Electronic Latching Protects Access to Pharmaceuticals

In hospitals, pharmaceutical theft is a big problem. Medicine that is unaccounted for or dispensed of improperly can cause disruptions to patient care, and in severe cases, these actions can even result in accidental death. To prevent pharmaceutical theft from occurring, the medical industry must implement access solutions that not only keep pharmaceutical inventory secure, but provide an electronic, trackable audit trail as well.

Recently, our engineers were approached by a manufacturer of medical storage devices regarding an interior latching system for a medical dispensing cart. The manufacturer was seeking a latching solution that would allow the individual drawers of a medication dispensing cart to be automatically opened and closed when accessed through an attached touchscreen computer.

Southco engineers recommended the R4-EM Light Duty Rotary Latch, which provides a simple, versatile electromechanical latch solution that allows access to complete systems to be monitored and controlled remotely, in this case through the computer attached to the dispensing cart.

When the user’s access code is entered into the computer and the medicine is selected, the computer sends a signal to Southco’s R4-EM to open the latch of the corresponding medicine drawer. Once the medicine is removed, the drawer simply needs to be closed manually by the user, and it is once again securely re-latched.

Constructed of durable composite plastic, Southco’s R4-EM Light Duty Rotary Latch delivers the proven reliability of the Steel R4-EM Electronic Rotary Latch in a lightweight, compact package. Other features include a microprocessor control that provides energy efficiency, an integrated mechanical override should a power failure occur, and an optional internal microswitch to provide an output to indicate the status of the lock.

What steps are you taking to safeguard your pharmaceuticals? Do you use door latches or electronic latching solutions in your applications? Tell us in the comments.

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