NGPA (Next Generation Pharmacy Automation)

CASI’s Next-Generation Pharmacy Automation (NGPA) is a pharmacy order fulfillment dispensing system designed for high-volume, central fill facilities.

Health system pharmacies rely on central pharmacy fill facilities to improve patient care. Utilizing a comprehensive pharmacy automation solution increases the efficiency of the prescription fulfillment process. This improves medication management, prescription inventory management, which overall improves patient outcomes long term.

What is Central Fill?

  • Prescriptions are sent in from the patient’s own pharmacy.
  • When the prescription is received, the central fill pharmacy then efficiently dispenses the medicines and checks and labels the individual packages; packs all prescriptions in a patient-specific bag or box; and sorts the prescriptions for transport.
  • Once completed, orders are shipped back to the local pharmacy, and the patient then picks them up locally.

CASI’s Pharmacy Automation Technology

  • 0% drug cross-contamination through either physical contact or airborne dust.
  • 100% pill count accuracy to avoid oral solid dispensing shortages and overages.
  • Pattern recognition software to avoid broken and damaged pills.
  • Automatic Labeling (flat, flag, or tadpole) Unit of Use boxes and bottles using robots.
  • Automatic Document printing, folding, queueing, inserting, and verifying.
  • Automatic Bagging of orders using a CASI Automated Retracting Tote (CART).
  • Remote QA – pharmacist inspection and approval operation from anywhere in the world.
  • Robotic Delivery and Return of pill canisters to and from automation lines.

Modular Platform

  • A modular design provides for a building block solution affording easy future expansion of capacity.
  • The modular design also reduces complexity, increases reliability, and offers redundancy capabilities.
  • Modules are equipped with wheels allowing for easy site positioning and future new site re-deployment.
  • All modules are “plug and play” (just roll them in, set their feet, attach the feeds, and plug them in).
  • The modules are organized in a modular fashion with common Ethernet, air, and power connections.
  • All modules make use of a common set of reliable parts, reducing the need for large spares depots.
  • Each module is equipped with an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) to allow for graceful shutdown.

Enhanced Security

  • Orders are filled in a CASI Automated Retracting Tote (CART) that prevents physical access to items.
  • Orders have full traceability and event recording throughout the system, which allows easy troubleshooting.
  • System logs all operator actions by the user and allows full auditing for the determination of active responsibility.
  • Pill canisters are each equipped with a tamper-resistant and tamper-evident auto-locking mechanism.
  • Filling modules are equipped with fingerprint recognition devices to restrict access to pill canisters.
  • Pill canisters anonymously containing Controlled Drugs are placed in non-disclosed carousel locations.

Patient Order Safety

  • During replenishment, pills are assigned and placed into a pill canister with a unique barcode identifier.
  • Pill canister barcodes are read and compared continuously; a canister is not used if a mismatch occurs.
  • During filling, each pill to be packaged is automatically vision-checked for correct pill form and size.
  • Each puck or card carrier has a unique RFID that is tracked and verified during the pill packaging process.
  • Each completed pill package is weighed and verified against a calculated expected package weight.
  • Each CASI Automated Retracting Tote (CART) has a unique barcode identifier to track orders in progress.
  • Each bagged order is automatically weighed and verified against a calculated expected order weight

Additional Features

  • Every module utilizing robots has doors that sense opening and automatically shut off robot movement.
  • The system implements Emergency Cut Off devices to halt automation equipment in an emergency.
  • Energy-efficient and quiet conveyor components turn on and off automatically per zone as needed.
  • Modules incorporate redundant components allowing continued operation during a component failure.
  • Operator handling of bottles, vials, and cards with exceptions bypasses sealing to allow easy inspection.
  • Operator handling of totes with exceptions occurs before automatic bagging to allow easy inspection.
  • Automatic bagging can automatically route orders to a bagging module with an appropriately sized bag.
  • Pill packaging can automatically select and fill multiple bottle/vial sizes or multiple blister card types.