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*Smilow leaders and Oncology Pharmacy staff celebrated the opening of a new clean-room compounding facility with a Sept. 6 ribbon-cutting.


Advanced Oncology Pharmacy at Smilow includes a robotic staff member

Hospital leaders joined pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and other staff at a Sept. 6 ribbon-cutting to officially open a newly renovated and upgraded Oncology Pharmacy.

The Smilow Cancer Hospital pharmacy features a number of enhancements focused on safety and quality, including a robotic staff member named R.O.S.I.E. – an acronym for Robot Optimizes Safety, Improves Efficiency.

The robot precisely mixes patient-specific chemotherapy infusions – a process known as sterile compounding. Use of robotic technology enhances efficiency while reducing staff exposure to hazardous substances. R.O.S.I.E. can batch mix up to eight infusions simultaneously.

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A robot that staff named R.O.S.I.E. precisely mixes each chemotherapy infusion dose in a “clean room” at the newly renovated Oncology Pharmacy. Chemotherapy drugs must be mixed in a completely sterile environment.


Sterile compounding occurs in a “hazardous clean room” designed with special air-handling systems, biological safety cabinets and seamless walls that are easy to clean. Howard Cohen, director, Oncology Pharmacy, said the new facility exceeds rigorous regulatory requirements for sterility and safety.

He praised pharmacists, technicians and managers for continuing to provide outstanding service during the six-month renovation project. Despite working in temporary locations during construction, staff compounded more than 44,000 chemotherapy doses with no reported serious safety events.

Lori Pickens, Smilow Cancer Hospital senior vice president and executive director, said the new Oncology Pharmacy is evidence of staff’s and leadership’s dedication to continuous improvement.

“At the very core there is a passionate commitment to providing the safest, highest-quality care possible,” she said.