Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center implemented an automated system to dispense prescription refills on Wednesday, reducing time without compromising patient safety.
ScriptCenter is a state-of-the-art service kiosk with lockers to hold prescription refills. Lockers are located inside the kiosk, as well as outside. The lockers on the outside of the machine will light up, letting the patient know where he or she can grab the prescription from.
“This is a nice convenience for the patients because it will be available after-hours,” Rosa Willey, point-of-use administrator for the Clear Creek Exchange Pharmacy, said.
Patient wait time at pharmacies can sometimes be a long process. By implementing the ScriptCenter, the automated dispensary will help reduce patient crowds and reduce the time patients have to spend in waiting areas, Lt. Col. Bryan Bailey, chief of the department of pharmacy at CRDAMC, explained.
“Anything that is better for our patients, and increases their satisfaction, is better for us,” Bailey added.
Two ScriptCenters have been equipped on Fort Hood – one at CRDAMC and the other one at the Clear Creek Exchange, between the pharmacy and food court. The one at CRDAMC will be available 24 hours a day, while the one at the Clear Creek Exchange will be available anytime the exchange mall is open.
“I think this will be really beneficial for all those beneficiaries who work during the day,” Willey said. “Some of the Soldiers who can’t come during normal business hours, they can come after hours.”
To use the ScriptCenter, patients needing a prescription refill can call in their prescription refill as they normally would and select their desired ScriptCenter location – Clear Creek Exchange or CRDAMC.
Willey said during the patient’s first visit, they will need to enroll themselves. She said they will need to create a user ID and password, and create a fingerprint bio-ID for secondary identification purposes. On the first visit, they will need one of their prescription numbers for verification.
When picking up a prescription from the kiosk, a photo will be taken of the person receiving the medications and they will be asked to sign for the refills on the screen. This is an extra measure to ensure the right person is picking up the prescription refill.
Bailey said the ScriptCenter will not be able to distribute refrigerated medications or controlled substances. The automated dispensary will only be available for refills because a pharmacist has to provide one-on-one counseling for new prescriptions. However, he said, it does not limit patients receiving refills from counseling.
“Since we’re just doing refill prescriptions, it doesn’t compromise the ability to provide personal counseling,” he said. “They still have the option of calling the pharmacist if they have questions.”
Bailey expects the automated process will enhance patient experience without compromising safety. There are multiple safety features built into the system to ensure patients receive the correct prescriptions, and the reduced wait time alone should prove beneficial.
“We are excited to see how this affects our patients,” he added.
Questions regarding the ScriptCenter can be sent to the CRDAMC Public Affairs Officer at 254-288-8005.