Thursday, Jan 11, 2024

Ballad Health makes significant advancement in medication safety and clinical efficiency, unveils three new Omnicell XR2 Central Pharmacy Dispensing Robots at Bristol Regional Medical Center

Ballad Health is making a significant advancement in medication safety and clinical efficiency with new technology hosted through its Pharmacy Central Fill Services.

On Thursday, Jan. 11, the health system unveiled three Omnicell XR2 Central Pharmacy Dispensing robots at Bristol Regional Medical Center to enhance the operations of its pharmacy services. The robots are part of a central pharmacy dispensing system that improves safety, workflow and inventory optimization through automation, enabling pharmacy team members to focus on other aspects of care.

"The introduction of Omnicell XR2 robots for our Pharmacy Central Fill Services at Bristol Regional marks a transformative moment in our commitment to patient well-being,” said Marvin Eichorn, chief administrative officer for Ballad Health. “This leading-edge technology will not only streamline our medication management processes, but it is also designed to contribute to enhanced patient safety and cost-effectiveness."

The Omnicell XR2 robots are intended to bring a host of benefits to Ballad Health’s Pharmacy Central Fill Services and the entire health system, including:

· Decreasing the manual handling of medications by technicians and pharmacists

· Reducing expired medication waste by dispensing earliest-to-expire and optimizing inventory across Ballad Health

· Providing complete, real-time visibility to every dose and its expiration date

· Enhancing patient safety by leveraging 100% barcode scanning

"The Omnicell XR2 automation represents a significant leap forward for our Pharmacy Central Fill Services,” said Trish Tanner, chief pharmacy officer at Ballad Health. “With fewer touchpoints, these state-of-the-art robots will empower our team members to redirect their focus towards more clinical initiatives, ultimately enhancing the overall quality of patient care."

The selection of Bristol Regional to receive the Omnicell XR2 robots was based on several factors, with its central location in the Appalachian Highlands and proximity to the entire Ballad Health service area playing a crucial role. This positioning ensures Pharmacy Central Fill Services at Bristol Regional will be within a reasonable courier distance for all Ballad Health hospitals, facilitating swift and efficient medication distribution.

In a unique and creative approach to integrating the outcomes-driven technology into the workflow, Ballad Health invited team members to participate in naming the XR2 robots.

Given Bristol's rich musical heritage, particularly the 1927 Bristol Sessions that ignited the country music movement across America and the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, the theme chosen for the robots’ name and decal design is country music. Following a survey among team members, the selected names for the three XR2 robots pay homage to iconic singer-songwriters Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash and June Carter-Cash.

As Ballad Health prepared to launch the technology at Bristol Regional, they celebrated the impact the Omnicell XR2 robots are anticipated to have on patient care and operational efficiency during a team member event, where the robots’ names were also unveiled.

“By leveraging advanced technology, these robots will not only streamline our medication management processes, but are also designed to significantly enhance patient safety,” Tanner said.

“The expected reduction in medication errors, improved inventory management and increased focus on clinical initiatives should collectively contribute to a healthcare environment that is safer, more efficient and ultimately more patient-centric. We believe that embracing innovation in this manner aligns with our commitment to providing the highest standard of care for our patients across Ballad Health."

More information about the services and hospitals of Ballad Health is available at

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