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I imagine it's not a new concept but I've never seen it before

8 years ago
last modified: 8 years ago

Been a few years since I've needed an emergency room visit and the ones I went to in the past were older hospitals. Decided to go to a different one, newer, for a few reasons which don't matter. Most everything was fairly typical but the one that surprised me was the vending machine "pharmacy" for the prescriptions. They give you a code to use rather than a prescription and the prescription is coded in. Enter your number(s) and after about 5 minutes or so it dispenses the bottle. Slots for credit card and cash for co-pays or uninsured to pay for it when applicable. Seemed to me it could be a potential cost saver for pharmacy staff but I have to think it's a hideously expensive machine. And stocking it would be labor intense, at least it would seem to me. There would be loss of sales of other items if people needed bandages, cleaners, etc that a normal hospital pharmacy would have. Not sure if this was just because it was the middle of the night or how it operates all the time. I would think though that the vending machine would be advantageous at places like Target, Walmart, Kmart, etc. Prescriptions preloaded and people just pick them up while shopping. Less interaction required and could speed the process.

Really different. Not too sure if it's progress or not. And having two guards standing there, well, sitting actually, could offset some of the staff savings too. Made for some conversation during the wait and on the way home.

Learning something and seeing something new.

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