Nurse administering medicine


    March 1, 2012

    Integration with robot drug dispenser


    Maximum safety in prescribing and administering drugs, via the integration of a robot drug dispenser into the Columna Clinical Information System.




    • Errors when prescribing and administering medication
    • Manual transfer of data between record and medical scheme
    • Risk of human errors using manual transfer of information


    • Medication module for handling medication processes
    • Robot drug dispenser increases safety
    • Integration with electronic health record


    • Improved work process
    • Reduction in errors related to drug administration
    • Increased patient safety

    Enhanced safety

    Safety is the top priority at the Aarhus University Hospital in Skejby – not just for prescribing medication, but also for the correct administration of the drugs. To further enhance the hospital's safety performance in this area, it has now introduced a robot drug dispenser.

    Skejby Hospital is one of Denmark’s most highly specialised healthcare institutions, with modern buildings, state-of-the-art technology and highly qualified staff. This hospital is a long-standing user of the Medication module in the Columna Clinical Information System. This specialist module handles a comprehensive range of medication processes, extending from both simple and complex prescriptions and prescription records administration to fluids accounting and patient information on the drugs prescribed. With the Columna Medication module, a patient’s medication details only have to be entered once. This eliminates the kinds of errors that inevitably result from manual transfers of information between doctors’ and nurses, records and medication charts. To enhance patient safety still further, a few years ago the hospital decided to pilot the use of a robot drug dispenser. Just as the Columna Medication module reduces errors on the prescription side, the use of this robot ensures maximum safety when it comes to the actual dispensing of the drugs.

    The right dose of the right pill, at the right time

    The robot drug dispenser is integrated with the Columna Medication module. This means the data from the doctor’s prescription is sent to the robot located in the hospital dispensary. The robot then packs and delivers the prescribed medicine to the ward in unit dose packs. When it is time for the patient to take his or her medicine, the nurse scans the barcode on the patient’s arm-band and then the individual pack with a PDA that has the Columna Medication module installed. This enables Columna to check for a correct match between the patient, the product, and the dose, time and administration route. The hospital’s evaluation of the combined use of the Columna Medication module and the robot drug dispenser shows that two-thirds of all prescriptions can currently be packed by the robot unit. The remainder are types of drugs that cannot be delivered in such packs, including injectable drugs and eye drops.