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Robot to Help New York Hospital Reduce Medication Errors

Galvin B. Kennedy
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Partner at Kennedy Hodges LLP practicing personal injury, pharmacy error, and overtime law
Posted on Jan 13, 2014

New York Hospital Queens recently welcomed a robot into its pharmacy staff. With the installation of this cutting-edge robot, the pharmacy is now state-of-the-art—dispensing medications to patients via a robot.

How Does the Robot Work?

The robot stores and distributes medication to hospital patients by collecting each patient’s drugs on a separate ring. Before the robot distributes any doses of medication to patients, it double checks everything to ensure accuracy. In fact, the robot was designed so that the type of medication and the dose of medication were checked twice prior to any drugs reaching patients. This way, medication errors would be reduced and the efficiency would increase.

The Benefit of Technology

Before drug-dispensing robots in pharmacies, there was the chance for human error including: giving patients the wrong medication, giving patients the wrong dosage, or giving a patient someone else’s medication. With this cutting-edge technology, hospital patients at New York Hospital Queens will be far less likely to suffer a medication error.

There are so many medications that sound-alike or look-alike, and there are patients with similar names, which makes medication dispensing a potentially dangerous process for hospital patients. However, with the addition of this robot, it will reduce the possibility of a patient receiving the wrong drug, wrong dosage, or someone else’s medication. Additionally, the robot will barcode every drug and confirm expiration dates of all medications.

Paying $1.5 million, Flushing’s New York Hospital is the second hospital in the city to have a drug-dispensing robot, following New York University’s hospital. The robot has yet to be named, but the hospital was holding a naming competition.


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