Aethon's MedEx System, an automated tracking and chain-of-custody system that allows a hospital’s pharmacy to know the real-time location and status of medications throughout the facility, is made operational at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Medical Center is making use of Aethon’s robots to deliver medications from the pharmacy to patient care units, and integrates Aethon’s chain-of-custody solution.

Aethon said that MedEx serves as an enhancement to the TUG robot developed by the company, which dependably and affordably automates the logistics process in hospitals, enabling hospitals to deliver, track and retrieve medications, supplies, meals and equipment throughout the facility to increase productivity, enhance safety, and improve healthcare efficiency and patient care.

The MedEx technology allows hospital-based pharmacies to completely automate chain-of-custody solution, which allows them to chronologically track and document the ‘who, what, when and where’ of each medication delivery.

Aethon president and CEO Aldo Zini said that MedEx eliminates the need for manual deliveries or hardcopy receipt signatures for medications.

University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore Pharmacy director Marc Summerfield said that they look forward to that system enhancing the accuracy and legibility of medication records.

Summerfield said that he plans to work with his partners, Aethon and Omnicell, to create an interface that enables the MedEx system to automate the unit-based cabinet restocking process for additional improvements in efficiency and accuracy.

Aethon stated that the MedEx automatically creates an electronic chain-of-custody receipt (person, location, date/time) indicating when an item is placed in and removed from the TUG by combining passive radio frequency identification (RFID) technology and biometrics capabilities built into the TUGs’ secure carts.

The MedEx system’s tracking capabilities extend to refrigerators, lock boxes, nurse servers and automated dispensing cabinets to provide additional assurance that all medications have reached their final destination and have been properly stored.

“Our exclusive chain-of-custody record significantly reduces time spent tracking down or replacing lost medications,” Zini said.