Dartmouth employs 3 pharmacy robots

Three pharmacy TUG robots will debut at Lebanon, N.H.-based Dartmouth Health's Hitchcock Medical Center this summer.

The robots will enter the pharmacy on the second level, grab medications, exit and lock the door behind them, and transport the drugs to patients on the third and fourth levels of its patient pavilion, according to a July 3 Dartmouth Health news release. Two will be on a regular schedule, and the third will mainly work inside the pharmacy.

For safety, only designated staff members will be able to unlock the robot's drawers, and the TUGs will not transport controlled substances.

"By automating medication transportation, we can allocate more pharmacy resources toward essential patient-care tasks like compounding and compliance," Pranati Kuchimanchi, PharmD, clinical pharmacist lead for medication systems and operations at the medical center, said in the release.

The robots will also save pharmacy technicians' time in delivering treatments, the release said.

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