Automated collation system streamlines high volume workflow and increases prescription throughput
Innovation, makers of PharmAssist pharmacy automation solutions, has launched RxCollect, a robotic prescription collation technology that automates the collection of patient-specific group and multi-vial orders in central fill and mail order pharmacies employing single piece flow processing.
Tom Boyer, COO, Innovation, says: “When it comes to increasing efficiency and reducing waste in high-volume prescription environments, lean manufacturing’s single piece flow typically wins out over filling prescriptions in batch mode.
“With that in mind, we invented RxCollect as a downstream automated collation solution for high-volume pharmacies filling patient orders in a continuous, single piece flow mode of operation.
“By filling and collating prescriptions individually, as they’re processed, you eliminate wasted idle time, increasing labor and machine utilization and allowing for greater throughput or shorter shifts.”
The RxCollect technology comprises a Fanuc LR Mate 200iD/7L robot and 50 unique tubular collation queues, with each collation queue accommodating up to five 60-dram vials or bottles.
If a patient’s order exceeds five vials/bottles, RxCollect assigns multiple collation queues for that patient order. During prescription fulfillment, patient order collation occurs after each prescription has been filled.
As each vial/bottle that comprises the order arrives via conveyer at the collation area, RxCollect scans the label prior to placing it into a pre-selected collation queue.
When RxCollect receives and collates the last item in a patient order, the system releases the queue of vials/bottles into an awaiting carrier unit (for example, a tote), and the tote is then released to its next destination. Each collation queue has an optical sensor to ensure that all items are released as expected.
RxCollect has a modular, compact footprint that can be integrated into any new high-volume pharmacy design, or into any existing high-volume pharmacy system (Innovation or non-Innovation) with minimal disruption of operations.