US Pharm. 2008;33(9):47-50.

Approved by the Arizona Board of Pharmacy in May, ScriptPro's telepharmacy system is being used to provide remote pharmacy services to El Pueblo, El Rio Health Center's satellite clinic near Tucson. The clinic serves uninsured and Medicaid patients. This is the first such program in Arizona.

El Rio's ScriptPro robot prepacks tablets and capsules into barcoded containers, which are sent to the El Pueblo clinic for filling prescriptions. The clinic electronically transmits prescription orders to Health Center pharmacists, who screen, approve, and release them back to the clinic for filling. Pharmacy technicians at the clinic utilize ScriptPro telepharmacy scanning stations to select prefilled containers and packaged items (e.g., inhalers and creams) and label them with instructions for patient use. As a safety check, the technicians capture electronic images of the pills, container, and label and send them to Health Center pharmacists for approval. Every El Pueblo patient is counseled by a pharmacist through a video link integrated into the telepharmacy system.

Before the installation of the telepharmacy system, El Rio Health Center could not provide traditional pharmacy services at the El Pueblo clinic. According to Tony Felix, pharmacy director of El Rio, telepharmacy will allow El Pueblo's patients--mostly elderly people and young families with linguistic, cultural, economic, and transportational barriers that hinder access to health and pharmaceutical care--to obtain their medications on site and to receive counseling from a pharmacist. Enabling patients to leave the clinic with prescriptions in hand will increase prescription pickup compliance.

"ScriptPro telepharmacy is an accurate and systematic way to operate a remote pharmacy," stated Mike Coughlin, president and CEO of ScriptPro. "The electronic documentation of images and authorizations provides a complete record of the process for each prescription."

In other news, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre (KFSH) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is now operating its main outpatient pharmacy using ScriptPro's SP Central Workflow and Robotic Prescription Dispensing systems.

Saudi technicians maintain the automation with support from ScriptPro's 24X7 Help Desk. Prescription labels give patient information, instructions for use, and auxiliary information in Arabic, but other languages may also be used. ScriptPro's global drug database is updated automatically to the KFSH system every few days, providing drug images and descriptions for prescription verification.

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