Robot Assists KANA Pharmacists


Jay Barrett/KMXT

The KANA Clinic Pharmacy still has a small staff, but changes there recently are allowing them to provide more personalized service. Jay Barrett has more.

The pharmacy at the Kodiak Area Native Association Clinic on Rezanof Drive was expanded and partially automated this summer with the addition of a new “Script Pro SP-100” dispensing machine.

(robot 16 sec “This is a pharmacy … patient-focused program here.”)

That’s Preston Van Curen, the chief pharmacist at KANA. The patient-focused program includes more consultations with users of the pharmacy, which was a large part of the summer remodel:

(pharma future 21 sec “We have small staff … pharmacy of the future, if you will.”)

Van Curen demonstrated the machine to me yesterday:

(Drug Robot 37 sec “As we input prescriptions … it puts a label on the vial.”)

Patients don’t have to worry if the robot is dispensing the right drugs in the right doses. Van Curen says there are several checks the pharmacy staff goes through to ensure accuracy:

(Double check 19 sec “It shows us a picture … time-saving step as well.”)

The SP-100 is capable of filling as many prescriptions per hour as the pharmacist normally do in a day, which is about 150. Van Curen says it holds 100 different drugs, which is perfect for a pharmacy this size:

(capacity 12 sec “The do make bigger … formulary for our size.”)

The machine is tied in to the clinic’s new patient records computer system, and Script Pro can diagnose any problems with the robot over the Internet. Van Curen says patient records are secure behind a firewall. The machine is leased from Script Pro, though he couldn’t reveal the monthly cost.

I’m Jay Barrett.


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