encouraged to perform daily stock checks, something they had never been able to do without opening bottles and potentially causing waste or contamination.

Rosemary explained: “For the first time, our nurses could check the balance of their liquids whenever they wanted. It only took seconds and they could then cross-reference against their paperwork to identify which nurses had administered drugs, the volume given, and which patients had been administered to.

“The nurses were excited because they wanted the rulers, and we had the Group’s complete support in delivering them.”

Within the first year of use, the Trust showed a 35% reduction in unaccounted loss of controlled liquid drugs, saving money and improving patient safety.

It is estimated that if the rulers were to be rolled out across all of the UK’s 192 Trusts, they have the potential to save the NHS £1.2 million a year.

Additionally, Rosemary and Siobhan were able to use the data and feedback to introduce other methods of loss reduction, including issuing all controlled drug bottles with plastic bungs. This significantly reduced the potential for spillages, and means that doses must be extracted using oral syringes, a far more accurate method than pouring. Unaccounted losses are now at minimal levels throughout the Trust.

The key benefits of the eezycd rulers are:

· Simplicity: They’re easy to use and quick to introduce into normal working practices

· Greater safety: Being able to account for all liquids means there’s less chance of inaccurate dosing, which leads to improved patient safety

· Affordable: It’s a cost-effective solution that allows healthcare professionals to work to the standards required by the Care Quality Commission

· Flexibility of ordering: Customers can order any number of rulers they require. There’s no need for minimum or bulk orders.

Posted on Thursday 17th March 2022
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