Monday, 21 December 2009

No longer fiction

Robot 'helps make pharmacy safer'
The owners of a pharmacy say a new £200,000 robot is helping to dispense drugs more efficiently and virtually eliminates human "picking errors". Dr Fraser Campbell and his wife Jacqui, who own Pritchards Pharmacy in Prestatyn, Denbighshire, say the robot has improved safety.

The Campbells paid to adapt their premises and install the machine, which can hold up to 12,000 items. It dispenses drugs through a chute and can also re-stock shelves overnight. The robot handles more than 90% of the pharmacy's stock. When a customer presents a prescription, the robot picks the required drugs and dispenses them through a chute.

Mrs Campbell said: "Having the robot has made us far more efficient and has streamlined the entire dispensing processing, making it safer and quicker for our patients and customers. "Pharmacists are being encouraged more and more to use their clinical skills in a more effective way. The robot has freed up time to enable us to devote more time to providing additional services such as medication reviews and smoking cessation clinics." Catherine Clayton, a technician at the pharmacy, added: "The robot has been a fantastic addition to the pharmacy and it takes the stress out of dispensing. It has also increased efficiency, helping us to keep on top of stock levels."
The robot went live in October and Mrs Campbell is now in talks with a local college to produce a film of it in action which customers can watch.
She and her husband are holding open evenings throughout December to demonstrate the robot to health professionals.
via BBC

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