What Is a Floor Stock System in a Hospital?

javier larrea/age fotostock/Getty Images

A floor stock system in a hospital involves the storage of pharmaceutical and over-the-counter drugs where they are needed, usually in a nurse’s station, rather than in a pharmacy, as explained on Knowledge Source. The point of a floor stock system is to avoid the time required to get necessary medications from the pharmacy to the nurses who administer them.

Traditional floor stock systems have included storage rooms filled with bulk-ordered inventory, drug cabinets with an inventory of one to several days’ worth of drugs and drug carts loaded by pharmacists each day with a day’s worth of medications, according to the Canadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy.

Floor stock systems increased the amount of human error involved with dispensing drugs, because they bypassed the pharmacist, who would have been aware of such issues as patient allergies and other drugs the patient may have been taking, according to Knowledge Source.

As of 2014, most hospitals are using computerized automated dispensing systems that are able to control, track and dispense inventory, rather than floor stock, according to U.S. Pharmacist. An automated dispensing system, although not foolproof, includes safety features that ensure the correct dose of a drug is given at the right time and in the correct manner to the right patient.