Omnicell announced the general availability of its Unity enterprise platform, the premier medication and supply automation solution for use in a wide range of patient care venues throughout hospitals and health care systems.

The latest 19.5 release now includes enhanced interoperability between the Epic electronic health record (EHR) and the Omnicell automated dispensing cabinet (ADC) to meet the needs of health care providers.

Through a partnership with Codonics, the Unity enterprise platform version 19.5 also includes an interoperable medication safety solution for the operating room that integrates the Omnicell Anesthesia Workstation with the Codonics Safe Label System.

As part of the 19.5 software release, Omnicell and Epic customers will be able to integrate two separate operations into one application, the EHR. Nurses are responsible for interacting with the automated medication dispensing cabinets, and research has shown that 33% of the time they spend at the cabinets can be eliminated when true interoperability between systems is achieved.

Through the interoperability developed with Epic at Hackensack University Medical Center, nurses can now login to the EHR to preselect medications to be removed from the Omnicell cabinet, check availability of medications in real time in the cabinet, and even document waste.

This integration, which was demonstrated at the HIMSS 2015 Conference, streamlines the medication order process, eliminating redundancies and allows nurses to spend more time on patient care.

"In central pharmacy, we realized we needed complete integration between our medication order system and EHR to better serve our nurses and ensure they are spending the maximum amount of time with patients, as opposed to administrative tasks," said Nilesh Desai, director of pharmacy at HackensackUMC.

Ensuring medication safety and accuracy in the OR is vital for both patients and treating physicians. The integration of the Codonics Safe Label System with Omnicell’s Anesthesia Workstation creates an advanced solution for the operating room (OR) suite that promotes safety, consistency and efficiency.

"As a result of expanding our Unity platform, we believe we are better suited to meet the scalable needs of larger hospitals and health systems, as well as providing smaller hospital facilities with state-of-the-art patient care," said Jorge Taborga, executive vice president, Engineering at Omnicell.