Departments & Programs,UW Health,Pharmacy

Automation and Technology

Automation and Technology - Departments & Programs, UW Health, Pharmacy


A barcode scanner scans a patient's wrist band to ensure the right care is givenAutomation and information systems technology is used to support pharmacists at multiple phases of the medication use process-purchasing, dispensing, documenting, administering and even patient monitoring. In 1993, UWHC was the second hospital in the world to implement a robotic barcode medication dispensing technology. Soon afterward, the hospital added AcuDose medication storage units on hospital floors, creating another level of monitoring. 

In 2001, UWHC was among the first hospitals in the U.S. to implement: Admin-Rx, a handheld wireless barcode medication scanning system used at the patient's bedside that has reduced medication administration errors by 87 percent. In addition, in 2003 "smart" intravenous infusion pumps were implemented throughout the organization to prevent potentially harmful medication infusion errors as the bedside. As a result, UWHC now has a comprehensive system that incorporates bar codes throughout every phase of the medication use process, improving the dispensing, administering and monitoring of medication therapy on inpatient units. 

Bar code dispensing technology is also in place in the hospital's outpatient pharmacy, which serves to maximize work efficiency and free pharmacist time for direct patient care activities in this setting as well.