Photo by Nikia Simon – MEDDAC
Maj. Jimmy Lee, Irwin Army Community Hospital pharmacy chief, observes Spc. Jennifer Blewett,
IACH pharmacy specialist, using the Global Script Locator Solutions, Inc. Intelligent Cabinet
technology to ll a prescription Nov. 22 at the main pharmacy.
Using GSL technology lightens the workloads of IACH pharmacy technicians who previously had to search through bins and bagging systems to deliver prescriptions to their rightful owners.
Shelton Louie and Steve Garrett, co-founders of GSL Solutions Inc., created innovative technology to address safety issues, ensure accuracy and improve efficiency and accountability.
As a pharmacist, Louie experienced problems in pharmacy operations during his years of practice at major retail chains. Garrett used knowledge obtained in his electrical and computer engineering career to create the GSL equipment.
According to Louie, the idea began with a simple question: “Wouldn’t it be neat if you could look in a computer system and you knew in real-time if (prescriptions) were there or not and you were able to determine precisely where they were?”
Using the GSL solution eliminates bundling and sorting, two prominent pharmacy errors, Louie said.
“GSL prevents two people’s medications from being put in the same bin (sorting), so the likelihood of getting someone else’s medication is virtually impossible,” said Marci Sibal, outpatient pharmacy supervisor.
RFID tags tracking system makes it nearly impossible to mishandle or misplace -filled prescriptions at the pharmacy pick-up counter, Louis said.
IACH recently replaced its outpatient pharmacy “hanging bag system” with the GSL Intelligent Cabinet system.
“(The GSL Intelligent Cabinet) enables us to locate ¬filled prescriptions quickly to provide fast service to our patients,” said Maj. Jimmy Lee, IACH pharmacy chief.
GSL`s prescription storage system uses infrared ID tags with patented scanners, lockable electronic cabinets, strategically designed storage drawers and computerized data-tracking software.
“GSL`s prescription storage system reduces inventory control time to seconds and signi¬ficantly increasing the efficiency of central ll operations for re¬fills and new prescriptions,” Lee said. The same way a GPS system can track locations, the GSL can track the location of assigned prescriptions and the date it was filled faster than traditionally used methods.
“We use RFID like a GPS (device) and associate prescriptions with (patients) to eliminate bundling errors,” Louie said. “That is how simple it is,”
The space needed for the GSL Intelligent Cabinet required the pharmacy to discontinue using Window 7 for refi¬lls, so all new prescriptions and re¬fills are now filled in the front windows, Sibal said.
“(Soldiers) have already served their country and it would be a terrible disservice to have them waste time (needlessly) waiting for hours for services,” Louie said.