Our facility utilizes several software and hardware products from Talyst to manage our pharmacy inventory and support our goal of bar coding 100% of the pharmacy inventory. The entire system consists of the Talyst AutoCarousel system for automated carousel storage, their AutoPharm software for inventory management, their AutoPack system for packaging and bar coding our bulk medications, and their AutoLabel system for generating bar coded labels for items that aren’t bar coded from the manufacturer or whose bar codes aren’t easily read.
About 60% of our medication inventory is stored in the AutoCarousel system. Not unlike most acute care pharmacies the remaining inventory is scattered throughout various areas in the pharmacy: refrigerators, freezers, large shelving areas, etc. Items not stored in the carousels aren’t necessarily routed through the AutoPharm system, and thus don’t benefit from the software’s functionality.
Talyst is currently piloting a system that makes use of their AutoPharm software without the need for their AutoCarousel system. The pilot is designed to take advantage of the AutoPharm software in an area with static shelving. I prefer using the automated carousels for storage, but this new idea is ideal for smaller facilities with limited capital resources that might not be able to afford the AutoCarousel system. They get the benefits of AutoPharm at a greatly reduced cost.
Our facility is fortunate enough to be involved in the pilot. For the last several days I’ve been installing AutoPharm workstations at both our sub-acute facility and an additional AutoPharm workstation in our main pharmacy. The installation was quite painless and went amazingly smooth. The process consisted of getting the hardware peripherals connected to the PC, configuring the network connections and entering the inventory into the system; piece of cake.
According to the Talyst website:
Inventory and Workflow Manager
The Talyst connected pharmacy uses powerful AutoPharm® software and a suite of hardware components to enable greater patient safety, improved efficiency, and control of your inventory. The unique AutoPharm software platform allows you to manage your complete pharmacy inventory from arrival to delivery. It works throughout your facility, even with multiple locations and multiple hospitals.
• AutoPharm allows multiple bar code checks to receive, restock, and dispense medications Works with your current bedside verification system and unit-based equipment.
• Supports automated packaging and labeling to bar code virtually 100% of your doses
• Supports Automatic Canister Recognition Systems for accurate pharmacy packaging
• Enables the creation of a real-time, perpetual inventory system
• Supports your current hospital information system and wholesale relationships
• Enables password-protected security to limit access to medication and data
• Enables centralized ordering and management
• Supports multiple pharmacy inventory locations
• Automates receiving, stocking, picking, and returns
• Synchronizes user tasks and system components
• Automates wholesale orders driven by actual usage
• Works with centralized or decentralized pharmacy distribution models
• Supports web-based ordering from remote departments or hospitals