Ministry Good Samaritan Installs ATM-Style Prescription Drug Dispenser

(Merrill, WI.)  – Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center has begun offering InstyMeds, a fully automated ATM-style machine that dispenses acute prescription medications directly to patients immediately before leaving the emergency department. The system offers a safe, convenient way for patients to receive their prescription medications.

“This new system allows patients direct access to acute medications in our Emergency Department before they leave.” says Ministry Good Samaritan Pharmacy Manager James Mason. “We think this will provide a great service to our patients, especially during overnight and weekend hours.”

The InstyMeds system automates the entire process from the prescriber issuing the prescription, to the patient obtaining their medications, and payment collection. The patient can obtain their medications and be on their way in about the same time it takes them to use their bank ATM.

“This added convenience will help our patients fill prescribed medications at any hour and put them on the road to faster recovery,” says Dr. Robyn Schertz, Emergency Department Medical Director at Ministry Good Samaritan.

InstyMeds access for patients is possible only after Ministry Good Samaritan providers enter a prescription electronically and give patients a voucher with a unique security code. Using the touch-screen of the InstyMeds dispenser, the patient enters the unique security code and their date of birth. The patient then swipes a debit or credit card to pay for the prescription. After the machine performs a triple bar code safety check, the pre-packaged, labeled product is dispensed from the machine to the patient. The entire process typically takes a couple of minutes.

Mason adds that it’s important to note that Ministry Good Samaritan’s InstyMeds system will only fill prescriptions from providers of the Emergency Department and Walk-In Clinic and does not provide capability for refills and other prescriptions from outside the facility.

Mason also adds that the system will enhance patient compliance. Studies show that 30 percent of prescriptions that doctors write go unfilled and costs the health care industry $289 billion a year. The added convenience of the InstyMeds system increases the likelihood that the patient will fill their prescription and undergo the medication treatment plan.

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