Automating SKH Campus’ Pharmacy Processes Page ContentProblem/OpportunityManual, tedious and fragmented packing process. High volume of medicine. These were common challenges pharmacists faced when they manually picked and packed each medication for every patient. The inefficient and error-prone packing process led to long waiting time for patients. The SolutionOutpatient Pharmacy Automation System (OPAS) OPAS is a highly complex and novel system, and is the first in the region to integrate different high-speed machines and robotics to automate the process. At the SKH campus, IHiS’ pharmacy team, together with the SKH pharmacists and local industry partners, implemented a custom-built OPAS to suit the operational needs of the hospital.Features include:Drug Dispensing System (DDS): Improving safety and efficiency, a robot machine picks and packs medication blister packs of various sizes into clear resealable bags and then automatically labels them. What’s different about SKH’s DDS? It can dispense a combination of loose blisters and pre-packed ones and have them packaged in a single Ziploc bag. Current patient waiting time is about five minutes. A new feature also allows the machine to pick two strips of medication at a time, up from the current one strip. This will further reduce the picking time and patient waiting time too. Drug Packaging Automation System (DPAS): It comprises a network of conveyor belts and robotic arms that allows the parallel picking and packing of medication, and assembles a patient’s medication into RFID tagged medication totes. The shelves of DPAS will light up 1) when a prescription is requested for by pharmacy staff and 2) once the patient’s prescription is filled.The entire medication packing process is orchestrated by an enhanced workflow engine software called FasXpress, which optimises the picking, packing and labelling of medication and collates patients’ medication for it to travel on a conveyor and into one single RFID basket or a few baskets. Pharmacists will collect these baskets from the DPAS and place them onto shelves where the labelled and packed medication can be retrieved and given to the patients.