A robot delivers medicines from the hospital pharmacy to nurses

To give healthcare system pharmacists more time to focus on patient-centered care, a hospital used a robot named Tug to deliver medications to nursing stations.

To give healthcare system pharmacists more time to focus on patient-centered care, a hospital used a robot named Tug to deliver medications to nursing stations.

Tug, who resides at St. Elizabeth Healthcare in Fort Thomas, Ohio, walks more than 5 miles a day throughout the hospital for his 400 drug deliveries, according to The Cincinnati Business Mail.

He can open doors, call elevators, and dodge passers-by. Patients waiting for the elevator may hear a small voice saying, “Approach the elevator, please step aside” or “Wait for the doors to open.”

Once Tug has arrived at his destination, the nurse can retrieve the medication from a drawer at the back of it. However, the drawers cannot be opened without a password and a fingerprint scan.

“He’s not carrying narcotics,” St. Elizabeth spokesman Guy Karrick said. The Cincinnati Business Mail. “It’s antibiotics and things like that.”

Staff can also locate Tug’s whereabouts at any time, and when he returns to the pharmacy for more medicine, he can ring a bell to be let in.

Karrick said The Cincinnati Business Mail the robot costs $40,000 for hardware, software and training, plus $2,500 per month for rental. Karrick said a pharmacy technician would cost around $15,000 a month to work the same number of hours as Tug, so it will pay off in the long run.

Like a car’s GPS system, Tug can have a male or female voice. He is also able to speak other languages ​​and use a different accent. Some people in the hospital even compare Tug to Star Wars’ 3CPO.

The hospital’s vice president of nursing, Benita Utz, said The Cincinnati Business Mail that Tug is “very reliable, predictable and easy to use”.

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