A community pharmacy in North Somerset is planning to expand its services into local care homes after adopting robotics and technology to improve its dispensing of medication.
SmartPharm, based on Old Street in Clevedon, said the use of the new equipment had made a “massive difference” to its staff workload, allowing time for the business to explore new ventures.
The chain, which opened in Clevedon in January and also has a branch in Brentford, London, said it had been able to achieve 50% efficiency savings since it began using Titan – a patient medical records system (PMR) – developed by Bristol tech firm Invatech Health, alongside a medication dispensing robot from German manufacturer BD Rowa.
Titan is cloud-based software that helps pharmacies to manage medicine dispensing and control business activities in an effort to speed up the user experience for patients and practice owners.
It is the first PMR system to receive NHS accreditation for 15 years and also features barcode technology that a community pharmacy in Wiltshire, Spa Pharmacy, has said helped it reduce dispensing errors by checking medicines against patient prescriptions when scanned.
SmartPharm chief executive Hussein Almosawi said three members of staff at the Clevedon pharmacy’s dispensing team were recently able to dispense 800 items in a single shift.
Mr Almosawi said: “It’s certainly taken the pressure off our staff. They’re enjoying work and life’s not as busy or stressful as it used to be. We no longer have queues stretching around the premises, with people waiting outside in all weathers.
“We’re actually now working at under our full capacity. So we’re looking at launching into care homes without increasing our staff numbers. We can dispense more prescriptions, offer other services and explore new avenues for our business.”
Invatech, which is based in Eastville, recently expanded its services into the online pharmacy sector, has adapted its software to allow integration with other systems, including Germany’s BD Rowa.
Invatech Health chief executive Tariq Muhammad said: “We always planned to have integrations with robots and we saw this as an exciting opportunity to take dispensing workflow to the next level and be more than just a simple message communicating to the robot. We’re extremely pleased with the impact our tech is having.”
Joshua Akin-George, sales leader BD Rowa Northern Europe, said the combination of Invatech’s technology and its own had allowed the ”full potential” of the firm’s dispensing robot to be realised.
Andrew Arthur, BusinessLive