JAC Computer Services Ltd (JAC) has become the exclusive UK distributor of robotic medicines cabinets designed to improve medicines management.

The UK specialist supplier of electronic pharmacy and medicines management systems will supply computerised medicines cabinets manufactured by MDG Medical.

Under the agreement, JAC will offer a range of units including specialist cabinets for controlled drugs, night use on wards, A&E and other environments where access to medicines needs to be constantly monitored at the point of issue.

Initially JAC will offer large MDG cabinets that operate as lockable cupboards, with individual computer controlled drawers for each patient’s medication or devices. The devices can also be configured to contain specific doses of particular medicines

The robotic cabinets enable better medicines accountability and management helping to contribute to improved patient safety on hospital wards or in A&E departments.

JAC told E-Health Insider it is currently working on integrating the ServeRx software installed on the MDG cabinets with its pharmacy and medicines management software.

Despite advances elsewhere in hospitals, the majority of ward stock is currently stored outside most stock control IT systems. Each instance providing the opportunity for uncontrolled access to medicines represents a potential patient safety risk.

The potential benefits of automation at the front-line include the recording of emergency issues, STAT and PRN doses, inventory monitoring and usage reporting.

“Robotic automation is becoming ever more important in modernising medicines management processes and is well established in the supply chain and dispensary environments,” commented Robert Tysall-Blay, JAC’s Chief Executive.

“Introducing automation technology at ward level is the next step in extending the reach of medicines management IT systems and addresses the key pressures of cost control and patient safety.”

Tysall-Blay described the MDG computerised medicines cabinets as “a natural extension to JAC’s core product offering”, which would enable healthcare customers to “to close the loop on areas where patient safety could be potentially compromised”.

The MDG cabinet is already in use at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, which uses a three cabinet version of the system.

In the future JAC says it also plans to offer MDG’s Smart Cart product, a computerised trolley which links to the computerised medicines cabinet and closes the loop of safe medication administration at the patient bedside.