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Automated Prescription Dispensing System

challenge

A large public hospital in Singapore wished to automate its prescription dispensing process in its outpatient pharmacy. The hospital’s dispensing of prescription medications was labor-intensive, time-consuming, and very dependent on trained manpower. The heavy reliance on manual resources also made it susceptible to human errors. In view of this, the hospital decided to revamp and improve its process.

solution

Since this was the first time that the hospital was moving towards automation, they were concerned about the ease of operation as well as the reliability of the system. We worked closely with the hospital’s pharmacists to understand their needs and alleviate their concerns.

• Incorporation of automation and technology to provide real time tracking of processing status via RFID
• Intelligent conveyor system which consolidates multiple RFID-tagged baskets for the same prescription and optimize their delivery to the available front dispensing counters
• RFID readers along the conveyor provide real time tracking of the packed drugs

outcomes and benefits

Our team successfully developed what could be considered the world’s first automated solution for a hospital’s outpatient pharmacy.
 
The intelligent system has almost halved the time to fill prescriptions, resulting in over 80% of patients being able to collect their medicines within 30 minutes. It has also enabled the hospital to reduce the manpower to pick and pack drugs by 11 people. These staff members are instead re-deployed to run more front dispensing counters to serve 50% more patients.
 
More importantly, the system has improved patient safety by reducing drug packing errors and enabling pharmacists to review all prescriptions. It was estimated that the backroom lapse was reduced by at least 40%.
 
Because of these improvements, the system won the hospital two major awards in 2014: the CIO Asia and the Allied Health Innovative Practice awards.
Automated Prescription Drug Dispensing Increases Hospital Efficiency and Wins Awards
Industry
Life Sciences
Technical Capabilities
Material Handling Solutions Software & Data Integration
Region
Asia
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