UF Health provides automated pharmacy kiosks

The new pharmacy kiosks at UF Health adult ERs allow a patient to speak directly to a licensed pharmacist by video link before their prescription is dispensed.
Photo by Bill Levesque/UF Health

UF Health emergency patients now can get more than 120 of the most common medications prescribed in the ER from automated pharmacy kiosks that offer the latest technology while retaining the human touch.

Customers still interact with a UF Health licensed pharmacist who appears on a screen to answer questions, provide guidance and shepherd the patient through the process.

The kiosks, which do not dispense controlled substances, are located at the UF Health Shands Emergency Room (1515 SW Archer Rd.), the UF Health Shands Emergency Center ¬– Springhill (8475 NW 39th Ave.) and the UF Health Emergency Center – Kanapaha (7405 SW Archer Rd).

With the closest 24-hour pharmacy located in Jacksonville, an hour’s drive away, the kiosks, manufactured by MedAvail Technologies, fill a critical need for UF Health emergency patients in Gainesville.

UF Health pharmacy officials said the kiosks are available every day of the week, 24 hours a day. Aside from dispensing prescriptions in the middle of the night, they also save patients the time and trouble of going to a brick-and-mortar pharmacy at other times. This can be especially helpful to someone who is sick or has limited mobility, officials said.

“It’s just as if you walk into a pharmacy, walk to the window and say, ‘Hi, I’m here to pick up my prescription,’” said Dr. Suzy Wise, director of pharmacy, ambulatory services – UF Health Shands. “Our patients are getting a prescription right away without having to drive to the pharmacy on the way home and maybe wait hours for it to be filled.”

The machines accept all insurance types, including commercial insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, and can take payment with mobile pay, credit or debit card. They do not hold or accept cash.

Wise said the kiosks are popular with patients who can get a medication in about five minutes right at the emergency center.

No patient information is stored in the machines.

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