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Pharmacy debuts self-serve kiosks for VUMC employees

The new ScriptCenter 24/7 Pharmacy Express Pickup kiosk is set to go online early next month. (photo by Tom Wilemon)

Vanderbilt employees will soon be able to bypass lines at the pharmacy counter and get their medications at a self-serve kiosk.

The ScriptCenter 24/7 Pharmacy Express Pickup is scheduled to go online in early May at The Vanderbilt Clinic Pharmacy.

“We have heard for many years that one of the things our employees want is quicker lines, and to be able to get their prescriptions in a more expeditious fashion,” said Rusty Catlin, Pharm.D., director of retail pharmacy operations for Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). “They want more convenient hours. So in an attempt to do this, we found this device, the ScriptCenter kiosk.”

Employees of VUMC and Vanderbilt University will be able to pick up and refill medications around the clock at the kiosk. Setting up a user identification and personal information number to access the kiosk requires having an active TVC Outpatient Pharmacy prescription number.

Initially, the kiosk service will be limited to the TVC location. Prescriptions can be transferred to the TVC pharmacy by calling 615-322-6480.

“We thought that would be a good location for our first pilot,” Catlin said. “If the pilot is received well, we’ll explore opportunities to expand to other locations.”

The system is set up to provide privacy.

“The medicines will be bagged up in the same way they are bagged up for regular pickup at the pharmacy,” said Jim Manfred, RPh, a VUMC pharmacy director. “The machine uses a barcode to identify the prescriptions for a patient. That barcode is on the prescription center bag that the medicines will be in.”

Any problems or questions about a prescription can be addressed by walking up to the TVC pharmacy window or using a telephone attached to the kiosk.

“It dials into the pharmacy,” Catlin said. “Employees can speak directly with the staff at that particular time.”

Medications requiring refrigeration or that have to be specially mixed won’t be available. Medications picked up at the kiosk must be refills.

“Tennessee requires face-to-face communication on any new medications,” Manfred said. “That includes a new prescription for the same medication you have been on before.”

The kiosk will offer a limited number of over-the-counter medications for purchase. It will be set up for employee trial runs before it starts dispensing prescriptions. Employees who try out the kiosk will receive a free notepad and pen.