DRMC Gets New Robot in Pharmacy

Danville, VA -- There's some really cool technology that only a handful of hospitals in the country have one. Danville Regional Medical Center is one of them. It's an inpatient pharmacy robot that promises to help increase safety concerns.

DRMC has had a robot in their pharmacy for over a decade. But this is new and improved, to meet today's standards.

"It's so fast, it's accurate, and it's never calling in sick," said Paul O'Brien, director of pharmacy services.

Danville Regional Medical Center employees have nothing but good things to say about their new 'co-worker'.

"I'd give high evaluation, don't talk back, does its job," said Diane Canard, pharmacy robot tech.

Simply called 'Robby', the Robot Rx does the work of four pharmacists.

"It cuts down on the manpower, the redundant manpower," said O'Brien.

Within just a matter of minutes, Robby receives prescription data from around the hospital, finds the matching barcode, and delivers all of the needed medications to a pharmacist. It's quiet, quick, and best of all it doesn't make mistakes.

"The safety aspect of that it is critically important that we have no med errors in a hospital because we are talking about our loved ones," said O'Brien.

Director of Pharmacy Services Paul O'Brien says Robby makes one error in about every 150 million picks. And they have a projected million picks a year at DRMC.

"That's a million less checks pharmacists have to do," said O'Brien.

"The pharmacist don't even have to recheck it. You see it come off the conveyer belt and it's ready," said Canard.

For Canard it's more than a coworker.

"Maybe I'm its assistant," said Canard.

Robby cost more than $700,000, but they say it's well worth it. It's expected to fill about a 3,000 prescriptions a day for DRMC.

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