Crouse Hospital has installed a new pharmacy robotic system as part of its strategic effort to increase patient safety. The hospital has started to train staff to use the new IntelliFill IV pharmacy robot, which is made by ForHealth Technologies. Crouse is only the second hospital in New York State to install the innovative, high-tech system, which automates the compounding and labeling of up to 600 IV syringes per hour.
The robot automates the compounding and labeling of intravenous doses in syringes at speeds that can only be achieved through automated processes. By employing bar code scanning, vision systems and weight confirmation steps, and by providing final products that are identified with bar codes, the system reduces the risk of medication errors.
“This new technology will provide our pharmacy with a high quality, sterile environment for preparing medications, while providing our nurses with a safe, highly efficient process for administering IV medications to patients,” says Barbara McNiff, director of pharmacy for Crouse. The new system will also save time on the floors, as nurses will no longer need to prepare IV medications on the unit. “The robot pre-packages the IV medication so that it’s delivered and all ready to go once delivered to the nursing unit,” McNiff says.
Crouse Hospital prepares more than 125,000 IV medications each year. Of these, about three fourths can be prepared in syringes ready for administration to patients. The need for individualized doses requires a labor intensive process and, as with any manual process, the potential for human error exists. "This system represents a major step forward in our patient safety program," adds McNiff