Pharmacy revamped with robotic machine

UFS Pharmacies Strathfieldsaye has renovated its store to lessen the chance of human error when dispensing medications. 

A robotic dispensing machine has cut down the time a pharmacist spends accessing medications, with 80 per cent of the most popular prescriptions dispensed using the machine.

Pharmacist Brownyn Capewell said the computerised system decreased the chances of mistakes being made 

The store is also now a 'Forward Pharmacy', which frees the pharmacist from working all day behind a counter. 

Ms Capewell said the layout allowed her to have more time with patients. 

"We have grown so much and become busier and busier," she said.

"This allows us to have more time with patients, which leads to better health outcomes.

"Our patients are really loving it.

"They comment on how much space there is now."

Ms Capewell could not comment on whether the Strathfieldsaye pharmacy would be part of the push to allow community chemists to become primary health care providers. 

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia is urging the federal government to transform community pharmacies into primary health care destinations, with pharmacists giving vaccinations, providing health checks alongside wound and pain management. 

The pre-budget submission highlighted the cost savings of utilising Australia's 20,000 pharmacists working in 5,350 pharmacies across the nation.  

“Pharmacist involvement in these areas would free up scarce doctor resources to allow them to provide medical care for patients with serious, complex and chronic conditions,” the submission states. 

“It would also reduce preventable and unnecessary hospitalisations through an emphasis on early detection."

Under the health check proposal, pharmacists could examine blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, body measurements, lung function, bone density and tackle lifestyle risk factors.

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