Type of innovation: System
Scope: Hospital Pharmacy Bioengineering
Innovation leader: Shared leadership
Period: From 2003
Geographical scope: International
Economic impact: Medium
Level of innovation: Disruptive
Interdisciplinary connections: -
Historically, hospitals generally received drugs from manufacturers in blister packs. Before these could be distributed and dispensed to individual patients, they had to be processed manually, separating the packs into unit doses, a procedure that carries the risk of errors.
“BlisPack® delivers efficiencies through time savings and reduced staff costs, while helping to minimize drug administration errors by applying a barcode identifier to each dose.”
The first of its kind
Grifols decided to design an automated system to perform the task of separating the blister packs into unit doses in hospitals, and in 2010 the company presented its solution: the BlisPack® system. This was the first of its kind: a robotic system that was able to cut blister packs, then repackage and electronically identify the medicines for hospital use, recording the batch and expiry date information on the additional packaging, while maintaining the manufacturer's original packaging unaltered for each individual pill or tablet.
BlisPack® is a closed system that can operate without human intervention and is able to prepare up to 1500 units per hour. It delivers efficiencies through time savings and reduced staff costs, while helping to minimize drug administration errors by applying a barcode identifier to each dose.
Collaborative innovation and multidisciplinary teams
The design and features of the BlisPack® system incorporated the suggestions of a multidisciplinary group made up of staff from the Hospital division and engineers from Grifols Engineering, who worked closely with a team of hospital pharmacy experts. The result was a pioneering solution that was very well received in markets where Grifols distributes hospital logistics systems to control and manage medicine stocks and their distribution.
BlisPack® is the first robotic system for cutting, over-wrapping and identifying unit doses of drugs in hospitals.
- Sánchez Maulini, M. y Oriols Gaja, J. (2007). Máquina de manipulación de blisters. (Oficina Española de Patentes y Marcas Patente Nº 200702222). Link
- Avellà, R., & Miquel, B. (Eds.). (2015). Cuando un sueño se cumple. Crónica ilustrada de 75 años de Grifols. Barcelona: Grupo Grifols, S.A.