UCSF

Robotic pharmacy aims to free the pharmacist, improve medication safety

Automated robots in a new, high-tech pharmacy now prepare medications for UCSF hospital patients with the aim of improving medication safety while freeing UCSF hospital pharmacists and nurses to spend more time caring directly for patients.

According to Lynn Paulsen, PharmD, UCSF Medical Center’s director of pharmaceutical services, there have been no medication errors in the 350,000 doses of medication prepared during the robotic pharmacy’s phase-in, which began in October 2010. “UCSF led the way in training clinical pharmacists, who focus on the patient care rather than the drug products,” said Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD, dean of the UCSF School of Pharmacy. “Automated medication dispensing (now) frees pharmacists from the mechanical aspects of the practice. This technology, with others, will allow pharmacists to use their pharmaceutical care expertise to assure that patients are treated with medicines tailored to their individual needs.”

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About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy aims to solve the most pressing health care problems and strives to ensure that each patient receives the safest, most effective treatments. Our discoveries seed the development of novel therapies, and our researchers consistently lead the nation in NIH funding. The School’s doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program, with its unique emphasis on scientific thinking, prepares students to be critical thinkers and leaders in their field.