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Robotics in Medication Dispensing

Robotics in Medication Dispensing

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The area of informatics in nursing has had various emerging issues in the recent years that are transforming the way healthcare is delivered to the consumers across the world. Contemporary automated techniques have been around for almost a several years to reduce the percentage of errors in almost every field that affect human life (Nof, 1999).

Robot dispensing is today's innovation that is strongly constructed with technical as well as electrical units and is computerized to execute various projects that people is capable of doing. Robot latest cure is the drugstore and is one of the keys to enhancing personal proper care and reducing healthcare expenses.

Moreover, there is the focus on modernization of the drugstore profession according to (Brown, & American Society of Health System Pharmacists, 2006). In the year 2005, the Department of Health in the UK released a report on ‘Improving medication protection. Aspect of the recommendation included the need to develop robotic dispensing of drugs to help decrease the increasing rates of the medical errors as observed by (Beard & Smith, 2013).

The use of Robotics in medicine in developed countries

Countries like the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom are starting on medication control strategies with important projects being performed to improve the protection and great high quality of actions related to the use of medicines.

In line with these plans there is the recognition of technologies that can decrease both threat and expenses. The higher the incorporation of electronic applications with other hospital techniques, the higher the advantage.

In the same way, over the last 10 years, robots have seen increasing use in medical centers, and whilst some of the advantages seem obvious, the accurate features of a robot which results in the greatest advantage are yet to be identified.

The Robotics prescription process

In medical centers, automatic medication stores are a growing trend. A robot has proved to be efficient and reliable substitute to personal provision medication from the medication stores in many western countries. The robot works as pill-dispensing device that manages and prepares medication.

In this procedure, hospital employees deliver approved medicine to pharmacologists. The prescribed is medicine is qued into the computer for searching. The robot checks the expiration date and chooses up the prescribed and the needed work (Churchill, 2006).

It will take hold of the proper amount, package it and put a brand showing guidelines and personal details. Thus computer operated robot, watches and makes sure patients get only the medicines prescribed for them. Other projects that robots have provided assistance include: handling medication bags, building glucose levels packages, and used for medicine testing (Joint Commission Resources, 2001).

Currently, robots can only distribute medicines by only one technique- the ‘one stop dispensing or the packed down ‘unit doses’ technique.

When the physician recommends the medication on the personal computers, he/she is also writing the brand to affix to the medication. Researchers have established that because the brand is always accurate to the prescribed medication, there often can be no translation related mistake.

Drugs can be saved in the robot by bar rule recognition. There is a direct electronic link between the medication, bar rule, the item selected on the electronic prescribed, and the brand that the robot is applicable (Joint Commission Resources, 2001).

Practical use of Robotics in medication in hospitals

  • In hospitals, the robots handle up to 150 medicines hourly, the program runs on the automatic arm designed to distribute pills straight into the vials thus eliminating medication cross-contamination.
  • The robot prints and is applicable the prescribed brand (including reliable labels) and provides the vial uncapped for final inspection and a confirmation by drugstore employees.
  • Supplies and material needed : power point, sources of electricity, charts , brochures and blood pressure equipment
  • With a 99.46% recorded up-time rate, and a counting precision of 99.7%, a robot can fill 40-75% of the everyday prescribed volume.
  • The UK used a combination of these methods and therefore before execution of robotics was performed, modify of most of the provide sequence towards a ‘one-stop’ or unique package technique was needed. This modification has been achieved, and there are now over 150 successful hospital robot set ups around the UK (Nof, 1999).

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Types of Robots used in medication

Sekhon (2011) outlined the two types of automatic ADMs Robots. These include the Route storage area ADMs , which are less complex robots primarily used in community medication stores where stock is personally loaded into pre-specified programs and secondly, the automatic unique storage area ADMs. These are the most common sort of automatic ADM used in hospital medication stores across the globe.

Robotic ADMs are dispensary-based robots designed to eliminate pick mistakes; speed providing and improve storage area potential. The three main features of dispensary robots are to distribute, package imprest boxes, and restock the robot stock.

One key benefit of the robot ADMs is that the stock is brought straight to the owner via a machine buckle, decreasing non-productive strolling time. Individual items are quick (the average time to the delivery point is 20 seconds) in accordance with the findings of (Script Pro, 2008).

Advantages of using Robots in medicine

The advantages of robot ADMs are mainly with a complete package providing and imprest control; hence these solutions are popular in UK public medical centers where they utilize “one-stop” providing.

The disadvantage of disorderly storage area is the difficulty in personally accessing stock in the event of robot failure. Many have the prospective to check out expiration details from the item bar-coded (Porché, 2008)

The advantages of computerized drugstore techniques are substantial & would make pharmacist’s amount of work immeasurably easier. Pharmacy technician are medication professionals and the physical portion of their amount of work can be replaced by robots (Sekhon, 2011).

With the medical errors costing the UK more than £750 million each year in lawsuits expenses , the use of Robotics medication can accomplish both savings as well as the opportunity for important protection improvements.

Waiting periods are one of the most commonly estimated measures of personal experience. Studies have observed reduction in prescribed turn-around periods although evaluations are difficult due to variations in baselines.

An example is the Wolverhampton Hospital in the UK that discovered a 19% improvement in the variety of items furnished hourly by dispensary employees, and Elegant Bolton Hospital saw an 80% improve in medicines that were completed within one time.

Using the Lean strategy of developing flow of procedures, stock are delivered straight to the employee by providing the medication thereby decreasing inadequate strolling and choosing time (Cambera Hospital, 2009).

How Robotics medicine has helped medical professionals

Even with economic efficiency of reduced extra time and expenses, drugstore in most medical centers remains a 24/7 support, increasingly being performed ‘on call’.

With the execution of the robot, drugstore employees can accomplish medication provide to a secure place for nursing employees to accessibility without having to come into the hospital. This decrease in travel efforts and associated ‘on call’ expenses provided procedure efficiency, economic advantages and improved high quality of operating lifestyle for employees (Deloitte, 2010).

The London NHS Trust revealed increased motivations as employees feel more protected from problems such as recurring strain injury, pollution by cytotoxic drugs and dullness. Staffs also indicated favorable behaviour in terms of job security and professional effect (Nutland, 2004).


There is increasing attention and concern regarding medical errors and the negative activities both within medical care and drug consumers. The techniques for handling medicines have stayed mostly the same for the years while medicines have improved in number and complexness, leading to possibly greater threats for mistake.

Information technology and computerized technological innovation for medicines management are becoming completely innovative to improve drugs protection and procedures and reduce drugs mistakes and negative activities. There are clear benefits in using digital automation machines.

I conquer with medical researchers that these improvements will be noticed so long as the following three circumstances are met. The first is that the robot dispensing program used is incorporated with all the other medical center robot techniques (for exchange of information) according to (Nutland, 2004).

The second is that the automatic accessory is incorporated to the robot dispensing program, and the third is that there are computerized labelers for those products routinely furnished. When the above circumstances are used several advantages become obvious, based on the most crucial of not requiring to retype details.


Beard, R., & Smith, P. (2013). Integrated electronic prescribing and robotic dispensing: a case study. Retrieved from http://www.springerplus.com/content/pdf/2193-1801-2-295.pdf

Brown, T. R., & American Society of Health System Pharmacists. (2006).Handbook of institutional pharmacy practice. Bethesda, MD: ASHP.

Churchill, W. (2006). Using medication safety technology to prevent adverse drug events - what’s the evidence. Retrieved from http://www.gs1.org/docs/healthcare/news_events/060411/6_Churchill_Brigham Womens.pdf

Cambera Hospital. (2009). It and automation solutions for medicines management. Retrieved from http://www.shpa.org.au/lib/pdf/grants/Bula_oct2009.pdf

Deloitte. (2010). Robotic dispensing. Retrieved from http://www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom- Australia/Local Assets/Documents/Industries/LSHC/1011_Automation in Pharmacy National 3.PDF

Joint Commission Resources, Inc. (2001).Preventing medication errors: Strategies for pharmacists. Oakbrook Terrace, IL: Joint Commission Resources.

Nutland, K. (2004). Automated drug dispensing system: Literature review. Retrieved from http://www.sfu.ca/act4hlth/pub/working/ADDS Literature Review.pdf

Nof, S. Y. (1999).Handbook of industrial robotics. New York [u.a.: Wiley].

Porché, R. A. (2008Medication use: A systems approach to reducing errors. Oakbrook Terrace, Ill: Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

Sekhon, B. (2011). Robot pharmacist: An error-free dispensing or stealing the job of the pharmacist. J Pharma Education Research, 2(2), Retrieved from http://www.pcte.edu.in/jper/issues/2011_december_volume_2_issue_2/Chapter_1_Edito r ial.pdf

Script Pro. (2008). Robotic prescription dispensing systems. Retrieved from http://www.scriptpro.com/uploadedFiles/Images/Products/RoboticDispensing/Robots/Ta bletCapsuleDispensing/Robot_brochure.pdf

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