Pharmacy Automation Has Cut Wait Time in Half at a Family-owned Pharmacyx

Marcum’s Pharmacy has served the Kingsport, Tennessee area for over 50 years, providing everything from personalized compounding to free deliveries. . They also offer a selection of innovative pain-management products, and products for new mothers. A family-owned facility run by a grandfather/grandson team, many of their customers also represent families who have considered Marcum’s their hometown pharmacy for over five decades. Those decades have been witness to the evolution of pharmacy technology, culminating in last year’s purchase an RxMedic ADS (Automatic Dispensing System). ADS technology: so many prescriptions, such little time (to dispense them) Pharmacist Colton Marcum—echoing the sentiments of many professionals who have made the switch to pharmacy automation—says the difference the ADS has made has been significant. Because the machine counts and dispenses pills from individual chutes (it can hold up to 256 medications simultaneously) directly into labelled vials utilizing vacuum dispensing and a unique HEPA filtration system, it eliminates the risk of cross-contamination. It also substantially expedites the process of getting prescriptions to customers. “Wait times are cut in half,” says Marcum. “And the machine is a real benefit around the first of the month, which is usually our busiest time: on the first day of this month, we filled 700 scripts. The pharmacy robot helped us out with that a lot.” Many professionals have praised the time the ADS has allotted for them to spend with patients; Marcum, too, cites this as one of RxMedic ADS major benefits. “Our customers know us,” he says, “and they rely on us for advice: this place is like that…a ‘neighborly’ kind of atmosphere. So it’s nice to have that extra time to work with.” Customer support: there when needed As every professional knows, busy pharmacies don’t have time for downtime. RxMedic approach to customer service means that the pharmacy can often get an immediate resolution via in-system video capabilities. Customer service can also be reached online or on the phone and, if necessary, a technician can be quickly dispatched to the pharmacy. Marcum stresses that the customer service team is always prompt and helpful. “We’ve had just a few incidents,” he says. “But they’ve been dealt with quickly and professionally. The customer service is a hundred percent, and it means a lot not to have to worry about that part of things.” Pharmacy technology: easy to learn, easy to use Marcum also agrees that the RxMedic ADS is easy to use. “We didn’t have any problems learning to work with it,” he says. “A lot of people might think it’s complicated, but it’s actually designed to be the opposite way, I think.” RxMedic has an intuitive touch screen operator interface, so prescriptions can be checked out easily. Even changing the contents of a cell can be handled in just a few minutes by on-site pharmacy staff. With its unprecedented safety components and “hands-on” features, ADS pharmacy robots are fast becoming a valuable tool in pharmacies both big and small. The system is designed to be easy to use, yet it is designed to encompass the intricacy and complexity of managing and dispensing medicine. Pharmacy robots and ADS innovations can also provide patients—many of whom, like pharmacists, worry about the possibility of cross-contamination—with an unprecedented amount of security, which can only improve confidence between patients and the pharmacists they trust. Published at:

Rhoads Pharmacy Uses High Tech Pharmacy Robot on Main Street

Rhoads Pharmacy in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, is, like its creed, “where hometown is a philosophy, not just a destination”. Established in 1931 and re-christened Rhoads Pharmacy in 1953, the pharmacy has the distinction of also being a gift shop, marketplace, and gallery. Hence, the locals have come to think of it as a home away from home, and patients have been relying on its services for decades. Automatic Dispensing System (ADS) technology has been able to make things even better for current owner and pharmacist Dave Lutz, who took over ownership of the pharmacy with his wife, Jeanne, in 1973. Lutz has a large customer base of over 15,000 patients, and most of his staff (including four pharmacist technicians and ten support staff) has been with Rhoads for over 25 years. Since implementing the pharmacy robot (affectionately known as “Flo” to the staff) two years ago, Lutz says he and his staff’s relationship with patients has gotten even better. The robot is programmed to cap, photograph, count, and sort pills, thus acting—in some ways literally—as the hands of personnel. “We named our robot Florence because we wanted to use the nickname Flo. There can be low flow or high flow, but there’s got to be flow. And the flow of what this technology has been able to accomplish is definitely unprecedented, as far as it relates to our time management,” said Lutz. Automated Dispensing Maintains Accuracy in Counting Pills “Before Flo, on a typical workday, we were counting up to 12,000- 15,000 pills a day, which is a huge number,” says Lutz. “And it was all by hand. Now Flo does 65% of that. The time she’s freed up for the staff is just incredible. We can’t imagine not having the ADS technology now. It’s made all the difference.” “ADS is ‘third generation technology’, in my phrase”, says Lutz. “And by that, I mean that it does things that nothing else before it has done. There are pharmacy robots that don’t cap the prescriptions like Flo does, that don’t take photos of the prescription to ensure accuracy. This is the only technology that does all that. As a pharmacist, it has given me enormous peace of mind and made me feel better about the safety and accuracy of what we do, which is always, of course, our first priority. ” Ensuring correct pill counts is of paramount importance, as is making certain that prescriptions have been labeled and distributed correctly. The complexities of handling medications are, paradoxically, simplified in complex technology that is easy to learn and use. Pharmacy Staff has More Time to Develop Relationships with Patients “Our endeavor is to create a “hometown” environment, just like our logo,” says Lutz. “We want to make the community feel like they’re dealing with a friend. When it comes to talking about their health conditions and the medications they require, customers are very particular, and say they’re often very uncomfortable going somewhere else. They put their trust in me and are appreciative of my counseling and suggestions. ADS technology has made it possible for me to go out on the floor, to actually talk to them, because I don’t have to spend that time doing what the robot is able to do for us now.” The ADS system has enabled pharmacies to be much more than just a business where people come to pick up their medications. Now, it’s possible for them to better balance technical work that requires scrupulous attention to detail with essential, one-on-one communication with patients. Superhuman technology for a human profession “I like to say that the technology is superhuman”, says Lutz. “But at the same the ADS is something that lets the human aspects of being a pharmacist shine through. Every pharmacist should have access to this. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the responsible thing to do. In my book—and surely in my staff’s—ADS is the future of this industry.” ADS might indeed be considered a breakthrough in the industry, as the system is able to handle such high and diverse volumes of medications without cross-contamination, and multitask so effectively, safely, and accurately. Robots like Flo represent the changing face of the hometown pharmacy. The remarkable ways in which they’ve been able to integrate the most important aspects of the profession are only beginning to be understood. As this technology continues to improve and become affordable more pharmacists will begin to embrace ADS robotics. They will discover how it can help them be better at what they do and the horizons of the industry will begin to expand in ways they never have before. Published at:

Mental And Emotional Paralysis: Debilitated By Depression

We have all experienced days when we felt so sad that it drove us to tears — even if we do not even know the reason for our sorrow. We become uninterested in our daily routines, and find ourselves struggling with sluggishness and melancholy. At times, we can be so overcome with emotional distress that we do not even want to go out of the room and choose to just sleep all day. These periods of sadness are but normal for any human being. Still, these feelings of sadness should not come on a regular basis. If one regularly suffers from sadness, it may be possible that that person is already suffering from clinical depression.

At present, depression afflicts at least 17 million adults in the United States alone. Clinical depression usually starts even without the person noticing it. Some are lulled into a cycle of despair even without the slightest hint that they already have an emotional and psychological problem. Clinical depression is a medical condition that affects the mind, often leaving the person suffering from feelings of hopelessness, loss of ambition, and loss of the ability to focus on tasks and on life itself. People suffering from chronic and acute depression become so sad and apathetic that it is often extremely difficult for them to even get out of bed in the morning. The depressed person reaches a state where even the simplest activity is performed with great difficulty. Depression has both physiological and sociological causes. It may be brought on by a physical illness, an emotional trauma or experience, use of various drugs and medications, alcohol abuse, or a combination of various factors. If depression is left untreated, this condition can adversely affect academic achievement, family life, friendships, careers, and may even lead to broken relationships.

Examination of this psychological problem in physio-chemical terms would show that depression is closely linked to abnormalities or changes in brain chemistry. Poor nutrition, lack of exercise, and negative attitudes also worsen a person’s depression.

People with psychological problems usually seek help from a mental health professional who, in turn, prescribes mood balancing drugs or anti-depressants such as citalopram or flouextine. Intense psychotherapy and counseling may also be required. However, there are others who use an alternative form of medicine for a more natural treatment. Milder cases of depression can be treated solely with natural remedies without the need for antidepressant prescriptions.

Therapy that involves personal expression has been found to provide an outlet for pent-up feelings and can be a positive way to articulate deep emotions. This can take many forms such as dance, martial arts, or art lessons. Relaxation techniques can also help a person focus and gain a sense of serenity. Ancient exercise and stress relief methods such as yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and hypnosis are also popular means to treat depression.

A change in diet and the use of supplements have been found effective in dealing with depression. Adding fish oil, Zinc, and B vitamins help the body regulate chemicals that may trigger depression. Exercise is very important for physical, emotional, and mental health. Keeping active will rejuvenate the body and keep it fit, promoting a healthier lifestyle and better self image. Working out several times per week can calm the senses and invigorate the body.

Although depression has increased dramatically in today’s world, the problem of depression is as old as time. It still continues to debilitate many lives despite the availability of 21st century technologies and conveniences. We can learn on the wisdom of many different healing traditions in our quest to overcome the burden of depression. Though there are modern tools to overcome depression, one should try to seek and discover the vibrant energy and personal empowerment that everyone of us can discover, even without using drugs.