STRATHDALE Pharmacy has become the second Pharmacy in Bendigo to install a robot improving pharmacy service.
The first robot, is a dispensing machine while Strathdale Pharmacy’s robot, designed by the Australian-owned company Westercare, precisely and quickly packs customers’ medications.
According to the pharmacy’s proprietor Gary Leung, the robot is the fastest way of packing Webster-pak, which contains seven days worth of medication divided into four dosing times – breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime – to ensure that patients take the right drug at the right time.
“If we do it ourselves, we can probably pack 25 a day but when the robot takes over, it can pack 25 an hour,” he said.
There are currently less than forty Webstercare robots in use around the country, but the demand is increasing.
Mr Leung also points out that pharmacies definitely want to improve efficiency and accuracy in packing medications as well as improve the patients’ compliance, especially for the ones with intellectual disabilities and the elderly.
“With the help of the robot, we can free ourselves from the picking and packing roles and a lot more can be given to counselling patients and liaising with other health professionals,” he says.
Mr Leung believes that good pharmaceutical service and advice can definitely improve quality of patients life.
“Community pharmacists are in the very front line of the healthcare service and we are the only healthcare professional that one can access without any prior appointment in the community,” he said.
“We have a very important role to play here.”