Fully Automated Pharmacy Marks Grand Opening

TROY, OHIO, November 14, 2012 -  Dayton Daily News

By Peggy O'Farrell,  Staff Writer

A state-of-the-art automated pharmacy aims to improve safety, cut costs and improve efficiency for long-term care facility residents in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.

Remedi SeniorCare celebrated its grand opening Tuesday at its newest facility. The $10 million facility serves more than 8,000 residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other long-term care facilities in Ohio, said general manager Patrick Dennis, and employs 177 people.

The pharmacy uses robotic technology to dispense daily medication regimens for residents of more than 120 long-term care facilities, said Michael Bronfein, chairman, president and CEO of Remedi SeniorCare.

“We’ve taken the pharmacist out of the counting of pills” with the new technology, Bronfein said. With the new technology, pharmacists can focus more on the clinical aspect of their jobs and making sure patients are receiving appropriate medications.

The system, the Paxit Med-Pass Solution, is the industry’s only fully automated medication dispensing system, Bronfein said. It was designed and developed based on input from nurses and others in the long-term care industry, he said, and researching and developing the technology took about seven years and $30 million. The system was launched in 2007.

So far, Bronfein said, the system has dispensed 60 million doses of medication through facilities in Virginia and Maryland without a single error. Every medication order is reviewed by pharmacists before the orders are filled by the system and before they shipped to long-term care facilities.

The robotic system can prepare daily regimens faster and more accurately than people can, Bronfein said.

Individualized medication orders are shipped out daily from the pharmacy to long-term care facilities. Sending out daily orders cuts down on waste that might occur if residents’ needs change or if they are discharged or move, Bronfein said.

Client facilities can send in prescription orders through a secure Web portal or through an electronic fax. Each patient’s regimen is individually bagged and bar-coded, and each order is reviewed by computer and a pharmacist for accuracy.

IV solutions, lotions and some other prescriptions are prepared by hand, Dennis said. The facility has a clean room for compounding prescriptions, and the clean room is certified twice a year.

Remedi provides prescriptions for more than 30,000 long-term care facility residents in nine states and Washington, D.C.

Remedi will open a second automated pharmacy in the Cleveland area next year, Bronfein said. The company currently operates a traditional pharmacy in Eastlake. The new automated pharmacy is scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2013.

The company moved into the Troy facility in September, Dennis said. Previously, it was located in Covington.

Remedi SeniorCare

  • Baltimore-based pharmacy serving more than 30,000 residents of long-term care facilities in nine states and the District of Columbia.
  • Operates pharmacies in Ohio (Troy and Eastlake), Maryland, Michigan and Virginia. A Pennsylvania facility is in the works.
  • Established in 2002.