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28 May 2023

Abu Dhabi's smart pharmacy system issues 1.7m prescriptions in 5 years

By Wam

Some 1.7 million prescriptions have been dispensed since the launch of the 'smart pharmacy system' in 2014, announced the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, SEHA.

The system was introduced in a bid to reduce waiting time and prescription errors, said a SEHA press statement issued on Saturday.

The smart pharmacy system is carried out by a robot that lifts the medicine, prints the label containing the patient's information and delivers it to the pharmacist's window in eight to ten seconds. The robot also carries out the technical tasks of dispensing the prescriptions.

Dr. Maha Al Ghufli, Corporate Pharmacy Manager at SEHA said that the smart pharmacy service succeeded in improving accuracy of prescriptions, elimination of over prescribing medicines, and reductions in waiting time. "The results have proven the efficiency of the system through the 1.7 million prescriptions accurately given to 523,000 patients," she added.

Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, SKMC; Al Rahba Hospital, Tawam Hospital, Mohamed bin Zayed Healthcare Centre, Bani Yas Health Centre and Oud Al Touba Diagnostic and Screening are among the facilities that have implemented the system. Some hospital pharmacies such as those in Ghayathi Hospital, Madinat Zayed in Al Dhafra, and Corniche Hospital also upgraded their systems.

Dr. Al Ghufli said SEHA has over 880 pharmacists, 82 of which are Emirati, and they have all expressed their excitement over the efficiency of the system.

Smart pharmacies at Mohammed bin Zayed Health Healthcare Centre, Bani Yas Health Centre and Oud Al-Tawba Centre for diagnosis and comprehensive examination together have issued a sum of 904,416 prescriptions to 317,152 patients since their launch, the SEHA statement revealed.

The health services company noted that since its launch at SKMC in November 2018, and up until May 2019, the smart pharmacy catered to 67,582 patients and dispensed 324,179 prescriptions. "Tawam Hospital administered around 190,000 prescriptions to over 60,000 patients while reducing the waiting time from 45 minutes to 10 minutes without registering any errors. As for Al Rahba Hospital, the smart pharmacy served 285,000 prescriptions to about 79,000 patients since its launch in August 2018," it added.

"At SEHA's Corniche Hospital," the statement noted, "there are 17 smart pharmacies dispensing and distributing around half a million different types of medications prescribed to patients in the hospital, increasing efficiency and contributing to the overall quality care provided to the patients of the hospital."

"An automated teller machine system has been in operation since 2016 at SEHA’s Al-Dhafra Hospital. Madinat Zayed Hospital and Ghayathi Hospital have automatic dispensing cabinets which have been operational in intensive care departments under the supervision of the pharmacists. These automated dispensing cabinets have resulted in eradicating errors, quicker delivery, a 50 percent reduction in single use plastics and the increased storage safety of inpatient medicines, which hold 70 percent of prescriptions," SEHA concluded.