CQ Pharmacy dispensing drugs robotically
COOEE Bay Pharmacy has a new team member, Rowa the dispensing robot that is keeping the pharmacy ahead of their game in a first for the Capricorn Coast.
Pharmacy owner Amy Simpson said the decision to upgrade to a robotic dispenser came about after the pharmacy dispensary incurred significant damage from a recent break-in followed by further damage from a broken water pipe.
“We had to refit the entire area and in talking to our neighbours at Total Medical Centre, we learnt they were keen to expand their surgery,” Ms Simpson said.
“We were aware of the Rowa dispensing robot and decided to include the technology in our upgrade to improve the service we deliver to our customers.
“With the Rowa taking up less space than conventional dispensary drawer/shelving systems, it allowed us to down size our footprint while providing Total Health with another much-needed consultation room.”
Ms Simpson said the benefits are enormous giving her staff more time to spend with customers looking for advice and assistance.
“Rowa definitely improves dispensary efficiencies. It optimises medication cycling (expiry date) and gives us a more organised stockroom,” she said.
“It puts our stock away for us when deliveries arrive, so staff no longer need to be working late to refill dispensary stock.
“On dispensing an item, it collects the item and pushes it through a chute to our dispensing station improving processes in both the front and back office.
“It gives us more time to focus on the important things, our customers.
“The technology allows for forward dispensing providing people with easier access to our pharmacists and it has 100% accuracy with stock selection allowing us more time to focus on quality health care.
“Rowa even cleans itself, improves our ordering processes, reduces the incidence of out of stocks and provides a better work flow for the pharmacy.”
Investing in their customers is what Ms Simpson believes Rowa has brought to the pharmacy.
“This technology has not replaced a staff member which has been wonderful, it frees up our time and allows our staff to spend more time providing valuable health care information to our customers,” she said.
“We are always excited to show customers, school children and residents our new machine, it is quite intriguing to watch.
“We are planning to have a naming competition soon and look forward to some innovative suggestions to suit our new robot staff member.”
The robot works by reading the barcodes on each box, picking them up with a suction cup and sending them through shoots to the allocated desks at the front of the store. It can work 24 hours a day, cleaning between shelves and organising boxes so it can select them for the dispensing team in the fastest time possible.