Swisslog’s pharmacy automation solutions not only streamline pharmacy workflow and reduce the risk of errors, they also enable hospitals to refocus pharmacy staff on direct patient-care activities. With help from Swisslog, hospitals can automate time-consuming tasks such as medication packaging, dispensing, storage and retrieval. These systems cost-effectively streamline the outpatient and inpatient drug dispensing process by ensuring the right drug reaches the right patient at the right time.
BoxPicker™ Automated Pharmacy Storage System
With the BoxPicker Automated Pharmacy Storage System, hospital pharmacies can securely automate storage and retrieval of refrigerated and non-refrigerated medications and narcotics within a single unit. The high-density pharmacy warehouse eliminates the need for pharmacy refrigerators and increases security by controlling access to the stored substances.
Many hospitals and pharmacies rely on manual processes to determine inventory and make purchasing decisions. As can be expected, visual inspections and handwritten notes can lead to costly overstock and buying emergencies – preventable problems that could negatively impact staff productivity and the patient experience. With an automated inventory management system, hospitals can manage and track medication, supplies and health information, replenishing only the items that are needed, when they are needed.
Medication Packaging and Dispensing
In today’s high-pressure world of health care, pharmacies must be productive, meet increasingly rigid regulatory requirements and help improve overall patient care. Automating medication packaging and dispensing helps hospitals and pharmacies become more efficient and patient-centric.
Outpatient Drug Dispensing
While an important part of the continuum of care and a convenient service for patients, the outpatient pharmacy is also a valuable source of revenue for the hospital. For these reasons, maximizing operational efficiency is an important priority for outpatient pharmacies. Automating operations, such as medication dispensing and medication management, can help pharmacies meet their goals for improved workflows and better patient service.
Unit Dose Packaging
Unit-dose packaging was developed to help nurses efficiently and safely dispense patient-specific medication. In US hospitals, a majority (≥ 75%) of oral doses are dispensed in unit-dose form. Many pharmaceutical companies prepackage some medications in unit-of-use form. However, hospital pharmacies need to package medications not available in manufacturer’s unit doses; or may choose to purchase bulk supplies and repackage them into unit doses to reduce drug costs. As with any manual process, packaging and dispensing medication by hand can introduce errors that are then passed on to patients.
BullsEye™ Tablet Splitter
Pharmacies frequently split pills to provide a lower dose of an active ingredient or when the pills available provide a larger dose than required. Consumers often split pills to save money on drug costs when higher-dose tablets are sold at the same price as a lower-dose one. Clinicians who choose to split pills should be aware that not all drugs in tablet form are suitable for splitting. Some medications, such as those in capsule or controlled-release forms, are not safe to split. Tablets that crumble easily, or split unevenly because they are too round or small, can result in loss of drug product. And, it is important to manage the uniformity of the split to ensure proper patient dosing.