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2008: Automated Prescription Drug Dispensers at Centers
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Automated Prescription Drug Dispensers at Centers

Technology eliminates additional errand when you just want to get home

WINFIELD, Ill., November 21, 2008 - Central DuPage Hospital Convenient Care Centers in Bartlett, Bloomingdale, Naperville, St. Charles and Wheaton now offer InstyMeds, a fully automated ATM-style machine that dispenses prescription medications directly to patients. The vending machine pharmaceutical system offers a safe, convenient way for patients to receive prescription medications at the point of care.

"The new system eliminates the need for patients to stop at a pharmacy and wait for a prescription to be filled, especially when they're not feeling well, in pain or in a hurry," says Darin E. Jordan, MD, medical director of Convenient Care Centers for Central DuPage Hospital (CDH). "Implementing this technology has been a huge patient satisfier. Patients really appreciate the convenience of the new system, as well as being able to start the medication immediately after seeing the physician."

CDH Convenient Care physicians will give patients the option to receive a traditional paper prescription to bring to a pharmacy or a unique security code to purchase medications through the InstyMeds machine. Using the touch-screen, the patient enters the unique security code and their date of birth. The patient then swipes a debit or credit card or inserts cash to pay for the prescription or insurance co-payment. After the machine performs a triple bar code check to ensure safe and accurate dispensing, the pre-packaged labeled product is dispensed from the machine. A direct dial phone on the machine is available for patients to call an InstyMeds support specialist for assistance, if needed. The entire process typically takes a couple of minutes.

"It is our belief that this convenient and quick  option will improve  patient medication compliance which ultimately leads to  faster recoveries," says Dr. Jordan. "With this new service, the CDH Convenient Care Centers offer one-stop shopping with medical care, lab, x-ray and medication dispensing all in one location." 

In addition to enhancing patient services, this technology helps to mitigate a national pharmacist shortage and reduces medication errors due to difficulty in deciphering handwritten prescriptions.

Pharmacist Shortage. According to the National Association of Chain Stores, the number of prescriptions filled has doubled from 1989 to 1999, while the number of pharmacists has only increased by five percent. A 2002 report by the Pharmacy Manpower Project predicted 157,000 unfilled pharmacy openings by 2020. Automated medication dispensing could take pressure off this badly overburdened system. 

Medication Errors. Misinterpreting a physician's handwriting is the largest identified source of preventable medical error according to a 2005 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). In addition, the pre-packaged prescriptions and the machine's revolutionary bar code technology reduces other types of errors, such as distribution of incorrect medications. "The safeguards provided by the bar code technology you have employed assure that the drug prescribed is, in fact, the drug dispensed," writes the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy to the makers of InstyMeds.

Patient Compliance. Several studies by the American Journal of Emergency Medicine show that nearly a quarter of all prescriptions that emergency room doctors write go unfilled. The added convenience of InstyMeds increases the likeliness that the patient will fill his or her prescription and undergo the medication treatment plan.

About InstyMeds

InstyMeds provides the only fully automated, ATM-style dispensing system for outpatient acute prescription medication services. The convenient, safe InstyMeds system assists healthcare facilities with providing a complete patient experience. InstyMeds mission is to make patients better quicker by providing immediate access to acute medications. For more information, visit www.instymeds.com.

About Central DuPage Hospital Convenient Care Centers

With extended hours and walk-in service, the five Convenient Care Centers of Central DuPage Hospital are ideal resources for those times when you can't plan ahead to get to the doctor. Care for adults and children is available.

  • Minor injury or illness that needs a doctor's attention but doesn't demand the higher-intensity care of the Emergency Room.
  • Treatment for people who don't have access to their primary physician.
  • Medical care after standard business hours, including evenings, weekends and most holidays.
  • Sport and school physicals, flu shots and many immunizations.

Click here to find a CDH Convenient Care Center near you.