SAMC Pharmacy Goes "Robotic"

"Robot Rx" is a drug distribution system that automates the storing, dispensing, returning, and restocking of bar-coded impatient medications.

The robot is nicknamed "Charlie", after longtime pharmacy director Charlie Scarbrough, who passed away last year.

"Charlie" uses computerized safety checks to fill prescriptions. Medication errors are a leading cause of preventable hospital deaths.

SAMC Pharmacy Supervisor Jenny Nix says the robot helps with efficiency.

"Everyday we dispense more than 2,000 medications and the robot fills those for us. So it's more efficient because before a technician would fill them and a pharmacist would check them. Now we check 15% of the medications that the robot dispenses and we haven't found an error yet."

The product is currently installed in more than 300 facilities nationwide.

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