Nationally Ranked Houston Hospital Selects Swisslog's Advanced Pharmacy Automation System

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An advanced drug management system designed to package, store and dispense medications in bar coded, unit-dose form will soon be installed at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas.

An advanced drug management system designed to package, store and dispense medications in bar coded, unit-dose form will soon be installed at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas.

The hospital will be installing two completely independent PillPick® systems, built by Swisslog, a leading global provider of pharmacy automation systems for hospitals. The two systems combined will give the hospital the capability of packaging and storing 53,000 unit doses. The hospital will use the system to package, store and dispense oral solids including capsules and tablets. The 900-bed Methodist Hospital dispenses more than 18,000 unit doses daily.

Bar coded unit doses will be assembled into Swisslog’s patented PickRing, a flexible ring assembly of patient-specific, 24-hour medication orders arranged alphabetically or by order of administration. A large bar coded tag attached to each PickRing specifies the drug, administration time and other patient-specific information.

The advantages of the PickRing, along with the flexibility and expandability of PillPick, were important considerations for The Methodist Hospital when considering a complete unit dose packaging, storage and dispensing system.

“The ability to daisy-chain the PillPick systems together to increase total dose capacity and picking allows the system to meet the volume demands of our large teaching hospital,” said Kevin Garrett, R.Ph., Coordinator for Pharmacy Computer Support. “The flexibility and redundancy inherent to the design provides the ability to redirect jobs to maintain workflow. The PickRing provides a double bar code scan verification for increased accuracy, and can allow our site to pick 24-hour patient doses sorted by administration time to facilitate reconciliation and administration by our nursing staff.”

The PillPick system at The Methodist Hospital will be fully operational by November 2006.

About The Methodist Hospital

The Methodist Hospital has earned worldwide recognition since it opened its doors in 1919. As a private, adult teaching hospital affiliated with Weill Medical College of Cornell University, it directs millions of research dollars into patient care and offers the latest innovations in medical, surgical and diagnostic techniques. Methodist also maintains various joint programs with Baylor College of Medicine. The hospital is among the country’s largest non-profit healthcare providers. Its medical staff, meanwhile, include dozens of physicians listed in The Best Doctors in America. The Methodist Hospital is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s best hospitals. It was ranked among the country’s top centers for neurology and neurosurgery; urology; ear, nose and throat; psychiatry; ophthalmology and gynecology. Methodist also is one of FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.”

About Swisslog

Swisslog is a global provider of integrated logistics solutions for warehouses, distribution centers and hospitals. Its comprehensive services portfolio ranges from building complex warehouses and distribution centers to implementing Swisslog’s own software. In addition Swisslog provides intra-company logistics solutions for hospitals as well as software and consulting services in the field of supply chain management.

Swisslog's solutions optimize customers' production, logistics and distribution processes in order to increase flexibility, responsiveness and quality of service while minimizing logistics costs. With years of experience in the development and implementation of integrated logistics solutions, Swisslog provides the expertise that customers in more than 50 countries around the world rely on.

Headquartered in Buchs/Aarau, Switzerland, Swisslog currently employs around 1,850 staff in 20 countries worldwide. The group's parent company, Swisslog Holding AG, is listed on SWX Swiss Exchange (security number: 1232462, Telekurs: SLOG, Reuters: SLOG.S). For more information, visit

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Charles Warren
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