Quality Manufacturing Systems Inc.: Automated Pharmacy Solutions

Pharma Tech Outlook: Pharma Tech Magazine

Quality Manufacturing Systems Inc.: Automated Pharmacy Solutions

CIO VendorEdward Stinnett, President
The global demand for automation has led to the increased speed and reliability of industrial processes, attributes that both benefit the consumer and allow businesses to grow and prosper. Put together in 1993 by a committee of four co-workers who decided to go solo, Quality Manufacturing Systems Inc. (QMSI) provides solutions for the automated pharmacy industry, an industry, the sophistication of which, would surprise even those who use such services. "We build systems that exceed those of your corner drug store by factors of 100,’’ says Edward Stinnett, President, Quality Manufacturing Systems. “A big corner drug store may do 1200 prescriptions a day. Our small automated systems do 3000, and our large ones do 120,000 prescriptions a day."

In an effort to keep up with the demands of the market, most CIOs are challenged by throughput constraints. "The ability to determine what is keeping a process from going faster and to find ways to remove those bottlenecks," says Stinnett. The tools we use to accomplish this task include our Pharmacy Management and our Control Software.’’ Unlike the competition, QMSI’s software does not show the typical response time degradation at high prescription throughput volumes. Some of QMSI’s customers process quantities approaching 100,000 prescriptions in a 10-hour shift without software performance degradation.

Accuracy is, of course, key. When QMSI entered the automated pharmacy business, the typical corner drug store could have as many as 4 errors in every 100 prescriptions, which was unacceptable when translated to thousands or millions. Developing systems that "contribute to the overall accuracy of the product going out the door", as described by Stinnett, is a primary driving factor in QMSI systems. This level of accuracy facilitates compliance with HIPAA requirements and assures that no information is lost or even unintentionally mixed up.

QMSI: When You Cannot Afford to Fail

With its engineering, design, and programming skills, QMSI provides a full spectrum of services to enhance the customer’s resources. QMSI’s key assets in the market place distill down to the QMSI culture. QMSI employees have the strongest of work ethics and a focus on making sure the customer thrives. Accurately defining the customer’s needs and understanding how to improve the customer’s manufacturing processes is "impossible without listening and without collaborating with the customer," states Stinnett, describing the relationship with QMSI’s customers as a ‘back-and-forth swing of ideas’.

In most cases, the QMSI approach is to wait for new technologies "to mature long enough to be proven before we integrate them into our systems," explains Stinnett. “And once we do integrate a process, we make sure we have the ability to fix anything that might go wrong.”

Pharmacies converted to QMSI’s software have experienced as much as 20 percent boost in throughput. After converting to QMSI software and with the addition of QMSI-designed or specified and integrated hardware, some pharmacies have increased their daily output from 32,000 to 120,000 prescriptions. In most cases, QMSI conversions are installed during the customer’s limited periods of downtime. "We do phased installation, which is a really challenging process," explains Stinnett pointing out the difficulty of installing systems without disrupting the customer’s workflow.

“Carving our footprint in the future world of automated pharmacy is only possible by keeping alive the very thing that breathed air into the company in the first place–quality,” affirms Stinnett. Setting sights on expanding its automated pharmacy expertise while continuing its cross-pollination in other industries, opens a very broad horizon for QMSI’s future growth.
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