At the University of California, San Francisco, pharmacists are welcoming its newest employees – a team of robots designed to streamline and simplify the process of filling prescriptions for the medical center.
The new robotic pharmacy handles just about the entire process: receiving electronic orders, locating the medicine in a secured, sterile environment, dispensing the correct dosage, and packaging the medication so it is ready to be delivered to a patient. The robots can even assemble all of a patient’s medication for a 12-hour period into one set.
Some of the robots are ForHealth Technologies‘ IntelliFill, which can fill IV medication, and Swisslog‘s PillPick pharmacy automation system. The pharmacy also features three Robotic IV Automation (RIVA) Systems from Intelligent Hospital Systems, designed to prepare hazardous chemotherapy drugs.
So far, the robots have managed to dispense over 350,000 doses of medication without a single error, a feat difficult for even the best UCSF pharmacists. But will the new robots put their human druggist counterparts out of a job? According to UCSF:
By using robots instead of people for previous manual tasks, pharmacists and nurses will have more time to work with physicians to determine the best drug therapy for a patient, and to monitor patients for clinical response and adverse drug reactions.
Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, Dean of the UCSF School of Pharmacy, adds this: “The beauty of this robotic pharmacy system is that the pharmacist is taken out of that mechanical aspect of pharmacy practice, and they can use their intellect to be sure that the patients at the bedside are getting absolutely the right medicine.”
Take a look at the new robotic pharmacy at UCSF below:
Full story from UCSF: New UCSF Robotic Pharmacy Aims to Improve Patient Safety…
(hat tip: CNet)