Swedish Medical Center is the largest, most comprehensive, nonprofit health provider in the Pacific Northwest. It is comprised of three hospital campuses (First Hill, Providence and Ballard), Swedish Home Care Services and Swedish Physicians – a network of 11 primary-care clinics.
Swedish Hospital’s goals for automation were to address their need for structure, efficiency, and accountability in their pharmacy workflow. Swedish evaluated various automated dispensing, robotic, and workflow management systems and selected the PharmASSIST technology because of its comprehensive workflow management capabilities and small overall footprint.
Swedish Medical Center’s outpatient pharmacy fills approximately 450-500 prescriptions a day with peak periods of 550-600 prescriptions daily.
The hospital’s PharmASSIST Symphony+ System is comprised of 2 PharmASSIST cabinets, 100 dispensers, and 7 workstations. The PharmASSIST system is integrated with their Health Business Systems (HBS) pharmacy management system, ensuring real-time prescription order flow for all Rx fulfillment tasks.
“Our PharmASSIST system has enabled us to implement a standardized and greatly improved workflow that helps our staff fill prescriptions faster, more accurately, and much more efficiently. A key to our improvement is the system’s Rx imaging and tracking capabilities, which provide quick and easy access to prescription orders and status,” says Dick Ferrell, R.Ph and system ambulatory pharmacy manager. “Our staff now has defined roles within the workflow, which helps speed up the process and makes everyone accountable for their specific task. All of this is critical to us as we are on a tight leash when it comes to wait times. With PharmASSIST, we are achieving our goal for “walk-up” wait times by filling and delivering a prescription in 20 minutes or less.”
“Another key to our getting up and running quickly was the compact size and modularity of the PharmASSIST cabinets. We have very limited space and did not have the room to install a robotic system,” says Ferrell. “The small footprint of the cabinets enabled us to install them as end caps on the ends of our shelves. So instead of losing shelf space and getting into major renovations, we very easily fit the cabinets into our existing layout.”