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Automated dispensing of medicines will improve patient safety in hospitals

Press release – Published: 28.02.2014 7:01:00

In the not-too-distant future, the storage and dosage of medication at the hospital will be assisted by robots. Kuopio University Hospital has placed an order with Newico for an automation solution for the storage and dispensing of medicine to patients. Etteplan is Newico’s main engineering partner in developing the automation system.

The system will be the first in the world capable of tracking medicine and its dispensation from factory to patient. According to the new system, the hospital pharmacy’s storage robot will receive the medicines from the wholesaler and put them on the shelves. The storage robot will also collect and pack the medicine destined for the hospital wards. In the wards, medicines will be managed, dosed and dispensed using an automated system that is integrated with patient data systems. The automated system will also provide guidance to nursing staff and record the procedures carried out by the nurses.

– Automated medicine dispensation will be the biggest change seen in hospitals in decades and, in our view, it will be a key tool for hospitals as the population ages and they are forced to tighten their purse strings. But an even more important benefit of the system will be improved patient safety, says Toivo Naaranlahti, hospital pharmacist and head of the pharmacy department at Kuopio University Hospital.

– The starting point for developing the system is to design the medicine dispensing process from the point of view of patient safety. Every year, manual storage and dispensation of medicine leads to hundreds of errors that put patients’ lives in jeopardy. The new system minimizes human error in medicine dispensing and frees up nursing staff so they can focus on patient care, says Jukka Mauranen, Key Account Manager at Newico.

– Etteplan sees medical technology as an important growth area. As the medical devices used in health care become smarter, the requirements set for high-quality engineering and technical product information solutions will grow, concludes Etteplan’s Veikko Lamminen, SVP Operations Finland

For more information, please contact:

Veikko Lamminen
SVP, Operations Finland
Tel. +358 050 573 4377

Outi-Maria Liedes
SVP, Communications & Operational Development
Tel. +358 40 756 9620

Etteplan in brief

Etteplan provides engineering services and technical product information solutions to the world’s leading companies in the manufacturing industry. Our services are geared to improve the competitiveness of our customers’ products and engineering processes throughout the product life cycle. The results of Etteplan’s innovative engineering can be seen in numerous industrial solutions and everyday products.

In 2013, Etteplan had turnover of EUR 128.6 million. The company currently has about 1, 800 professionals in Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands and China. Etteplan’s shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd under the ETT1V ticker.