Pill dispensers, in one form or another, can now be found in nearly every pharmacy setting. Over the years, partially automated (i.e. “gumball” type) pill dispensers have increasingly been upgraded to fully automated systems – and for good reason. Pill dispensers that still require human interaction to fill a prescription actually do very little in the way of improving safety or efficiency.
And as pharmacies become more robotic, the advent of truly “hands free” automated pill dispensing systems have become essential to enabling them to handle increasing workloads with optimum efficiency. Let’s take a closer look at automated pill dispensers to learn more about their important value and contribution.
Anatomy of a robotic pill dispenser
The different parts of an automated pill dispenser can best be learned by reviewing the robotic prescription fulfillment process itself. As a prescription is entered into the pharmacy computer system, a robotic arm moves to select an appropriate sized vial. The arm then uses barcode scanning to select the correct drug cell from the cabinet, which houses many different medications. The robotic arm holds the vial up to the medication cell and counts the correct number of pills as they drop into the vial.
Finally, the robotic arm sets the filled vial on the conveyor. The prescription label and any auxiliary warning labels are automatically applied, and the vial is presented to pharmacy staff for final verification.
When a fully automated prescription filling process is utilized, the overall fulfillment process is streamlined, with improved safety and efficiency, enabling the pharmacist to spend more time on collaboration – in turn improving the overall healthcare experience.
ScriptPro’s fully automated robotic prescription dispensing systems can fill 30% to 60% of a pharmacy’s daily prescription volume. Some advantages of these systems include eliminating the possibility of cross-contamination, using barcode scanning for accuracy and safety, and utilizing on-screen drug verification. These systems also contain universal dispensing cells, which can be calibrated by pharmacy staff onsite, and are configurable with a variety of vial dispenser and control center options.
Scalability and workflow integration
Automated pill dispensers can be scaled to a pharmacy’s size, based on filling needs, script volume, and projected growth. For example, ScriptPro has six robots in their SP and CRS Robot lines, all of which fill, label, and collate up to 150 vials per hour. The robotic systems can dispense tablets and capsules of all shapes and sizes, and automatically print and apply the prescription and auxiliary labels, ensuring accuracy and consistency. ScriptPro robots easily integrate with a pharmacy’s existing software system, as well as fully integrate with its own workflow and pharmacy software system.
Take that next step in automated pill dispensers – ScriptPro’s innovative robotic dispensing systems help you embrace the future of your pharmacy practice. Visit the ScriptPro website to learn more about our pharmacy tech products today.