A total of 1.7 million prescriptions for 500,000 patients issued through the smart pharmacy system
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates July 07, 2019: Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), the UAE’s largest healthcare network has implemented a new smart pharmacy system in its facilities to reduce waiting time and prescription errors. This initiative was a result of a development strategy that ensures a balance between operations, eliminating complicated routines, and enabling medical staff to serve patients optimally. The smart pharmacy system has dispensed over 1.7 million prescriptions since 2014.
Dr. Maha Al Ghufli, Corporate Pharmacy Manager at Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), said: “SEHA has a clear strategy focused on quality, employee empowerment and simplifying work mechanisms. The new smart pharmacy service succeeded in improving accuracy of prescriptions, elimination of over prescription, and reductions in waiting time.
The results have proven the efficiency of the system through the 1.7 million prescriptions accurately given to 523 thousand patients. Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC), Al Rahba Hospital, Tawam Hospital, Mohamed bin Zayed Healthcare Center, Bani Yas Health Center and Oud Al Touba Diagnostic and Screening are among the facilities that have implemented the system. Some hospital pharmacies such as those in Ghayathi Hospital, Madinat Zayed in Al Dhafra, and Corniche Hospital also upgraded their systems.
Al Ghufli added: “The implementation of the smart pharmacy system in our health facilities is the latest qualitative leap SEHA is working towards. We want to administer this program in all our facilities from hospitals to health centers due to the positive results it has yielded in terms of speed and accuracy. We have over 880 pharmacists, 82 of which are Emirati, and they have all expressed their excitement over the efficiency of the system.”
The smart pharmacy system is carried out by a robot that lifts the medicine, prints the label containing the patient's information and delivers it to the pharmacist's window in 8 to 10 seconds. The robot also carries out the technical tasks of dispensing the prescriptions.
The pharmacy at SEHA’s outpatient clinic in Mohamed bin Zayed Healthcare Center was the first to pilot the system. Currently, the smart pharmacies are available in Mohammed bin Zayed Health Healthcare Center, Bani Yas Health Center and Oud Al-Tawba Center for diagnosis and comprehensive examination. Together, they have issued a sum of 904,416 prescriptions to 317,152 patients since their launch.
Since the implementation of this system in November 2018 until the end of May 2019, the smart pharmacy at SKMC has catered to 67,582 patients and dispensed 324,179 prescriptions. Tawam Hospital administered around 190,000 prescriptions to over 60,000 patients while reducing the waiting time from 45 minutes to 10 minutes without any errors. At Al Rahba Hospital, the smart pharmacy has served 285,000 prescriptions to about 79,000 patients since the launch in August 2018.
At SEHA's Corniche Hospital, there are 17 smart pharmacies dispensing and distributing around half a million different types of medication prescribed to patients in the hospital, increasing efficiency and contributing to the overall quality care provided to the patients of the hospital.
An automated teller machine system has been in operation since 2016 at SEHA’s Al-Dhafra Hospital. Madinat Zayed Hospital and Ghayathi Hospital have automatic dispensing cabinets which have been operational in intensive care departments under the supervision of the pharmacists. These automated dispensing cabinets have resulted in eradicating errors, quicker delivery, a 50% reduction in single use plastics and the increased storage safety of inpatient medicines, which hold 70% of prescriptions.