Maintenance window scheduled to begin at February 14th 2200 est. until 0400 est. February 15th


Forgot Password?

    Or login with Facebook

    Max Automatic Pharmacy Dispensers Help Technicians Maximize Time



    Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Harley Sarmiento 

    Naval Medical Center San Diego

    SAN DIEGO – After a doctor’s appointment patients commonly need to wait for prescriptions to be filled, but with the advent of pill dispensers their wait time is greatly shortened. The four automated pharmacy dispensers in Naval Medical Center San Diego’s (NMCSD) pharmacy help reduce the time patients have to wait for their prescriptions to be dispensed, allowing them to get home to recover faster.

    The four automated pharmacy dispensers not only help increase productivity by allowing pharmacists and technicians more time for other tasks, but they also decrease the time needed to fill prescriptions and mitigate the risk of error.

    “The dispensers are very safe and really decrease the risk of human error,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Reginald Smalls, NMCSD’s pharmacy leading petty officer. “We see hundreds of patients per day come in and out of the pharmacy. The dispensers help us get their prescriptions from the initial computer order to their hands much faster.”

    The dispensers that are used by the pharmacy are programmed into the composite healthcare system.

    “We ran reports to determine the top 250 ordered drugs that were able to be put into the dispensers,” said Dr. John Parker, one of NMCSD’s pharmacists. “Pills and capsules that are low-residual, not transparent, and frequently ordered were placed and programmed into the dispensers. Once the technician at the front desk hits enter in the system, it automatically sends the order to the appropriate dispenser.”

    Once the dispenser receives the order, it counts the tablets, dispenses them into a vial, then labels and caps the vial to complete the order. Technicians are then able to see which of the four machines the vial was dispensed to, and are able to compile it with the rest of the patient’s prescriptions. This mitigates the time it would take for the prescription to be filled by hand.

    The dispensers are responsible for filling 60-70 percent of NMCSD’s oral tablet and capsule medications. The dispensers make it much easier for technicians and pharmacists to fill prescriptions, as well as alleviate patients’ wait time in the pharmacy.

    NMCSD’s mission is to prepare service members to deploy in support of operational forces, deliver high quality healthcare services, and shape the future of military medicine through education, training and research. NMCSD employs more than 6,000 active duty military personnel, civilians and contractors in Southern California to provide patients with world-class care anytime, anywhere.

    Visit or for more information.



    Date Taken: 10.10.2019
    Date Posted: 10.18.2019 15:41
    Story ID: 348265
    Location: SAN DIEGO, CA, US 

    Web Views: 14
    Downloads: 0
    Podcast Hits: 0