Stories of pharmacy automation
Stories of pharmacy automation
We sat down with Pharmacist (M.Sc.) Ville Peura to talk about his experience working with the Iso-Fixu ADS.
“Without the Iso-Fixu, we would certainly have had to recruit more staff and make new space arrangements over the years due to expansion in operation."
"The validation process at HUS is the result of long-term work. When HUS Pharmacy introduced Mega-Fixu, every medicine package was validated during the first year. When the margin of error dropped below 0.02 percent, the number of validations could be reduced."
“The automated dispensing system has helped optimise our working time and movement in the workspace. We have managed with the same staff even though prescription deliveries have increased by up to 20% since our move to the new pharmacy premises."
”Initially, people worried whether taking medicines out of the ADC would take longer than before, as there are several new phases in the process."
“I have been able to develop my areas of expertise as a technical employee. Thanks to the automated dispensing system, my working days have nice variation as I have enough time to also do other pharmacy tasks besides storage work."
”Automation systems have increased cooperation between the hospital pharmacy and hospital wards."
Because of the commissioning of automation, significant changes are required to hospital processes and procedures. To make the transition to the new hospital smooth, preparations for the changes in procedures are made in good time.
Another area that received a great deal of attention during the construction phase was the asepticity of the operating theatres.
"I also think of Iso-Fixu as an investment – if I decide to sell the pharmacy one day, the ADS will increase its value."
Within just a few weeks, the pharmacy owner noticed that the updates made the unloading of received goods into the system up to 20% faster.
Working as a nurse in an intensive care unit is hectic and demanding. The work requires rapid reactions and acute medication – and you cannot afford any mistakes.
"The most important feature of the robot is the multi-picking feature, which allows the robot to collect and deliver up to 14 medicine packages at a time."
In manual labour, using the key pinch grip and twisting wrists repeatedly when drawing antibiotics from bottles puts an excessive strain on hands and shoulders.
"Thanks to the changes that we made, our customer journey is now significantly better and faster than before."
I wanted to maximise the space available for customer service, which is why we needed the most compact storage system available for the prescription medicines.
She thinks that the robot in automated dispensing system looks human, and its name was decided by vote among the employees. “Sometimes I even say ‘good morning’ to Kerttu when I walk past the robot,” Ms. Immonen says, laughing.
Thanks to the Iso-Fixu, the users’ workload is now lighter and they can work faster than before. The monotonous task of filling the storage shelves is no longer needed.
"It will be interesting to see how customers coming to retrieve a prescription medicine like it when they can also choose other products conveniently on the screen."
Involved in the operations is the world’s largest fully automated medical storage system, which has two robot arms feeding 4,000–5,000 medicine packages into the storage a day.
The robot will make life more difficult for burglars as medicines are placed on shelves in a random order and uninvited guests cannot access them as easily.
In the beginning of the year, one pharmacy technician would spend the entire working day there and respond to a pharmacist’s medicine order by dropping the medicine via pneumatic mail down to the first floor.
The operating rooms, recovery ward, intensive care units and C-section rooms of Kaari Hospital are the first in Finland to begin using electronic eMED ICON automated dispensing cabinets.
In addition to new buildings and renovations, the hospital has been modernized by automating its pharmacy automation.
The robot will change work especially on the wards that use large volumes of cefuroxime. Nurses will have more time available for nursing, and pharmacists can focus on supporting medicine supply in practice.
"We have been able to allocate the time of our technicians more efficiently. Since incoming goods are processed faster, more time has been made available for tasks that previously suffered from a lack of time."
"The customer at the service counter sees the robot’s exterior wall with a refreshing image of grass taped onto it. The cabinets on the wall and the medicine outlet are white"