Advantages of Blister Packaging Over Strip Packaging
Creating an efficient and effective workflow is half the battle, and the other half is selecting the right kind of multi-dose packaging.
Two of the most popular multi-dose packaging systems are blister cards and strip (or pouch) packaging.
Which one is right for you?
Medicine-On-Time’s multi-dose blister cards help patients adhere to complex medication regimens by simplifying the medication administration process whether they are at home or in a facility. In addition to the many patient, caregiver or staff benefits provided by Medicine-On-Time’s solution, our pharmacy customers typically experience a 40% to 50% efficiency gain due to our workflow and work-planning software. Our software also provides seamless patient management, robust reports and forms, foolproof presentation and an unparalleled packaging capacity.
Here are four benefits pharmacies and patients receive when using Medicine-On-Time’s blister cards versus competitors’ strip packaging:
1. Presentation and Labeling
Medicine-On-Time’s MOT Complete cards are fully labeled, preventing misuse of detached dose cups (also called ‘blisters’)from the card. Each individual dose cup has the patient’s full name, day of the week, date, time of administration and contained medication names and dosages printed on the label. MOT Complete cards follow the layout of a traditional calendar, increasing the ease of use for patient or caregiver.
In the MOT Complete Car, administration times are color coded (e.g. yellow for the morning, white for the afternoon, orange for the evening and blue for nighttime). Color-coded labels allow patients, caregivers or staff to identify the appropriate medication card for the time. Pouches only offer black and white display printing, which is inefficient when distinguishing the time of day just by glancing at pouches.
Individually labeling dose cups makes it less likely that patients, nurses, caregivers or medication pass facilitators will misuse a patient’s regimen when the dose cup is detached, as is common in the med pass process.
Other distinguishing features on Medicine-On-Time’s blister cards include a photograph of the patient, photographs of each medication contained in the pack and the number of pills in each dose cup. With the color-coded label, descriptive drug imagery and dosage amounts, and other features possible in Medicine-On-Time packaging, patients or caregivers can quickly glance at the entire card or individual dose cup to ensure proper ongoing adherence for the appropriate medication protocol.
Medicine-On-Time’s blister cards come in two sizes: standard and high capacity.
The standard dose cups contain up to six (6) pills per cup and twelve (12) pills per cup for high capacity cards, depending on the size of each pill. Medicine-On-Time’s software has a built-in “smart size” feature, using the data provided on the drugs in your system to optimize your packaging options.
Strip Packaging offers less real estate for medications. Only four or five medications can be contained per pouch. Pouches have a limited printable surface, making it impossible to pack more than five medications in each pouch.
Only one dose cup is required per administration time when using Medicine-On-Time’s blister cards. This eliminates any confusion or accidental omissions when administering medications.
3. Correcting and Relabeling
Often, prescribers will add medication or discontinue medication from a patient’s drug regimen in the middle of the med-cycle. When these changes occur, pharmacists will need to modify the blister card or pouch strip, multi-dose package.
To secure the accuracy of medications provided to patients, Medicine-On-Time’s calendar cards are easily corrected by the pharmacist and a new, revised label is placed on the patient’s medication package before being returned directly to the patient, caregiver or facility.
This simple process ensures the pharmacy remains compliant with USP and Board of Pharmacy regulations for labels and labeling and provides the most accurate medications to the patient.
Making adjustments to pouches alters the integrity of its presentation because pouch change management is complex. For example, adding an administration time to pouches requires a separate strip or different presentation mode (vial). After changes are made, the pouch can contain alterations such as scotch tape or staples. These alterations disrupt the Class B requirement. Clients can refuse to accept altered pouches, resulting in numerous returns and lost revenue.
4. Transitioning to Automation
The true test of an adherence packaging solutions’ success is the requirement to forego hand-filling and necessitate the need for automation to meet the demand in the pharmacy.
Medicine-On-Time’s packaging transitions seamlessly to automation, primarily due to the ease and simplicity of blister card change management. Time previously spent hand-filling multi-dose cards can now be spent providing care and customer service to patients. Implementing Automation into your workflow and business model not only allows you to save time by once automation is implemented into your workflow, as opposed to spending considerable amounts of time manually filling blister cards.
Automating the pouch packaging process will require staff or clientele to be provided with ample training and assistance. Adding a simple change to the pouch, such as an administration time, would require a different presentation mode and training about that mode.
By integrating Medicine-On-Time’s blister card packaging into your pharmacy business, you will ensure confidence, improve patient care and increase revenue.