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27 August 2017

Meet the ‘smart pharmacists’ at nRAH

Internal view of a Rowa Vinax machine, which sorts stock, storage and distribution of medicines in the nRAH, promising a robotic pharmacy revolution. AAP Image/ Keryn Stevens

ROBOTIC drug dispensing and delivery at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital is expected to save time and reduce dangerous mistakes.

Inspecting the equipment on Sunday, Health Minister Jack Snelling said cutting-edge robotics minimised manual processes.

“That means there’s less chance of human error,” he said.

Associate Director of Pharmacy Services at CALHN Anna McClure. AAP Image/ Keryn Stevens

Associate Director of Pharmacy Services at CALHN Anna McClure. AAP Image/ Keryn StevensSource:News Corp Australia

“The automated system will help to ensure patients receive the right medication, at the right dose, at the right time.”

Almost 22 per cent of health safety incidents reported last year by SA Health were medication-related.

Significant errors included administering the wrong dose, wrong frequency, wrong drug, omission of a dose, failure to prescribe and failure to keep a record, although none resulted in a patient death.

Anna McClure, Central Adelaide Local Health Network associate director of pharmacy services, said the new technology should improve patient care.

“Pharmacy automation systems are a safe, effective and efficient way to improve the speed and accuracy of treating hospital patients with medicines, while improving security and accountability,” she said.

The new RAH is at technical completion stage – here’s what it looks like inside

“Having medication securely located within all clinical areas will mean a more efficient access for nursing staff to administer medications to their patients with less delay.”

The robotic system, which was revealed by the Sunday Mail last week, will unpack, store and dispense drugs and automated dispensing cabinets will hold the medication in clinical areas.

The technology will track drug use, recording where all medicines have been distributed and to whom they have been dispensed.

Behind the scenes, automatic vehicles will deliver stock around the hospital and urgent requests could arrive within minutes, via a pneumatic tube system.

Originally published as Meet the ‘smart pharmacists’ at nRAH

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