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The Robots of MD Anderson

MD Anderson uses different types of robots to improve the safety and efficiency in patient care. Pharmacy has been taking advantage of robot technology since 1998. The first outpatient robot was installed in the outpatient pharmacy on Floor 2 of the Main Building. Now, all three outpatient pharmacies use the ScriptPro SP 200 prescription dispensing system. MD Anderson's outpatient pharmacies dispense approximately 1,300 prescriptions a day. According to Lori Bertrand, manager, Pharmacy Operations, the robots account for almost 55% of our prescription volume. The SP200 robot can fill and label 150 prescriptions an hour. "It would be closer to 95% except that chemotherapy, narcotics and investigational drugs can't go into the ScriptPro robot," Bertrand says. In the inpatient pharmacy on the first floor of the Main Building, you'll find "Dexter," the McKesson ROBOT-Rx? automated medication dispensing system. Similar to the ScriptPro robot, Dexter's job is to fill unit dose medications for inpatients. Its appearance, however, is much different. Dexter is a large, octagon-shaped room with a robotic arm in the middle. The arm can rotate 360 degrees and pull medications off the walls. Surgery has been using the da Vinci Surgical System since 2006. Initially, it was used only for urologic procedures, but now it's used for most types of surgery, excluding brain and arthroscopic surgeries. The da Vinci system is a state-of-the-art surgical platform used for minimally invasive surgeries. The system comprises a surgical console that controls the robot, the patient-side unit with four robotic surgical arms, and a video tower that includes the system processors. Surgeons use three of these mobile robots, fondly nicknamed, "Deuce," "The Beast" and "The Twins." Deuce and The Beast are wheeled to different operating rooms as needed, while The Twins is a dual-console system located in Operating Room 31.
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