Central Pharmacy Automation System

NGPA (Next Generation Pharmacy Automation)

CASI’s Next-Generation Pharmacy Automation (NGPA) is a pharmacy order fulfillment dispensing system designed for high-volume, central fill facilities.

Health system pharmacies rely on central pharmacy fill facilities to improve patient care. Utilizing a comprehensive pharmacy automation solution increases the efficiency of the prescription fulfillment process. This improves medication management, prescription inventory management, which overall improves patient outcomes long term.

What is Central Fill?

  1. Prescriptions are sent in from the patient’s own pharmacy.
  2. When the prescription is received, the central fill pharmacy then efficiently dispenses the medicines and checks and labels the individual packages; packs all prescriptions in a patient-specific bag or box; and sorts the prescriptions for transport.
  3. Once completed, orders are shipped back to the local pharmacy, and the patient then picks them up locally.

CASI’s Pharmacy Automation Technology

  • 0% drug cross-contamination through either physical contact or airborne dust.
  • 100% pill count accuracy to avoid oral solid dispensing shortages and overages.
  • Pattern recognition software to avoid broken and damaged pills.
  • Automatic Labeling (flat, flag, or tadpole) Unit of Use boxes and bottles using robots.
  • Automatic Document printing, folding, queueing, inserting, and verifying.
  • Automatic Bagging of orders using a CASI Automated Retracting Tote (CART).
  • Remote QA – pharmacist inspection and approval operation from anywhere in the world.
  • Robotic Delivery and Return of pill canisters to and from automation lines.

Modular Platform

  • A modular design provides for a building block solution affording easy future expansion of capacity.
  • The modular design also reduces complexity, increases reliability, and offers redundancy capabilities.
  • Modules are equipped with wheels allowing for easy site positioning and future new site re-deployment.
  • All modules are “plug and play” (just roll them in, set their feet, attach the feeds, and plug them in).
  • The modules are organized in a modular fashion with common Ethernet, air, and power connections.
  • All modules make use of a common set of reliable parts, reducing the need for large spares depots.
  • Each module is equipped with an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) to allow for graceful shutdown.

Enhanced Security

  • Orders are filled in a CASI Automated Retracting Tote (CART) that prevents physical access to items.
  • Orders have full traceability and event recording throughout the system, which allows easy troubleshooting.
  • System logs all operator actions by the user and allows full auditing for the determination of active responsibility.
  • Pill canisters are each equipped with a tamper-resistant and tamper-evident auto-locking mechanism.
  • Filling modules are equipped with fingerprint recognition devices to restrict access to pill canisters.
  • Pill canisters anonymously containing Controlled Drugs are placed in non-disclosed carousel locations.

Patient Order Safety

  • During replenishment, pills are assigned and placed into a pill canister with a unique barcode identifier.
  • Pill canister barcodes are read and compared continuously; a canister is not used if a mismatch occurs.
  • During filling, each pill to be packaged is automatically vision-checked for correct pill form and size.
  • Each puck or card carrier has a unique RFID that is tracked and verified during the pill packaging process.
  • Each completed pill package is weighed and verified against a calculated expected package weight.
  • Each CASI Automated Retracting Tote (CART) has a unique barcode identifier to track orders in progress.
  • Each bagged order is automatically weighed and verified against a calculated expected order weight

Additional Features

  • Every module utilizing robots has doors that sense opening and automatically shut off robot movement.
  • The system implements Emergency Cut Off devices to halt automation equipment in an emergency.
  • Energy-efficient and quiet conveyor components turn on and off automatically per zone as needed.
  • Modules incorporate redundant components allowing continued operation during a component failure.
  • Operator handling of bottles, vials, and cards with exceptions bypasses sealing to allow easy inspection.
  • Operator handling of totes with exceptions occurs before automatic bagging to allow easy inspection.
  • Automatic bagging can automatically route orders to a bagging module with an appropriately sized bag.
  • Pill packaging can automatically select and fill multiple bottle/vial sizes or multiple blister card types.