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Why we got a Robot to Dispense your Medication

Last updated: 1.54pm, Friday 30th November 2018 by

We've opted to invest in a robot to dispense the medication for our Communities in Glasgow. Learn more!

Pharmacy automation has to do with the use of mechanical processes to handle and distribute medicines. It may involve any task in the pharmacy such as counting medicines, the measurement, and mixture of liquids and powders, tracking information on customers (personal details, medical history, interaction with drugs, and detection of risk) and updating such information in a database, and the management of inventories.

Prior to the 1970s, it was extremely time-consuming for pharmacies to dispense medications to patients. Pharmacists made use of a tray and a spatula to dispense tablet or capsule prescriptions and as newer medications were produced by pharmaceutical companies at a very fast rate coupled with the steep rise in the prices of medications, it meant that the community pharmacist had to put in longer hours at work and eventually had to hire extra hands to reduce the workloads that were reducing the amount of time dedicated to safety issues. Eventually, all these issues gave rise to the invention and use of counting machines for medications.

If you have ever had to stand in a long queue waiting to be attended to at a pharmacy in Glasgow, then you will agree to the fact that drug dispensing can be very time-consuming. Since many retail pharmacies seem to have just one pharmacist working a shift, the best way to tackle the issue is to introduce robot dispensers which is an automated way of storing and filling out prescriptions.

With respect to digital health Glasgow services, robot dispensers are computer-controlled storage containers which function just like vending machines. Robot dispensers dispense drugs to patients and staff based on their prescription. Our dispensing robots in  Glasgow can are able to count pills, place caps on bottles, have prescription vials labeled, store a lot of medications, or ensure accuracy by accessing information on patients. In the end, robot dispensers are time-savers for all pharmacies.

WHY WE GOT A ROBOT TO DISPENSE YOUR MEDICATION

Robot dispensers first came to light around the 1990s in outpatient pharmacies, as well as, retail pharmacies with the aim of expediting prescription filling and ensuring the smooth operation of the pharmacy. In a lot of ways, dispensing robots have contributed positively not just to pharmacy patients alone but to pharmacy teams as well. They are now being used in filling all prescription types nationwide.

We know that pharmacy automation can be the catalyst for revolutionalizing the processes of dispensing, as well as, stock management in pharmacies and also increase the safety and quality of drug use while cutting down on costs. The statistics from the United Kingdom show that the use of robot dispensers in pharmacies has led to fewer cases of errors in dispensing, quicker dispensing which needs less personnel, a reduction in stock holdings, as well as expired stock.

The driver

Due to the positive experiences in the UK, we have decided to adopt dispensing robots in our pharmacy operations in order to –

  • Enhance dispensing efficiency
  • Improve our patient care quality by lowering waiting times and reassigning our pharmacy personnel to areas where they can benefit our customers more
  • Facilitate streamlined methodologies application in the process of managing our inventory and dispensing.

THE ADVANTAGES

There are a lot of benefits that come with using a dispensing robot and here are some of them –

  • Speed

Faster service to our customers is a very important advantage of using robotic dispensing. Our customers no longer have to queue up for long to get their medication as our robots can fill prescriptions faster than any human. This has enabled us to be able to free up our pharmacists to more clinical activities since they spend very minimal time dispensing drugs. Their focus can now be centered on medicine quality and effectiveness.

  • Safety

It is very easy to confuse pills which have a similar look or even miscount them but with the robotic dispenser, we have said goodbye to this issue. Also, the issue of drug contamination is now far reduced since all medications are stored in an environment that is sterile and safe. Pharmacy automation, therefore, enhances drug safety. 

 

  • Customer service

Since our prescriptions Glasgow service is now left to be filled by our robot, our pharmacist can now channel more time to caring for our customers. They are freer to discuss medications with patients, tackle possible interactions, provide answers to the inquiries of patients, and help to improve the quality of their lives.

 

  • Security

We now have all our medications secured stored in our dispensing machines while tracking every dispensed pill. The risk of medication theft is now reduced, as well as, the risk of human error. More so, we have trained our pharmacy personnel on using the dispensing robot with regard to opening and restocking our machines.

 

  • Financial

Making use of pharmacy automation has helped us to reduce the amount of inventory which we hold. Additionally, our first-in and first-out policy ensure that the older medications are dispensed first thereby ensuring that our drugs never get expired. We have also been able to reduce overtime despite increasing dispensing activity even without adding more staff.

 

  • Process efficiencies

It has been observed that there is now a decrease in the turnaround times of prescriptions while there is an improvement in the number of medicines which we dispense every hour. As the staff directly involved in dispensing the machine get the deliveries directly, the time spent in walking and picking up the supplies are now cut too.

 

SIGN UP TO OUR COLLECTION SERVICE

Why not sign up for our prescription collection service today? We will contact your GP, collect your prescription, and have it dispensed using our digitally enhanced service ready to be picked up by you at your own convenience. We can even deliver to your house :)

Additionally, we can provide you with a home delivery service at your request if you have difficulties visiting our Glasgow pharmacy. Simply call us today to sign up for our premium services.

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