Pharmacy introduces medication packing robot
A Umina Beach pharmacy has introduced a robot to automate the packing of medications.
YouSave Chemist owner Mr Michael Cunico said the robot would allow improved overall customer service, increased productivity and reduce the chance of medication dispensing errors.
He said the packing robot was "the next move forward" to deliver the best possible service.
"We service a local nursing home and are always looking for better patient care and error reduction," Mr Cunico said.
Nicknamed Al by staff, the robot helps to pack medications into Webster-paks, a widely used tool which makes medication easy to manage by setting out all the tablets and capsules a person needs to take at each particular time of the day, for each day of the week.
"It is an amazing piece of technology - the way it can identify, dispense and track so many different medications, and the speed at which it works, is impressive," Mr Cunico said.
"The increase in productivity ensures we have medications packed on time every time, and importantly allows more time to spend face to face with our customers, checking packs and ensuring medication records are correct."
The MedsPro Robot was developed by Australian company Webstercare.
The barcode-driven system double-checks every step of the packing process, keeping count of each patient's float of tablets and updating the system with accurate data.
"This is our 20th year servicing the local community.
"Our customers are like family to us and we want to make sure they are safe," Mr Cunico said.
"So many of our customers are elderly and can get anxious about their medications, particularly when they are taking several different types.
"I'm not surprised given around 40% of Australians over 50 years take five or more medications every day.
"Research shows that as many as one in two fail to take their medications properly.
"This can lead to many problems including increased likelihood of falls or visits to hospital.
"While the robot was a large financial investment, it puts us at the leading edge of the pharmacy industry and provides our nursing home and private patients the absolute highest level of care in Australia.
"It is worth every cent."
Media release, 29 Jul 2019
Michael Cunico, Umina Beach You Save Chemist
(via Lanham PR for Webstercare)