NYU automates pharmacy with robotics

Does robotics qualify as mobile healthcare? We think so. That's why we bring you the news, via TMCnet, that New York University's Langone Medical Center has retooled its pharmacy with advanced robotics to sort and dispense medication. The technology takes pharmacists away from some of the behind-the-scenes grunt work, allowing them to devote more of their time and energy to consulting with care teams and advising patients on maintaining medication regimens after discharge.

The pharmacy, in Tisch Hospital, is said to be the first of its kind in New York City and only the second in the state of New York.

Robotics takes care of sorting and dispensing in less than 30 minutes, and is 99.99 percent accurate, TMCnet reports. When an electronic prescription order comes in, the pharmacist checks for contraindications and possible interactions, then approves the order. The robotic pharmacy system loads picks approved drugs from a store room and loads the meds into bar-coded envelopes that hang from "PickRings." The PickRings are sent to the appropriate room, where the administering nurse perform a final check for accuracy by scanning a bar code at the bedside. The system automatically restocks unused medications returned from patient floors.

"Robotics is revolutionizing the way prescriptions are dispensed and delivered in the hospital setting and allows our pharmacists to spend more time interacting with the care team and patients and promoting more effective use of pharmaceuticals," Dr. Robert I. Grossman, dean and CEO of NYU Langone Medical Center, said at the dedication of the automated pharmacy.

For additional details:
- view this TMCnet story via RoboticsWire
- check out this NYU Langone Medical Center press release