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All articles Tabs about Pill Counters Productivity You Can See

Productivity You Can See

An ideal combination of price and performance, the DRX-500SX pill counter is designed to provide productivity and scalability gains well beyond the range of standard Rx Counter. With features and functions that offer more than just "the basics," the DRX-500SX provides a cost-efficient solution for your pharmacy automation needs.

The DRX-500sx system is based upon the use of a central database of average pill weights which are stored on a central server supporting multiple scales. The system is made both very fast and very accurate by the use of a feature called the Advanced Pill counting Accuracy (APA), which makes updating the average piece weight of a drug a speedy process. The need for the pharmacist to manually count out pill samples in order to update has been eliminated in this system.

Depending on the configuration of the features, the process of filling a script ranges from less than 20 seconds to approximately 25 seconds. In a fully enabled configuration the steps include scanning the supply bottle to establish the drug NDC code, establishing and taring the weight of the vial (tarring a new container allows to avoid cross contamination), entering the prescription size, and pouring out the required number of pills from the supply bottle into the patient’s vial.

The process of updating an average piece weight of a drug takes slightly longer as it requires the user to stop the pouring process twice during the update. The updating can be done while filling a script or it can be done independently as part of a program to routinely update average piece weights for the formulary.

Let's examine the cost of updating the average piece weights while filling scripts. In this scenario the pharmacy is notified when filling a script if the update date has been passed. The time added to filling a script in order to update the average piece weight is approximately 6.5 seconds. Let's further assume that in any 90 day period only 2200 of the 2500 drugs in the formulary would be scripted. The overhead then would be 2200 drugs multiplied by 6.5 seconds which equals 14,300 seconds. This results in 14,300 seconds divided by 81,000 scripts which equals 0.18 seconds per script of added cost.

To calculate the time and cost of updating the systems use the factors below:

1. Update method: Update while filling a script – 6.5 seconds / drug

2. Select the updating period: Once very X months – (Depending on the volume and formulary turnover updating can be done anywhere form 30 to 90 days)

3. Formulary Size: Ts – number of scripts filled in X months

4. Scripts / Day: N – number of scripts filled in a single day


Cost of updating the system when updating drugs during prescription filling:

1. Update Method (a): During script filling = 6.5s/drug

2. Update period X: Once every 90 days (3 months)

3. Formulary size of drugs counted in 90 day period Ts: 2000 drugs

4. Scripts / Day N: 300


Total number of scripts counted in 90 days = 27,000 (90 days * 300 scripts per day)

Added time spent on updating = 13,000 seconds (2,000 drugs counted in 90 days * 6.5s

Overhead - Added time spent on updating per script in a 90 day period = 0.48 seconds per script

A prescription of 100 pills is counted on the DRX-500sx in less than 25 seconds. The updating process extends the bottom line average to only 25.48 seconds. The update is essentially unnoticeable while your counts are always accurate. This shows the great advantage to updating drugs while actually filling scripts. The system guides the process by showing when an update is due for each drug.

The illustration also shows that even small pharmacies can enjoy the benefits of fast and accurate pill counting by weight.