The UNC Health Care System is a not-for-profit integrated health care system, owned by the State of North Carolina and based in Chapel Hill. A distinguishing characteristic of UNC Health Care is its association with the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine, a nationally eminent research institution. This relationship gives UNC Health Care a powerful pathway for moving the results of biomedical research from medical school laboratories to patient care settings.
UNC Health Care selected the PharmASSIST technology to address their goals of enhancing the quality and improving the efficiency of their prescription filling process, and decreasing the amount of time spent on system maintenance of pharmacy automation technology.
“As we were evaluating various systems, PharmASSIST’s imaging, workflow quality protocols, and dispenser features were the key differentiators that aligned with our specific requirements and helped us make our decision,” says Colleen Gresham, Assistant Director of Pharmacy, Ambulatory Care Services at UNC Hospitals.
“Once we made our decision and moved ahead with the implementations, Innovation’s client services team held our hands throughout our training and Go Live, patiently answered all of our questions, and has been there for us since day one. I’m very impressed with Innovation’s commitment to service; it’s been phenomenal,” adds Gresham.
The three UNC Hospital pharmacies employ a bank teller approach to fill on average 700 prescriptions per day with peak periods that reach up to 1100 prescriptions daily.
The UNC Hospital pharmacies’ Symphony+ System configurations include two systems comprised of 3 PharmASSIST cabinets, 150 dispensers, and strategically placed workstations for the various workflow tasks. The third system is comprised of 2 PharmASSIST cabinets, 100 dispensers, and workstations. The PharmASSIST system is integrated with the health center’s Condor pharmacy management system, ensuring real-time prescription order flow for all filling tasks.
“The system’s comprehensive Rx tracking capabilities have enabled our staffs to know exactly where prescriptions are at any time. This has greatly reduced the amount of time we now spend looking for lost prescriptions and disrupting other staff members,” explains Gresham. From a reporting and data analysis perspective, she says she can now closely analyze all types of system and operator activity and make the appropriate adjustments to improve system and staff optimization. The electronic signature pad has enabled the pharmacies to eliminate paper signature logs, and generate reports that prove to patients that their prescriptions have been picked up.
Adds Gresham, “Last but not least, the time we’ve saved by not having to clean the automation equipment has been huge, and has freed up our staffs to focus on the work at hand.”