Patient Safety Drives Strong Memorial Toward Total Pharmacy Automation Solution

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Strong Memorial Hospital, University of Rochester, Rochester, N.Y. will install Swisslog's PillPick® automated drug management system, which automatically packages, stores and dispenses unit dose medications in bar coded packages. The state-of-the-art pharmacy automation increases patient safety while improving efficiency in the pharmacy.

The combination of patient safety, state-of-the-art technology, and improved efficiency in the pharmacy were driving forces behind the decision by Strong Memorial Hospital, University of Rochester, Rochester, N.Y., to purchase a complete automated drug management solution by Swisslog, a leader in pharmacy automation.

"The decision was made to work with Swisslog due to their innovative technologic solutions which will increase the efficiency of operations from dockside to the bedside, while also providing opportunity for enhancing patient safety secondary to our ability to put much more consistent and integrated processes in place" said Curtis Haas, director of pharmacy at Strong Health, University of Rochester Medical Center. "The anticipated redesign of our daily workflow is also projected to enhance clinical opportunities for our pharmacist staff to positively affect patient care."

The hospital will install a PillPick® system, which automatically packages, stores and dispenses unit dose medications in bar coded packages. This system replaces Strong Memorial's existing storage and dispensing robot.

How does it work? After packaging from bulk to bar-coded, unit-dose form, the doses are automatically transferred to a high-density pharmacy robot that can hold up to 53,000 unit doses. Unit doses are then pulled from the robot into a unit that assembles patient-specific, 24-hour medication orders on a patented, flexible PickRing. Each PickRing can be arranged alphabetically or by order of administration and a large tag attached to each ring specifies the drug, administration time and other patient-specific information. PickRings are a unique method in which patient-specific drugs are assembled to ensure greater patient safety, as each dose is checked one last time for accuracy before dispensing.

The hospital is also installing two BoxPicker pharmacy store and pick systems. BoxPicker is a technologically advanced alternative to vertical carousels, offering increased safety, inventory security, as well as significant gains in efficiency. Strong Memorial will be the first installation of BoxPicker's refrigerated version, designed to replace pharmacy refrigerators and increase security for drugs requiring cold storage. This system is unique in the market as it provides the ability to automate picking and storage of refrigerated items.

BoxPicker stores and dispenses items in locked drawers, and allows access to only one drug at a time, ensuring secured access and greater safety. Software tracks inventory and access, and interfaces directly with hospital information system. Strong Memorial will benefit from a combined PillPick/BoxPicker software interface that will enable pharmacy staff to identify exactly were a particularly drug is stored. Plus, the BoxPicker system enables picks up to three times faster than carousels, greatly enhancing throughput and efficiency.

Under the terms of the agreement, Swisslog will provide training for pharmacy staff in the operation and basic maintenance of the system. You can learn more about the PillPick automated drug management system for hospital pharmacies by visiting Swisslog online at

About Strong Memorial Hospital
Strong Memorial Hospital is a 750-bed medical facility located at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York. Opened in 1926, it is owned and operated by the University of Rochester and serves as its primary teaching hospital. It is also serves as a primary community hospital and a Level 1 trauma center for the Rochester area.

The hospital has been consistently recognized for its medical leadership as one of "America's Best Hospitals" in U.S. News & World Report's annual survey. Various specialties have been singled out as among the best in the nation, including neurosciences, urology, gynecology, and pediatrics. Strong Memorial has received The National Research Corporation's "Consumer Choice Award" every year for all twelve years the award has been given.

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 2 000 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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