Lack of research leads to pill machine fiasco

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2But problems with two of the machines prevented them from being deployed, and the third machine was never delivered. A report projecting potential savings that justified the lease was seriously flawed, the report says. The lack of a dedicated staffer to oversee the machines has also caused unnecessary delays, the grand jury report found. The new system is overseen by the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office and County Health Services departments. “No one is minding the store,” the report says. WALNUT CREEK, Calif. – The cost of operating robotic prescription pill dispensers for Contra Costa County jail inmates was not thoroughly investigated before the county plunked down $1 million on the automated system, a grand jury report found. The computerized dispensers, designed to replace nurses who sorted medications by hand, were expected to save the county hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Instead, they have run up $60,000 in unanticipated overtime costs for technology staffers who have been unable to get the system working, according to the May 25 report. The county paid $1 million for a five-year lease for three dispensers. A sheriff’s spokesman said the report wrongfully discredits the department. “We have absolutely and scrupulously done whatever we can do to make this work,” said Undersheriff Obie Anderson. The county should aim to have the dispensers operating by Sept. 30, and the county administrator should be required to investigate the costs and savings of all other expensive projects, the report said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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