Automated IV and syringe preparation increases safety, reduces errors


A summary of several automated IV and syringe preparation systems and a discussion of the technology's impact on pharmacy efficiency.

Key Points

Automated IV and syringe preparation systems can play an integral role in increasing safety, efficiency, and accuracy in healthcare systems. Some of the benefits of automated preparation include: 1) inventory reduction, 2) reduction of medication errors, 3) increased safety for patients and pharmacists, especially by limiting exposure to chemotherapy drugs, 4) increased time for patient-focused activities by reducing the amount of time pharmacists and other healthcare professionals spend preparing IVs and syringes, 5) increased regulatory compliance and electronic audit trails, and 6) cost savings.



The IntelliFill i.v. , manufactured by ForHealth Technologies, Inc, Daytona Beach, Fla, offers automated preparation of small-volume IV medications in an aseptic environment. The system can compound high-speed batches of syringes from bags of solutions hung in its automation area, and it can compound patient-specific syringes from liquid or powder medication stored in its drug cabinet. IntelliFill i.v. offers bar code scanning capability in addition to the other benefits of automated IV and syringe preparation systems.


CytoCare is a USP 797-compliant system manufactured by Health Robotics, Highland Beach, Fla (North America headquarters). The system consists of a robotic arm, laser-driven syringe filler, workflow software, and a sterile cabinet. The self-contained sterile environment fits in the space of a standard hood and can compound chemotherapy, pain therapy, and antibiotic admixtures. The system accommodates any choice of bags, bottles, or syringes, and uses partial drug vials with automated time/date stamps and drug-aging alerts based on the chemotherapy protocols established by individual health systems.

CytoCare units are being used in Europe and will likely be available in North America during the second quarter of 2007; the first US-based RIVA systems are anticipated in late 2007; the IntelliFill i.v. system is currently in use in the United States.


ASHP statement on the pharmacist's role in informatics. Am J Health-Syst Pharm. 2007;64:200–203.

Intelligent Hospital Systems Inc; RIVA website. Available at: http:// Accessed April 20, 2007.

ForHealth Technologies Inc; IntelliFill i.v. website. Available at: http:// Accessed April 20, 2007.

Inguanti, M. The IntelliFill i.v. from ForHealth Technologies Inc. Pharmacy purchasing and products website. Available at: http:// Accessed April 20, 2007. website. Available at: http:// Accessed April 20, 2007.

Health Robotics website. Available at: http:// Accessed April 20, 2007.

Dr Kaufman is president of PRN Communications, Inc, a consulting/medical writing and editing firm.

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