Patients Given Access to Prescription Medications 24/7
Release Date: 05/09/2007

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COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa –Patients who make a late-night visit to the Emergency Department at Alegent Health Mercy Hospital can now receive round-the-clock prescription services even before walking out to their car to go home with the installment of InstyMeds Prescription Medication Dispenser. The ATM-style machine—conveniently located inside the Emergency Department’s waiting room—allows patients who are sick or in pain to quickly and accurately get their medication filled anytime during the day or night.

“When it’s late at night and you’ve just been to the Emergency Department because you’re not feeling well, the last thing you want to do is make an extra trip to the pharmacist in order to get your prescription filled. Instymeds Prescription Medication Dispenser gives patients the option of getting their prescription medication filled before they leave the hospital,” said Jeffery Snyder, M.D., medical director of the Alegent Health Mercy Hospital Emergency Department.

Instymeds is a fully-automated, electronic retail pharmacy stocked with 80 of the most common prescribed and over-the-counter medications in various forms including tablets, capsules, inhalers, sprays, creams and ointments. The kiosk features a large, color touch screen that patients will find user-friendly and easy to navigate. The system can confirm an individual’s medical insurance coverage and has a triple safety check in place to reduce medication errors. Patients are offered the convenience of paying for their prescriptions using cash, debit or credit cards. The machine can also accommodate self-paying customers. If patients have any questions, a telephone mounted directly to the machine allows for the direct support of a licensed pharmacist or pharmacy technician 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.

The way Instymeds works, is immediately after a patient is seen by an Emergency Room physician, the individual receives an access code for their electronic prescription which has been electronically sent to the machine. The individual has the option of immediately filling their prescription order directly through the dispenser or can opt for a prescription print-out to take to their local pharmacy. The machine then prompts the patient to verify their medical insurance coverage and co-pay information through a series of questions and even has a three bar code check system in place to make sure the right patient is receiving the correct dosage of medication at the right time. The entire transaction can take as little as two to five minutes.

“Instymeds is designed to be a quick, convenient alternative for patients to obtain the necessary prescriptions they need before leaving the hospital,” said Michael Tiesi, operations director of the Pharmacy Services at Alegent Health Mercy Hospital. “But in no way is Instymeds intended to replace the pharmacist’s services. Rather, it’s meant to enhance the critical role they already provide the patient.”

Initially, Instymeds is limited to dispensing prescriptions written in the Emergency Department but will eventually be expanded to include Occupational Health Services for patients dealing with workman’s compensation patients requiring injury care.