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PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 16, 2006--McKesson, the world's largest healthcare services, automation and information technology company, today announced the general availability of the IntelliShelf-Rx(TM) system for hospital pharmacies. Powered by the same advanced workflow software found in McKesson's market-leading ROBOT-Rx(R), IntelliShelf-Rx is equipped with radio frequency identification (RFID) and bar-coding technologies to that enable hospitals to automate existing medication dispensing processes without reengineering the entire pharmacy. The highly scalable solution is yet another advanced automation offering from McKesson designed to reduce medication dispensing errors, simplify manual tasks, and automate inventory control and management. The IntelliShelf-Rx solution successfully completed an extensive evaluation process at the 475-bed Baptist St. Anthony Hospital, located at Amarillo, Texas. Pharmacy technicians used IntelliShelf-Rx to improve the efficiency and accuracy of daily cart fill, first dose, and cabinet fill functions, as well as enable online inventory management. "Since introducing the IntelliShelf-Rx system, we've dramatically streamlined our medication picking processes and significantly reduced the potential for look-alike/sound-alike medication errors," said Gary Kilsdonk, pharmacy director at Baptist St. Anthony. "The IntelliShelf-Rx system is very intuitive. Our pharmacy technicians spend less time picking and restocking medications, and our pharmacists spend less time on paperwork and more time on impacting patient outcomes." Active RFID tags are a key component of the IntelliShelf-Rx solution. The tags, which are affixed to existing medication bins with either clips or Velcro, "talk" with McKesson's Connect-Rx(TM) software. As pharmacy technicians process a delivery unit, the appropriate bins illuminate. The bar-code scanning technology then verifies the correct medication, correct quantity, and for drugs packaged by McKesson, the expiration status. The combination of the technologies reduces difficult memorization and manual processes for technicians, enabling hospitals to engage and train new technician resources in days instead of weeks. Hospitals also have the option to employ McKesson's Fulfill-Rx(SM) electronic reordering and replenishment service to automate inventory reordering from McKesson pharmaceutical distribution centers. Fulfill-Rx increases inventory turns up to 35 percent, reduces on-hand inventory, lowers drug costs up to 8 percent by selecting "best price," reduces order creation time by 75 percent, and cuts restocking time by 50 percent. "Automated pharmacy solutions have demonstrated significant value in helping hospitals better manage medication safety, staff productivity, and inventory costs," said David Souerwine, president of McKesson's automation unit. "Many hospitals thought those benefits were out of their reach. With IntelliShelf-Rx, any hospital pharmacy can replace manual processes with electronic dispensing and management, and spend more time impacting patient outcomes."