NGPA (Next Generation Pharmacy Automation)
CASI has developed a Next Generation Pharmacy Automation (NGPA) product line. Already being used by the second largest pharmacy chain in the United Kingdom, and by the Department of Veterans Affairs Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacies (CMOPs) in the United States, this pharmacy automation equipment is the first of its kind. It advances the state-of-the-art and does for prescription assembly what the robotic car production line did for automobile assembly. The modular platform, which handles all aspects of pharmacy production, is positioned to revolutionize the pharmacy industry. It is the foundation of a dispensing model for which the UK government suggests could potentially cover up to two-thirds of England’s dispensing volume. It is also the common platform for which the US government envisions to dispense 100% of all US Veteran mail order refill prescriptions.
- CASI Technology offers 0% drug cross-contamination through either physical contact or airborne dust.
- CASI Technology has 100% pill count accuracy to avoid oral solid dispensing shortages and overages.
- CASI Technology Utilizes pattern recognition software to avoid broken and damaged pills.
- CASI Technology automatically labels (flat, flag, or tadpole) Unit of Use boxes and bottles using robots.
- CASI Technology fully automates documentation printing, folding, queueing, inserting, and verifying.
- CASI Technology provides automatic bagging of orders using a CASI Automated Retracting Tote (CART).
- CASI Technology optionally allows “anywhere” remote pharmacist inspection and approval operation.
- CASI Technology incorporates robotic delivery and return of pill canisters to and from automation lines.
- 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.
- Orders are filled in a CASI Automated Retracting Tote (CART) that prevents physical access to items.
- Orders have full traceability and event recording throughout system, which allows easy troubleshooting.
- System logs all operator actions by user and allows full auditing for determination of action 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 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.
- 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 appropriately sized bag.
- Pill packaging can automatically select and fill multiple bottle/vial sizes or multiple blister card types.