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Storage of medicines in hospitals

When handling medicines in hospitals, not only the correct dose and application is important, but also the storage of the medicines. External influences such as humidity, heat, light and cold are factors that can impair the effectiveness of medicines. This, in turn, can have health effects on the patient, as decomposition substances are released, for example. Efficient and safe medication management in hospitals, therefore, also includes proper medication storage, to which strict guidelines apply.

How should medicines be stored in hospitals?

Every institution that dispenses medicines to patients must follow the proper storage regulations of medicines to ensure the safety, efficacy and quality of the medicines. This also applies to the storage of medicines in hospitals.

The storage of medicines is prescribed on the manufacturer's instructions, which can be found on the outer packaging or on the patient information leaflet. This information is based on tests to check the stability of the medicines.

If the conditions for proper storage of medicines in hospitals are observed, the medicine is safe to use until the stated expiry date.

What other aspects need to be considered when storing medicines in hospitals?

Also, in terms of hygiene, safety, control and transport there are regulations that you should observe. For example, regular cleaning and disinfection of the storage cabinets and storage systems is part of this - the removal of the medicines should also be carried out hygienically, especially if the medicine is not used up all at once, but is to be reused.

Where should medicines be stored?

To ensure that medicines are stored in a dry place, protected from light and at the right temperatures, you should set up the medicine storage in a place where medicine cabinets or medicine refrigerators do not face the sun directly. Therefore, rooms that are north-facing and not affected by direct sunlight are best suited for medication storage in hospitals.

For the storage and picking of refrigerated and non-refrigerated medicines, automation solutions such as the BoxPicker are suitable, via which medicines can be stored safely and removed quickly. Thanks to its integrated cooling module, the BoxPicker is ideally suited to storing medicines with different storage temperature requirements.


Medication Storage

What does the FIFO principle mean for the storage of medicines?

Most hospitals work according to the FIFO principle in their medication storage: first-in-first-out. The package with the shortest expiry date is placed at the front and used first, while medicines with a longer shelf life are stored further back. This principle is applied to both medicines that require refrigeration and those that do not and is adopted autonomously by automation solutions.

Where to put medicines that are no longer needed?

In Germany for instance, there is no uniform regulation for the disposal of medicines and pharmaceuticals. Instead, disposal is handled differently depending on the city and municipality. For example, depending on the municipality, the following options are offered for the disposal of expired medicines: pharmacies, recycling centres, mobile hazardous waste collection centres.

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