How do you know when your house has a termite infestation? When it is too late! The same holds true with C-II discrepancies and paper logs. So many pharmacies rely on a manual log, and they only discover a problem during an audit or physical inventory. Then it’s usually too late. Too much time has passed. Paranoia can set in (was it employee diversion or an honest mistake?). Plus, your most expensive resource — the pharmacist — is burning time playing forensic accountant.
My frequent travel to pharmacies large and small points to the same conclusion: Discrepancies do happen, and they are manageable only if pharmacy management has a reliable system in place to deal with the variance at the exact time of occurrence or discovery. Whatever the reason for the inventory gap — a broken tablet or a manufacturer’s shortage — it must be detected and noted that exact moment. And this system must be technology based, not paper based.
One solution that is gaining fast traction is the Kirby Lester KL1Plus. Long trusted as a verification-and-counting device for daily Rx filling, the KL1Plus has a new electronic C-II log. Unlike relying just on the pharmacy management system (PMS) perpetual inventory, the KL1Plus measures inventory to the pill every time the stock bottle is touched.
The power of the KL1Plus electronic C-II log is threefold. First, the system keeps a real-time count. The pharmacy uses the KL1Plus to easily add in every wholesaler delivery of medications to be tracked. Each user signs in with a fingerprint scan to track access, usage, and time. Then, the KL1Plus is used to fill each controlled-med prescription and return-to-stock. Each count can be double-counted, and the workflow also can be set up to require a stock bottle back count. Any discrepancy is flagged immediately, and the employee must provide an explanation (e.g., broken tablet, manufacturer bottle shortage, clinical transfer). We now have pharmacies reporting an excess of pills in manufacturer bottles for the first time.
Second, the KL1Plus provides a 24/7 audit capability via a networked browser. Pharmacy management can query on demand the inventory of any NDC (National Drug Code), and review all transactions and adjustments by date, user, and description. Reports also can be customized and scheduled to auto-generate daily audits.
Third, the KL1Plus provides essential time savings. Manual inventory counts are notoriously off because slow, inaccurate humans are doing the counting. The KL1Plus at heart is a fast, accurate counting machine that performs double, even triple, counts, faster than a tray and spatula. With the electronic browser function, the pharmacist gets the full story in seconds instead of hours sifting through log pages.
Some pharmacies only use the KL1Plus for schedule II medications. Others use the system for every class of control plus medications of high value. It is a flexible system to track every medication you want to keep on a short leash.
In almost all other facets of community pharmacy, technology has replaced manual methods. We have automatic counting, billing, inventory ordering, IVR (interactive voice response). Yet we rely on a three-ring binder for tracking our most sensitive inventory. It is time to finally break away from the false confidence placed in the dog-eared, hand-marked C-II log book, and protect the pharmacy with new technology. CT
Finding the cause of a narcotics discrepancy in a paper C-II log can be a “needle in a haystack” task, especially if the log book is not pristine. Take this self-survey to confirm if your pharmacy should investigate an electronic C-II log system like the Kirby Lester KL1Plus.