Hospital Takes On Robot Staff

The Pharmacy Department at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital has recruited three new high tech members of staff.

Three robots have been installed within the department as part of an eight month project to improve pharmacy services for patients.

The robots have already proved a hardworking addition to the team, with the ability to rapidly store and retrieve medicine and work 24 hours a day. 

When a delivery is received, the robots are able to load the medicines in to the system using a database of barcodes.  They can store over 13,000 packs each and on average, are able to put away 100 products an hour.

When a prescription or ward stock order is needed, staff simply enter what is required in to the pharmacy IT system.  The robotic arm then selects the medicines and places them on a conveyor belt which delivers them for distribution or labelling and

This replaces the lengthy process of staff having to search long shelves of stored medicines for the desired items.

Andrew Duncan, Chief Pharmacist, commented:

“We are excited to officially introduce our newest members of staff after months of preparation.

“The Pharmacy robots have completely transformed the way the department works, bringing about many notable advantages.  The new process reduces human error by using bar code technology to retrieve the medicines to be labeled and checked by staff, making the whole process safer and quicker for patients.

“Another key benefit of the system is that it helps reduce waste by improving stock control, minimising the risk of expired items and has allowed us to consolidate stock in to one location. 

“In addition, a lot of the time consuming work can now be done by the robots, allowing much better use of staff skills and time.”

 See the robots in action here: