Robot pharmacist unveiled at Lyell McEwin Hospital

A new in-pharmacy robot is modernising how medicines are delivered at South Australia’s Lyell McEwin Hospital (LMH).

The installation, which can store up to 36,000 packages at any one time, is automating the dispensing process and streamlining services for consumers in the north of Adelaide.

The new installation is the result of a $1.6 million investment from the state government, supporting the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (NALHN) and SA Pharmacy to reduce potential medication errors and reduce waiting times for patients.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Stephen Wade said the investment was an innovative way to enhance patient care.

“With the benefit of this advanced technology, we are empowering our clinicians and staff with the right tools to better support the health and wellbeing of patients,” said Minister Wade.

“This machine can store up to 36,000 packages at any one time, enhancing efficiency and streamlining the process of delivering medicines on a significant scale.

“The Lyell McEwin Hospital is now the second SA Pharmacy public hospital site to install a dispensing robot in South Australia, after the Royal Adelaide Hospital in 2017.  This enhanced service comes to the north of Adelaide for the very first time.

“The Marshall Liberal Government is committed to delivering better health services and technology such as to ensure that all South Australians have access to medication in the safest way possible.”

NALHN’s Director of Pharmacy Services Richard Marotti said the in-pharmacy robot unpacks, stores and dispenses medication.

“It improves medication safety by minimising errors in the distribution and supply process, ensuring we are providing the correct medicine each time,” said Mr Marotti.

“The automated system also improves stock control and accountability while providing a more efficient system for monitoring of expired stock.

“Most importantly, it provides staff with more time for other tasks as it can continue to work after-hours. In a busy pharmacy hospital environment, more time means staff spending more time educating and supporting patients regarding their medicines.”