UCSF Medical Center Opens Robotic Pharmacy to Improve Patient Safety

UCSF Medical Center has opened a new automated hospital pharmacy believed to be the nation’s most comprehensive facility using robotic technology and electronics to prepare and track medications with the goal of improving patient safety. Not a single error has occurred in the 350,000 doses of medication prepared during the system’s recent phase implementation.

To read more: http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2011/03/9510/new-ucsf-robotic-pharmacy-aims-improve-patient-safety

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  1. Thats all great but who controls what patient should have what pill? I bet its not yet automated.
    And why not gather several pills and put them in a "10 AM" bag? I've only seen 1 pill per bag, which generates loads of waste, unless you reuse them (both bags and stickers).

  2. This is very cool technology, and I can see the benefits, however you can never really eliminate human error. Also what about machine error? I'm sure they would have secured access to the robot, but imagine if it started prescribing viagra to people at random.

  3. Go engineers! Did we just replace pharmacists? Pharmacy is soooo labor intensive….haha doctors watch out…biomedical engineering will replace you too!

  4. Woo-Hoo! Does this mean I eventually won't have to sit in the Walgreens drive-through for 20 minutes anymore? "How long can it take for her to find my prescription? I called it in yesterday! Hey, this isn't complete! Where's the rest of the prescription!?!?!"

  5. @nanakeyks Sometimes I'd rather have Viagra than my Adderall. "Hey, instead of being less hyperactive, what if I'm just ready for some lovin'…BABY C'MERE! I think you need to call in sick today. Hells yes!!!"

  6. How many millions in research and development AND actual production costs for this thing? It will take 200 years to make the money back for the one person they laid off in exchange for this robot.

  7. @solidiquis1 Nothing. The video has someone say that the Pharmacist could use their "intellect" to make ensure the patient is taking the right drug at the right dose. The purpose of the machine is to prevent error.

  8. @DarthKap Yeah I agree that human error is not 100% gone. At least the human factor is gone when it comes to picking and counting the correct medication, updating the inventory, updating the system, and not infecting the medication with bacteria from your hands is gone. Personally, I use a lot of computer programs at my work, and computer really helps reduce mistakes.
    I think UCSF is a private teaching hospital. Intelligent Hospital Systems is private company.

  9. a greater risk for patient health is TAKING the prescribed medication.
    whats that?…50,000 deaths a year with direct link causality from taking the "prescribed medication"…

  10. @Shalek 106,000 deaths/year from non-error, adverse effects of medications. How many doctors would be in practice if they actually assisted clients to become healthy ? When being schooled, do doctors study health and vitality or sickness and death ? How many medical schools are sponsored by big pharma? "studies should be carried out to make prescription/medication safer" is an understatement…ever heard of Sister Kinny or Dr Simoncini etc. Scientific reports are trumped by "medical" reports.

  11. @Shalek So much of the "medicine" is MEANT to be piousness: 1 to 5% of "good" medications out there. And caring doctors. Only "be wary" of Dr. Simoncini ? …have you ever asked a "mainstream doctor" what cancer is ? "Cancer: a term used for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues" thats what it does, but what is it ? Dr Simoncini provides the best theory of what cancer is that I have heard of. Sorry, 106,000 deaths/year is not excusable.

  12. @Shalek Duh uh if 106,000 people die a year its NOT WORKING ! No research required…
    You'd get better results if everyone was prescribed weed… I cant wait for science to "take over" the medical community. Printed hearts, bladders custom grown, your own skin cells into stem cells etc. and REAL chemical alterations on the molecular level, not piousness designed to keep people "on the meds" for weeks months and lifetimes

  13. @LunchAnderson "science based medicine IS death by medicine". There is a fraction of pharmaceuticals that have very little side effects and that provide help so "people would not die". I understand your closeness to the industry has your mind focused just on mainly the chemical aspects/reactions dis ease.

  14. As a clinical pharmacist.. I love this! I work in a hospital that uses technology like this and it frees up the pharmacists to do what they are trained for: Pharmacotherapy. We have more time to go over patient's medical status and help improve their medication treatment. We can go and round with physicians; collaborate with other clinical staff and be clinical consultants. When we did this, we ended up hiring more pharmacists because the demand for collaboration increased once physicians worked with us and realized the added value pharmacists added to the team. Less pharmacy techs were hired though…

  15. want to eliminate human error? so there should be no humans! Because – who place pills in that bar coded containers – PEOPLE – and they can mess up the pills!

  16. I am a 2nd year BS Pharmacy student in the Philippines and this type of technology both excites me and makes me very proud of the profession that I am going to take! Amazing.

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