Innovations in Pharmacy

Talking Medication Dispenser

Pharmacists at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh have taken a unique approach to improving patient safety and reducing errors in dispensing medication.

A team of Children’s Hospital pharmacists led by Jeff Goff, RPh, MS, has developed a talking medication dispenser. Placed inside medication bins, this recordable device prompts pharmacists to read labels carefully to reduce picking errors. It also can be customized to provide information such as the type of medication, drug form, or restocking issues. Similar to the recordable devices found in greeting cards, these talking inventory prompters fire messages when the lids of medication bins are lifted.

Children’s pharmacists are currently working with the University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering to improve the technology, design, and battery life of this device. With an improved prototype, pharmacists hope to manufacture these devices in larger quantities for implementation at Children’s, other UPMC facilities, and beyond.

For questions about the talking pharmacy dispenser developed at Children’s Hospital, ask a pediatric pharmacist.