JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. — Innovation has rolled out RxCollect robotic prescription collation technology for central-fill and mail-order pharmacies.
The pharmacy automation provider said Wednesday that RxCollect automates the collection of patient-specific group and/or multi-vial orders at central-fill and mail-order pharmacies using single-piece flow processing.
The RxCollect technology includes a Fanuc LR Mate 200iD/7L robot and 50 tubular collation queues, and each collation queue fits up to five 60-dram vials or bottles. If a patient’s order exceeds five vials/bottles, RxCollect assigns multiple collation queues for that order, according to Innovation.
During prescription fulfillment, patient order collation occurs after each prescription has been filled, the company said. As each vial/bottle in the order arrives by conveyer at the collation area, RxCollect scans the label before placing it into a preselected collation queue. When RxCollect receives and collates the last item in an order, the system releases the queue of vials/bottles into an awaiting carrier unit, such as a tote, which then is released to its next destination.
In addition, each collation queue has an optical sensor to ensure that all items are released as expected, Innovation noted.
“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,” stated Tom Boyer, chief operating officer of Innovation. “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,” Boyer explained.
Innovation said RxCollect has a modular, compact footprint that can be integrated into any new high-volume pharmacy design or any existing high-volume pharmacy system with minimal disruption of operations.