In recent years, many hospitals and medical centers have been adopting new technologies when it comes to prescription medications.
This can be seen in a recent addition that a surgical center in Iowa made. The surgical center reportedly recently installed an ATM-like prescription filling machine in its facility. Reportedly, when a surgeon at the center is prescribing a patient a post-op medication, the surgeon can enter the prescription into a system and give the patient a code for this prescription. The patient can then use this code and his or her credit or debit card to purchase and receive the prescribed medication from the above-mentioned machine. When a patient does this, the machine will reportedly dispense the medication in question in a labeled container.
An official of the center stated that the machine could make filling post-op prescriptions more convenient for the center’s patients and thus could make its patients more likely to actually fill their necessary prescriptions.
This illustrates how many medical centers and hospitals are adopting new methods and tools when it comes to the prescribing of medications and the filling of prescriptions.
One important question to ask when it comes to any prescription-related technology or device is: will this device or technology give rise to any prescription error issues? It will be interesting to see what the answer to this question is when it comes to devices like the one recently installed in the Iowa surgical center. It will also be interesting to see if we start seeing more devices like the one discussed above in medical centers and hospitals throughout the country.
Source: Iowa City Press-Citizen, “Surgical center to dispense pain meds with ATM-style machine,” Rob Daniel, Aug. 1, 2011