Robots mixing IV medicines are now workers in Carilion's inpatient pharmacy

By Irisha Jones - Reporter

ROANOKE, Va.- - Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital inpatient pharmacy is now using two robots that compound IV piggybacks and syringes with the exact dose of medication needed for patients.

They're named Don and Doff, which is the practice of employees putting on and removing work-related protective gear, clothing and uniforms in a medical setting. 

Their job is to mix and prepare around 14 different IV medications for patients. 

"Most of them are antibiotics, and we have some pain management," said Cheryl Boone, pharmacy admixture manager. 

The robots are completely enclosed in a sterile environment to prevent the risk of contaminants, even those in the IV room need to dress the part. 

The only human interaction is loading products into the robot for compounding. 

"Everything has to be precise. You have to program it. You have to tell that robotic arm to move a certain way," said Boone. 

Carilion Roanoke is the second hospital in Virginia to get the robot. 

They also help Carilion save money.

"Now with the robots, we don't have to pay companies to make them for us. We can make them ourselves," said Boone. 

Since arriving this summer, the robots are staying busy for those receiving inpatient services. 

"We produce about 1,400 hundred does a day, 42,000 doses a month comes out of this room to out patients here," said Boone. 

The company that provides the robots has 60 across the county.

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