Aramco releases pharmacy system for SAP

Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil producer, releases a pharmacy software system for the SAP healthcare module, in conjunction with T-Systems, ACN can exclusively reveal.

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By  Eliot Beer Published  April 9, 2006

Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil producer, has released a pharmacy software system for the SAP healthcare module, in conjunction with T-Systems, ACN can exclusively reveal. Aramco, T-Systems and SAP developed the product - called Saudi Aramco Medication & Pharmacy (SAM&P) - in response to a desire within the oil giant to increase the efficiency and reliability of patient medication. The organisation's SAP Computer Centre took the lead in creating the software, which is designed to be used with the SAP healthcare component. "We designed the SAM&P system to provide doctors and other medical personnel with a tool they can use to ensure the right medication is prescribed, in the right dose and at the right time," said Ahmed Al-Zayyat, general manager of Aramco's SAP Computer Centre. "We are also pleased to announce that this system is the first of its kind in the world." SAM&P's creation followed the implementation of SAP for the Saudi Aramco Medical Services Organisation, which was completed in January 2004. But personnel within the organisation believed there was still room for improvement. One of the major risks in every health care environment deals with prescribing the wrong medication or the wrong dose. A 1999 study, 'To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System', by the Institute of Medicine, found that inadvertent medical errors are responsible for 44,000 to 98,000 deaths in the United States each year, and 7,000 of those deaths are a result of medication errors - this study informed Aramco's drive to develop a new system. SAM&P aims to reduce these deaths by automating elements of the prescription process and integrating other elements, such as information on allergies and previously-prescribed medication. A team of around 20 software developers worked on the system, and completed it in 2005. The testing of SAM&P involved around 400,000 patients, 600 doctors, 3,000 nurses and 150 pharmacists, according to Aramco. Aramco decided to develop SAM&P as a commercial system after deploying it within its own healthcare organisation, which addresses the needs of 60,000 Aramco staff and their dependants. Aramco's integration partner, Austrian-based T-Systems, a division of German telecoms giant T-Mobile, developed SAM&P with the oil company, and will be marketing the product on its behalf. Representatives from T-Systems said this is an almost unique product, in terms of its genesis, and expects the system to be highly popular worldwide. Saudi Aramco is the state-owned oil producer of Saudi Arabia, and is responsible for 25% of the world's known oil reserves. It has an extensive IT infrastructure, including the largest single-site SAP implementation in the world.

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