University of Maryland Medical Center Reveals Significant Impact of Robotics, Automation on Pharmacy Efficiency, Sav

MedEx Tracking System Can Reduce Drug Costs, Improve Nurse Satisfaction

BALTIMORE--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Using MedEx, Aethon’s comprehensive medication tracking system, the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) has improved delivery turnaround time, reduced personnel costs and enhanced nurse satisfaction. This was the overriding theme of a presentation by UMMC at the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) midyear conference in Anaheim. The presentation, “From Dock to Bedside: Automating the Entire Medication Use Process,” revealed best practices for achieving a safer, streamlined, accountable and cost-saving medication use system.

UMMC Director of Pharmacy Marc Summerfield revealed four improvements within the health system’s pharmacy brought about by MedEx:

  1. Greater dose accountability.
  2. Reduced potential for missing medications.
  3. Increased nurse time at the bedside.
  4. Support of “green” initiative.

The MedEx system, which can be integrated with Aethon’s autonomous TUG robots, is the industry’s first fully automated chain-of-custody solution for hospital pharmacies. It combines robotics with radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and readers, biometric (finger print) security, secure carts and lock boxes at nurse stations. MedEx tracks the real-time location and chain-of-custody history of any medication using the RFID tag on each dose.

“Aethon’s robots have enabled us to automate the entire delivery and tracking process from the pharmacy to the nursing unit,” said Summerfield.

MedEx has cut in half the number of steps required of nurses to obtain medications. “The TUGs have eliminated the need for signatures, copious paperwork, controlled substance counts and actual keys for the lock box,” said UMMC’s Katherine Mulligan, RN. “Once we retrieve the medications, sending the TUG on its way is as easy as closing the drawers and pressing the green ‘go’ button.”

About Aethon

Aethon is a leader in healthcare supply chain logistics, chain-of-command and workflow solutions that automate the movement of equipment and supplies throughout the hospital. At the core of Aethon’s solution is a proprietary autonomous mobile robot, known as the TUG, which can be used to deliver, track and retrieve medications, supplies, meals, equipment and more. TUGs improve asset utilization, ensure regulatory compliance, reduce costs, enhance clinical productivity, improve workflow and allow clinicians to focus on patient care. Hospitals using TUGs realize an ROI of 20 to 50 percent, while improving nurse and patient satisfaction. More information is available at


for Aethon
Carol Stevenson
818-597-8453, x3
[email protected]

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