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Major dispensing pharmacy in Japan digitalizes its prescribed medication picking and validation process

April 27, 2022

Article Courtesy of Zebra Technologies

RS5100 Bluetooth wearable scanner

In recent years, the sale of prescribed medication in Japan has been deregulated and it is no longer mandatory that this be done under the supervision of pharmacists. As a result, I&H, a major dispensing pharmacy chain in Japan, has decided to expand its store associates’ responsibilities to include the sale of prescribed medication. But to do so, they must enable their store associates with the right tools to perform the tasks swiftly and accurately.

As each medicine has a unique pharmaceutical code, it is important that the store associates can validate it against the patient’s prescription to ensure their safety. By pairing Zebra’s TC21 mobile computer with Japan Circulation System’s (JCS) Medicine validation app called “Yaku touch,” I&H’s store associates can use their handheld devices to scan the barcode of each medicine to conduct this validation process. 

I&H also introduced the practically weightless RS5100 Bluetooth wearable scanner that can be worn like a ring on a single finger. When paired up with the TC21, the solution frees up both hands of their store associates, making it easier when they are scanning and picking several prescribed medications at the same time.

“Given the government’s deregulation, store associates are now allowed to dispense prescribed medication to patients, a role previously done only by pharmacists,” said Hideki Ohno, Director of Pharmacy Support for I&H. “The change allows us to widen the job scope of our store associates and increase their productivity with the right tools. The lightweight, Android-powered TC21 mobile computer is user-friendly with a large screen which helps minimize human errors and increase accuracy and efficiency. And the RS5100 Bluetooth wearable scanner gives them hands-free mobility and comfort when performing the additional tasks.” 

I&H worked with Zebra Partner Connect business partner, JCS, to build a customized solution including maintenance. 

“We are very excited to help digitalize I&H’s operations with our solutions,” said Takanori Furukawa, Country Manager of Zebra Technologies Japan Co., Ltd. “At Zebra, we work closely with our partners to understand the challenges of our customers before jointly developing a solution that meets their needs. Zebra mobile computers enable our customer’s front-line workers with new on-demand abilities like voice collaboration, which helps them accomplish much more with ease so they can thrive in the on-demand economy.”   

I&H has since deployed Zebra solutions at about 200 of its dispensing pharmacies and will gradually be introducing them to all its 600 dispensing pharmacies in Japan. 

To learn more about Zebra’s RS5100 Bluetooth wearable scanner, click on the link below.