PROmanager-Rx is an automated system from McKesson designed for dispensing unit-dosed oral solids. PROmanager-Rx has a 12,000-dose capacity and uses a conveyor system and bar-code scanner to fill orders generated through the pharmacy information system.
The system automates storage, dispensing, restocking, and various inventory management functions via the McKesson Connect-Rx software platform. And of course the system interfaces with McKessonâ€™s pharmaceutical distribution system.
According to the McKesson product brochure:
The PROmanager-Rxâ„¢ system helps hospital pharmacies get the most out of manufacturer packaged oral solid medications. And relieves the burden of medication packaging.
Itâ€™s the only fully automated system that directly stores and dispenses pre-packaged oral solids. PROmanager-Rx is ideal for patient-centric filling. Bar-code-driven robotics scan every dose for the greatest possible safety and accuracy.
Pharmacists are freed from packaging and dispensing activities so they can play more integral roles on the clinical care team. Bar-code scanning also simplifies tasks such as managing returns, expired meds, and overall inventory.
There are some things I donâ€™t necessarily like about this system, but the design and the technology could offer some tremendous benefits to facilities like ours. If the system could be used to fill and dispense more than just oral solids and be modified to pull items for an automated dispensing cabinet (ADC) replenishment, then I think weâ€™re on to something.
The PROmanager-Rx has a footprint of 15 ft. x 8 ft. with an 8 ft. height clearance and weighs in at about 4,300 lbs. Thatâ€™s a lot of machine to dedicate to oral solids. Modifying the machine to manage topicals, injectable vials, ophthalmic and otic preparations, etc. would go a long way to increasing the potential for this device. Addition of a refrigerated compartment would simply be icing on the cake.
Our facility doesnâ€™t use a cart fill model. Instead we dispense greater than 95% of our medications through ADC units, i.e. Pyxis, on the floor. Not only do we dedicate a large amount of technician time to pulling the Pyxis fill, we also devote a fair amount of time to pharmacists to check it. There are pros and cons to this model, but ultimately it works well for us.
The value of a system like PROmanager-Rx is diminished in a model such as ours. However, if this technology could be used to perform the Pyxis replenishment functions currently done by our technicians then we could potentially alter our workflow and free up pharmacist and technician time. In other words, let the technology free up people to perform other non-automated tasks. The addition of tech-check-tech to this model could potentially generated even more pharmacist time.
Iâ€™ve been around carousel and robot technology for a couple of years now and have seen great advances in terms of technology designed to store, retrieve, and dispense medications more efficiently. While Iâ€™m optimistic that weâ€™re headed in the right direction, I think we still have a ways to go.