Long lines a thing of the past at one Fresno medical center pharmacy

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- From shelves of overflowing orders to a streamlined state-of-the-art system Kaiser Permanente Pharmacies in the Valley are filling prescriptions for patients who no longer lose their patience waiting in line.

Long-time Kaiser member, Javier Alcala of Fresno, remembers the old system.

"Sometimes the lines would be all the way up to the door there," said Alcala. "They would have to flip through some paperwork and then they would have to go find the bag then they would have to ring it. It was time-consuming. It was much faster today that's for sure."

Kaiser officials said the medical center is delivering more speed and safety with its new prescription filling system called Intelli-Cab.

Behind the counter, pharmacists prepare medications then place a patient's prescriptions in a bin. Each bin is coded with a radio-frequency identification code or RFID. That RFID code is then assigned to the Kaiser member's number.

On the other side of the counter, a clerk picks up the bin and places it in one of the secure cabinets. When a member comes to pick up their prescription, the system tells the clerk exactly where to find it.

Kaiser Permanente Fresno Pharmacy Director, Scott Shimamoto said, "This speeds up the process about three minutes per prescription. So we sell about a million prescriptions out of our pharmacies in Fresno so three minutes per prescription saves a lot of time."

No more digging through bags of prescriptions while a member is in line. The Intellicab system not only cuts the wait time but also the chance for error. If a clerk pulls the wrong medication, the system sounds an alarm.

"Kaiser's Fresno service area was the second in its Northern California region to get Intellicab. By the end of 2017, it will be rolled out to all Kaiser pharmacies in Northern California," said Shimamoto.

By the end of 2017, it will be rolled out to all Kaiser pharmacies in Northern California.

With the expansion, Kaiser will be serving even more patients by cutting down wait time and the chance for medication mistakes.
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