The robotic technology has become a point of interest in many industries including healthcare. The latest news is from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) where the pharmacy is using robotic technology and electronics to prepare and track medications with the goal of improving patient safety. The UCSF Medical Center has implemented three robotic pill-dispensing machines that handle and prepare medication that’s dangerous to the common human.
As we see, in a typical hospital setting, patients receive different types of prescription medications ranging from vitamins, to more intense drugs such as chemotherapy. The automated system prepares oral and injectable medicines, including toxic chemotherapy drugs.
During the process, doctor writes a prescription, hospital clerk sends it over to pharmacist, pharmacist enters slip into the computer, robot picks it up and prepares the medication. Robot grabs the proper dosage, package it and slap a label indicating instructions and patient info.
So far, not a single error has been found in the 350,000 doses of medication prepared during the system’s recent phase in. It’s amazing development!
The automated pharmacy streamlines medication delivery from prescription to patient,” said Lynn Paulsen, PharmD, director of pharmaceutical services at UCSF Medical Center. “It was important to develop a system that is integrated from end to end. Each step in...
safe, effective medication therapy – from determining the most appropriate drug for an individual patient to administering it–is contingent on the other.”
The robotic technology besides providing a safer environment for pharmacy employees, allows UCSF pharmacists and nurses to focus more of their expertise on direct patient care.
The overall cost of the system is estimated $15 million. The system looks strong but has many strings attached with it in terms of safety and right prescription delivery. More time and research is needed to justify whether the automated system can be effective or more effective than human operated system.