|Independents Tap Automation from Innovation||| Print ||
Innovation Associates, known for its PharmASSIST pharmacy automation systems, is now finding that its Eyecon visual countertop counting device is turning out to be a good product line extension. A four-store Minnesota Medicine Shoppe franchisee has installed the Eyecon unit in these stores plus in his independently owned Arrowhead Pharmacy, located in Grand Marais, Minn.
“With our volumes, we were looking for lower-cost automated count- ing that would provide a high level of accuracy for our pharmacies,” says Mike Schwartzwald, owner of the franchises. “The Eyecon was the perfect solution for us. You simply plug it in and you’re ready to go. We’ve experienced 100% accuracy, increased our throughput, and there’s virtually no maintenance.” Schwartzwald found that he immediately cost-justified his investment.
The pharmacies fill in the range of 200 to 400 prescriptions a day. All the stores operate the Eyecon in a stand-alone validation mode without integration with the pharmacy management system. Two important quality assurance features are barcode scanning and digital imagery of the prescriptions to ensure that the right drug is used in the right dose.
According to Innovation, the Eyecon counts tablets and capsules in 200 milliseconds with 99.9% accuracy. Its design lets pharmacists or technicians see the medication at all times, even as they dispense the pills to a vial, and there’s no limitation on how fast they can pour from the stock bottle. If they overpour, the unit displays the exact overcount, and they can then remove any extra medication directly to the stock bottle with
one motion, without touching the medication. To avoid cross-contamination, the Eyecon comes with separate penicillin and sulfa platters.
Then there is Dave’s Pharmacy in Marysville, Ohio, which has installed the company’s PharmASSIST Symphony+ system as the control center for its prescription processing. This pharmacy fills on average 400 prescriptions a day, with peak volumes as high as 525 prescriptions a day. The system has a 50-dispenser automated counting cabinet and is fully integrated with the QS/1 pharmacy system, the voiceTech IVR system for refills, and Cardinal’s perpetual-inventory management system.
Dave Burke, owner of the pharmacy, says that Symphony+ “has added much-needed structure and accountability to our workflow.” This, he finds, has reduced wait times. Burke holds a seat on Cardinal Health’s national retail advisory board.