McKesson Unveils Pharmacy Automation System - InformationWeek
Healthcare // Clinical Information Systems
11:32 PM

McKesson Unveils Pharmacy Automation System

The system is designed to improve dosage accuracy and patient safety while saving pharmacists' time.

McKesson PROmanager-Rx
(click image for larger view)
McKesson PROmanager-Rx
McKesson introduced a system to allow hospitals to automate dispensing tablets, capsules, and other oral solid medications that come pre-packaged from drug manufacturers.

By retaining original manufacturer packaging, PROmanager-Rx helps hospital pharmacies increase accuracy and improve safety. The system also frees pharmacists from packaging and dispensing, so they can play more integral roles on the clinical care team, McKesson said. The system dispenses medications in unit-dose barcoded form.

The system, announced Sunday, is installed at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

"Automation of the picking process, improved safety, and increased staff satisfaction make PROmanager-Rx a big win for us," said Charles McCluskey, director of pharmacy and pulmonary services at Riverside, in a statement from McKesson. "On the front end, we can order a pre-packaged product directly from a wholesaler, receive it, and immediately put it into our medication-use process with no need for repackaging. Because we have a check waiver in place from the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, we can improve patient safety at the same time we're minimizing pharmacist involvement in cart fill."

The system supports barcode medication administration operations, with barcode driven robotics scanning every dose for safety and accuracy. The system features order processing and inventory management software to increase inventory turns, manage expired and returned medications, and streamline wholesale ordering.

"PROmanager-RX accommodates more than 90% of oral solid medications in use and available from U.S. drug manufacturers today, including a wide variety of shapes and sizes," McKesson said. "Unit-dose packages produced by Sky Packaging, a McKesson company, are certified for use in PROmanager-Rx. The Sky product line includes the most widely prescribed dosages and strengths in generic oral solid medications used by acute care, long-term care, and institutional pharmacies."

The system has a "sleek design and small footprint," making it easy to install and support. It works with McKesson's Connect-Rx software and other barcode-driven medication-use process systems. Fulfill-RX software lets PROmanager-RX interface with McKesson's pharmaceutical distribution system. "Fulfill-Rx is designed to reduce drug inventory costs and associated labor with a two-way electronic data interchange between McKesson's pharmaceutical distribution centers and hospital automation solutions," McKesson said.

McKesson also introduced the CytoCare Robot for improving safety, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness of oncology IV admixtures in hospital pharmacies. McKesson became the exclusive North American distributor of CytoCare, made by Health Robotics, in August. McKesson also demonstrated its Anesthesia-Rx medication dispensing cart, which provides anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists with greater medication and control in the operating room, the company said.

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