A systems approach to automated pharmacy dispensing

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Virginia Tech


Application of production line techniques has resulted in the development of centralized unit-dose dispensing in hospital pharmacies. Although this process is more efficient than decentralized dispensing, it is still a labor and time intensive operation. Many of the tasks associated with this operation are rote and repetitive. Also registered pharmacists have been pulled away from patient care areas back to the pharmacy in order to supervise dispensing. As a result the role of the pharmacist as a drug information specialist has suffered.

The scope of this project is to develop a plan for automated dispensing of unit-dosed liquid and injectable medications as a partial answer to the needs of a modern hospital pharmacy. The plan covers conceptual design, including requirements specifications, functional analyses, requirements allocation, and preliminary cost analyses.