Stanford USD medical Center has opted for automating its pharmacy operations by installing pharmacy automation solutions developed by McKesson. By installing the new automation solution Stanford will be able to improve the efficiency of its pharmacy operations and optimize its productivity.
The automation solution uses the method of bar-code scanning for identifying the right medication with minimum errors and higher efficiency right from the pharmacy to the bedside of the patient. Stanford has installed the ROBOT-Rx and MedCarousel dispensing systems along with the PACMED automated packaging system.
The director of the pharmacy at Stanford explained that by automating the pharmacy operations, the safety and efficiency is stepped up. Each medication is scanned before being dispensed to ensure right delivery of medication according to the prescription. He also added that automating the medication dispensing process gives the pharmacists more time for attending other clinical work. With the help of ROBOT-Rx, Stanford will be able to automate the dispensing, storage and restocking processes in as much as 80% of the medications. ROBOT-Rx is known to dispense more than 350 million medication doses every year across the US, without the occurrence of errors. Stanford is awaiting clearance from the State Board of Pharmacy in order to ensure reduced pharmacist check-in lieu of 100% check. Unit-dose medications are automatically selected by ROBOT-Rx, without any intervention from nurses. The doses are selected, scanned and enclosed in appropriate envelopes for the patients to take at specific times, thereby reducing workload on nurses. For medications beyond the scope of ROBOT-Rx, MedCarousel is used at Stanford for dispensing cart-fill and first doses. These two systems also take care of restocking the medication and inventory management in patient care areas. Apart from bar-code scanning technologies, pick-to-light and rotating shelves technologies are also used for dispensing the medication. PACMED does the work of automating the bar-code packaging of solid oral medications and also standardising the bar code formats.