ATM machines changed banking by putting access to money in places where banks weren’t. Phoenix-based pharmacy tech startup MedAvail aims to do the same for pharmacies with its innovative robotic pharmacy dispensing kiosks. The kiosks enable pharmacies to “quickly and easily fill prescriptions anytime, anywhere” a kiosk is located. And now a Dallas pharmacy has signed up to help deploy the kiosks in Texas.
Oak Lawn Pharmacy—which has been in operation since 2014 and is located on Lemmon Avenue—is partnering with Phoenix-based MedAvail Holdings to deploy deploy 10 of the company’s M4 MedCenter kiosks “across Texas.”
Per the agreement, Oak Lawn Pharmacy will deploy at least two kiosks in 2023, with the remainder to be deployed within the next two years. Oak Lawn will fund the cost of setting up the MedCenters, according to MedAvail.
Daniel Hayek, president of Oak Lawn Pharmacy. says his team is “always looking for ways to improve the patient experience.”
“Deploying additional MedCenters in Texas, especially in rural areas, will be a true game-changer,” Hayek added in a statement. “Oak Lawn Pharmacy is committed to bringing safe, fast, and efficient remote kiosk pharmacy dispensing to communities across the state, and we’re proud to fund this initiative.”
Mark Doerr, CEO of MedAvail, said in a statement that his company looks forward to partnering with Oak Lawn Pharmacy and “to further bolstering our presence in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, where we already operate a significant number of MedCenters.”
MedAvail says its kiosks are currently in use in “both the primary care and urgent care settings, as well as Federally Qualified Health Centers.”
How the kiosk works
Patients visit a MedCenter kiosk, insert their prescription and ID, and are able to speak with a trained healthcare professional through a provided phone receiver for added privacy. “Minimal screen presentation” concerning the medication adds to the privacy of the transaction. The healthcare professional confirms that the medication is in stock at the kiosk.
“A sophisticated robotic picking and labeling system” then collects and prepares the medication inside the kiosk. While it’s doing that, the patient can ask questions about the medication as needed.
The healthcare professional authorizes the release of the medication after the patient pays for it via credit card. “No medication can leave the system without a visual QA and sign off from a pharmacist,” MedAvail says.
A sliding door rises on the right front side of the kiosk, revealing the medication and a printout of information and instructions for the patient.
The MedCenter is HIPAA and PCI compliant, the company says, with the added assurance that “any uncollected printed materials are discarded into a secure bin after dispense.”
How the kiosks are stocked
To fill or restock one of the MedCenter kiosks, an employee uses an ID card and key code combination to enter the secure kiosk. The employee then restocks any medications that have been sold from the machine so they’ll be available for the next patients who need them.
Product lot and expiration are tracked, MedAvail says, and any pharmaceutical recalls can be identified with the product discarded “at the touch of a button.”
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