The robot was recently brought online thanks to the support of generous grants from the Middendorf Foundation, which contributed $60,000 to the project, and CareFirst BlueCross Blue Shield, which contributed $25,000.
Pharmacy staff will be assisted by the robot in selecting prescription pills, counting the medications, and filling and labeling prescription bottles, said Marc Summerfield, Chase Brexton’s Assistant Vice President of Pharmacy. Prescriptions filled by the robot will still be verified by Chase Brexton pharmacy technicians.
“The robot’s advantages include improving efficiency, ensuring accuracy, and improving staff satisfaction,” Summerfield said. “Decreasing patient waiting time is a major anticipated advantage. The time saved will be re-allocated to other pharmacy-related activities, such as patient counseling and student education.”
More than 180 of the pharmacy’s most-commonly filled prescriptions can be stored within the robot, which is expected to handle 50 to 60 percent of the pharmacy’s current prescription orders.