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.