Technology and Pharmacy Safety

University Hospitals and Clinics pharmacy staff are extremely well supported by technology that ensures the safety of patients and allows pharmacists more time to care for patients.
"We are the most automated pharmacy department in the country. As a result of that, it makes jobs more rewarding," says Steve Rough, UW Hospitals and Clinics director of pharmacy services. "The combined use of technicians and the technology that they work with helps free pharmacists to spend more time taking care of patients." As a result, pharmacists find themselves participating in more clinical and drug therapy decision-making.
The combined work of pharmacy technicians and technology has brought the error rate down from 1 percent to 0.01 percent. This declining error rate allows UW Health's pharmacy team to devote more time to other integral aspects of the job, such as patient admission drug histories, discharge counseling and cognitive services.
Innovative technology used within the pharmacy department at UW Hospitals and Clinics includes: 
  • Centralized robotics dispensing technology: Originally implemented in 1992, UW Hospital and Clinics was the second hospital in the world to have a robot in the central pharmacy that uses barcode technology to dispense medications.
  • Admin-Rx: Pharmacy orders go into a hand-held computer that nurses use to scan both the barcode on the drug and the patient at the bedside to assure accurate medication administration. Improving both patient and nurse satisfaction, AcuScan eliminates much human error.