As the word â€œrobotâ€ passes its 90th birthday1 – introduced by Karel Capek in his play R.U.R. (Tossumsâ€™s Universal Robots) in January 1921 â€“ it’s become obvious that robotics has not only captured the imagination of geeks everywhere, but has become a point of interest in many industries including healthcare.
Late last year ASHP began pushing the idea of a new pharmacy practice model, PPMI. TheÂ movement was a hot topic for a while, but seems to have lost a lot of steam recently â€“ â€œHence the name: movement. It moves a certain distance, then it stops, you see? A revolution gets its name by always coming back around in your faceâ€ (Tommy Lee Jones in Under Siege 1992) – Anyway, when the PPMI movement was still going strong many important people in the pharmacy world struggled with the best way to approach a new pharmacy practice model. Many believe, and rightly so,Â that the best way for pharmacists to reinvent themselves is to becomeÂ the cornerstone of a more robust patient care model. After careful consideration I believe the best hope for developing such as model will be to rely heavily on pharmacy robotics to handle much of the repetitive dispensing duties now handled by pharmacist on a day to day bases. You know, free up the pharmacists. It’s not a new concept, but one that seems to escape us.
Obviously it will take some time to develop robotics to the point where it will be effective inÂ such a system, and it certainly wonâ€™t be cheap, and pharmacists will have to fight with state boards of Â pharmacy to accept it, and pharmacy administrators will have to work closely with their hospitals to develop such a systems, and someoneâ€™s going to have to be brave enough to step up to the plate and get stated, and so on and so forth. In other words it’s going to be hard and it wonâ€™t happen overnight.
Whoâ€™s up for a little project? For now let’s just take a quick look at some of the things that lead me to believe robotics is worthÂ another look as a potential solution.