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News > Keesler first in AETC to use new prescription system
Keesler first to use new prescription system
Pharmacy technician Airman 1st Class George Glymph, 81st Diagnostic and Therapeutics Squadron, retrieves a patient’s prescription Aug. 21, 2012, from the Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., main pharmacy automatic prescription storage system. (U.S. Air Force photo by Steve Pivnick)
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Keesler first in AETC to use new prescription system

Posted 9/12/2012   Updated 9/12/2012 Email story   Print story


by Steve Pivnick
81st Medical Group Public Affairs

9/12/2012 - KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- The 81st Medical Group pharmacy is the first in the Air Education and Training Command to install and the first large Air Force pharmacy to fully-utilize a new automatic prescription storage system.

Lt. Col. Winnie Lok-Park, 81st Diagnostics and Therapeutics Squadron Pharmacy Flight commander, explained, "The system identifies, tracks, stores and ensures every prescription is correctly retrieved every time. It streamlines pharmacy will-call operations while improving accuracy and reducing errors. The system uses radio frequency identification technology to streamline storage within the pharmacy operation by using RFID tagged baskets, a unique lockable electronic cabinet design, and real-time tracking software to make our will-call operations more accurate, efficient and professional."

The colonel noted, "Misfiled, misbundled and mispicked prescriptions are the top three medication errors in our pharmacy. A misfiled prescription requires us to redo it when we are not able to find the prescription. This frustrates both the patient and staff. It also makes us look very unprofessional.

She added, "'Pick-to-Light' technology guides our staff to the correct location for a patient's prescriptions by following the lights and sound. It also alerts staff of those instances when prescriptions were activated at different times to ensure patients receive all ordered medications at one time. This eliminates the need for patients to make multiple trips to the pharmacy.

"Using the new system, it takes less than 10-15 seconds to safely and accurately locate and retrieve patient prescriptions. Patient safety and patient satisfaction are our top priorities and the new system enables us to fulfill both with no added steps to our current process."

The system was installed at the 81st MDG and exchange pharmacies Aug. 4.

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