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Innovation collaborates on pharmacy operations paper

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JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. — The Advanced Systems Division of pharmacy automation provider Innovation partnered with the Binghamton University Watson Institute for Systems Excellence (BU WISE) on a thesis paper published in the journal Expert Systems With Applications (ESWA).

Innovation PharmASSIST RDS_rx automationInnovation said Wednesday that the thesis paper, “Pharmacy Robotic Dispensing and Planogram Analysis Using Association Rule Mining with Prescription Data,” explains an optimized approach for determining prescribed medication associations in a high-volume pharmacy environment.

“This important paper is evidence of the practical advantages possible when academia and industry focus together on important challenges. Innovation and our partners at Binghamton University are committed to the adoption and integration of emerging technologies and proven industrial best practices,” commented Tom Boyer, chief operating officer for Innovation.

“The valuable improvements in pharmacy operations that result produce significant benefits to our customers and, most importantly, the patients they serve,” Boyer noted.

Researchers applied the technique for assigning optimal fulfillment locations for specific drugs based on their frequency of association with other medications, and the study showed substantial positive effects, according to Innovation. For example, the research demonstrated how the method reduces the overall processing cost of dispensing prescriptions, increases the throughput of the high-volume technology and process, and improves the management of the pharmacy’s medication inventory.

The research team included Sangwon Yoon, assistant professor of systems science and electrical engineering at Binghamton University; Norma Khader, a graduate student at Binghamton University; and Alecia Lashier, director of software systems engineering for Innovation.

“We applied big data analytics to enhance the efficiency of pharmacy automation and management by finding different rules and patterns of subscribed medications,” Yoon stated. “Additionally, we can apply this research to both enhance pharmacy automation and management and to help us understand patients’ medication adherence and compliance issues in the future.”

Next month, Innovation and BU Wise plan to hold a two-day symposium titled “Exploring Successful Change Management for Pharmacy Operations.” The symposium, to be held April 9 and 10 at Binghamton University, will examined proven industry methodologies and lessons and relate them to pharmacy operations. Some of the topics to be addressed include pharmacy intelligence, big data, predictive analysis and collaborative robots (cobots).


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