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Published on 28 April 2008

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Robot eliminates pharmacy errors

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A robot has been designed to eliminate life-threatening human medication error.

Loyola’s pharmacy in the USA has designed a robot that places single medication doses in plastic bags.

Each plastic bag is barcoded to identify the drug. Once the system is fully implemented, nurses will scan the barcodes on the bag along with the barcodes on patient wristbands.

If the computer detects the wrong drug or wrong dose, a pop-up warning will appear and the computer will sound an alert.

The robot is designed to remove human error such as wrong doses and poor spelling but will not eliminate pharmacy jobs, say Loyola University Health System.

Instead, they say, it will free up pharmacists so they can spend more time monitoring drug therapy and working with patients.

“By improving efficiencies, our robot will allow pharmacists to be deployed to nursing units for better patient care,” said Gwen Volpe.

William Barron, vice president for quality and patient safety at Loyola, said: “Our goal is to continually improve patient safety in every aspect of patient care.”

Loyola University Health System



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