Vecna Technologies, Inc. (Vecna), a market leader in hospital automation, systems integration, and robotics, sees a tremendous opportunity to extend the benefits of automated pharmacy dispensing systems throughout the rest of the hospital with the QC BotTM, an automated mobile medications secure storage and delivery unit with open standard integration to the hospital Electronic Medical Record (EMR). QC Bot will close the automation loop on prescription fulfillment from CPOE entry to medication administration by interfacing directly with the pharmacy dispensing system and safely and securely delivering the medications to the unit nursing station or point of administration, merging the benefits of the automated pharmacy with those of the current successful smart cabinet and barcode scanning systems. While the current electronic medication tracking and accounting systems have shown quantifiable improvements in patient safety, there is still an important missing piece in the prescription fulfillment chain. Manual processes still exist from the point that the medication leaves the pharmacy until it is administered to the patient. These manual steps break the automated accountability chain of custody which can introduce dangerous errors and inefficiencies into the medication delivery and administration process. The QC Bot will fill the missing link in this chain, ensuring that the right drug, in the right dose, gets to the right patient at the right time. The result will be improved patient health, and reductions in cost, injury, and mortality. A fully developed automated medication delivery solution must address the efficient medication transfer between the pharmacy station and delivery system, the safe and secure movement of the delivery system from the pharmacy to the unit nursing, and safe medication distribution and efficient nurse work- flow at the unit nursing station. For this proposed Phase I study, Vecna will focus on the first stage, the efficient transfer of medication between the pharmacy station and the automated delivery system. Efficient medication transfer to the delivery system will require both a proper physical interface as well as an EMR integrated software interface. Vecna will work with its collaborators and supporters, including Innovation Associates, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Boston Medical Center, to design test the feasibility of the required software and hardware solutions necessary for the transfer of medication to a QC Bot system in a safe, secure, and accountable manner. Vecna hypothesizes that the feasibility studies and resultant proposed protocols, procedures, and mechanisms, if successful, will lead to a streamlined Phase II design and prototyping stage. Vecna has a strong record of success in Phases I - III in previous SBIR projects and welcomes the opportunity to work with NIH on developing this concept further. 3 of 18 Proprietary c 2009 Vecna Technologies, Inc.
The long term goal of this project is to develop an automated delivery system that will operate as intermediary between a pharmacy dispensing system and the point of administration for medication. It will close the automation loop between the two points, thereby significantly reducing or eliminating preventable errors due to external sources, such as human error. Effective implementation of the system will provide transparency for accountability in the supply chain and improve patient health by reducing costs, injuries, and mortality.