Modern Means Of Patient Medication Supply At New RAH

Modern Means Of Patient Medication Supply At New RAH

South Australia Minister for Health Jack Snelling

Robotic Pharmacy Revolution At New RAH

Victor P Taffa

Patient medication supply is going high-tech at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) with the use of one of the largest Automated Pharmacy Distribution Systems in the Southern Hemisphere.

“New RAH is home to the most advanced medical technology in the world.” Minister for Health Jack Snelling said.

“Automated Pharmacy Distribution System is one more example of how the new Royal Adelaide Hospital will be leading the way when it comes to providing modern, patient-centred healthcare.”

Already operating at the new RAH, the new system uses robotic technology and automated processes to provide greater safety, accuracy and efficiency when dispensing medication for patients.


“Medical technology is continually changing the way we provide healthcare.” Central Adelaide Local Health Network Associate Director of Pharmacy Services Anna McClure said.

“Pharmacy automation systems are a safe, effective and efficient way to improve the speed and accuracy of treating hospital patients with medicines, while improving security and accountability.”

Technology can track drug use to individual patients, recording exactly where all medicines are distributed and to whom they have been dispensed.

The system is so advanced, it includes 2 ROWA machines a robotic system that unpacks, stores and dispenses medications, and 82 Automated Dispensing Cabinets to securely store medication in clinical areas.


New Royal Adelaide Hospital has two pharmacies on site one dedicated to inpatients, with the other assisting patients ready to be discharged and those attending outpatient appointments.

Each pharmacy contains a ROWA, which electronically issues stock required for Automated Dispensing Cabinets (ADC), and processes, sorts and stores new medication deliveries eliminating the possibility of human error.

Medication will be delivered from the inpatient pharmacy to clinical areas via Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV’s) or ‘RAHbots’ as staff refer to them.

Ad hoc and urgent requests will be delivered, in most instances, via the Pneumatic Tube System (PTS) which can reach the patient wing in less than 4 minutes.

Nursing staff will be able to enter a patient’s name into the ADC in their patient wing and make a selection from a list of available drugs.

Stock levels within the ADC’s will be managed centrally and electronically via the ROWA, meaning stock replenishment will be seamless.