Through innovations in robotic technology, Barwon Health is the first hospital in Australia to install an advanced robotic system for dispensing medications.
It's estimated that 'Ennio', named after one of the German installation team, will save up to $250,000 by allowing for a reduced stock storage, it will also free up staff to perform other tasks and reduce out of hours demand.
Staff enter data into the robot, which then responds to this data by selecting the correct drugs to deliver them to one of four chutes in the dispensary. Drug selection is based on the product barcode, meaning staff are not required to select the drugs themselves or restock the shelves, which has led to a reduction in selection errors.
Barwon Health's Director of Pharmacy, Greg Weeks said that the roll out of robotic systems in hospitals will see medication safety improvements, financial savings, as well as overall process efficiencies.
"The dispensary in the acute site dispenses an average of 3270 outpatient, 3250 inpatient and 10,000 discharge prescriptions items a month," Greg said.
"Staff workflows have adjusted to the new functionality. Interfacing with pharmacy software was a key hurdle to overcome, but teamwork and commitment by all parties has seen a successful robot implementation."