The Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera became the first Israeli medical center to implement an advanced robotic system that automatically dispenses medication to hospital wards while cross-referencing patient information with doctor's orders.
The system prevents errors in the medication distribution process and saves time for the nursing staff.
All medical facilities in Israel employ similar methods for drug distribution: Each unit orders its inventory in advance from the pharmacy and nurses dispense the medicine throughout their shift in a lengthy process, according to doctors' orders.
The robotic dispenser (Photo: Hilel Yafe)
"The process is very time consuming for the nursing staff, and can lead to many mistakes, which may be life threatening at times," Eyal Shwartzberg, Hillel Yafe's pharmacy director, explained.
The new robotic dispenser allows the medical staff to send all prescriptions to the pharmacy, where the data is entered into the system while dosages and other prescription notes are cross-referenced with patient's records.
The system alerts the pharmacists if any conflicts emerge.
After the prescription is verified, the system employs a robotic device to collect the precise amount of pills, print instructions and pack then in a sealed bag. This way, if a patient was already discharged the device can restock the unused prescription after verifying the package's seal is intact.