Lurie Children's Hospital Selects Grifols KIRO® Robot to Increase Precision, Safety, and Compliance of Pediatric IV Chemotherapy Handling and Compounding

  • Grifols KIRO robotic system provides next-generation precision and automation for sterile compounding of IV medications.
  • System modernizes the sterile compounding of IV medications to improve accuracy and compliance.
  • Lurie Children's will use the system to enhance both patient and staff safety.

16 March 2016 (Chicago and Los Angeles) – The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, one of the top pediatric care hospitals in the United States, has partnered with Grifols, a global healthcare company with more than 75 years of history maintaining the highest quality and safety standards in its own manufacturing processes, to advance patient and staff safety with the Grifols KIRO Oncology robotic system. 

At Lurie Children's, the Grifols KIRO Oncology system will provide precision and control during compounding of sterile IV (intravenous) chemotherapies for pediatric patients, whose smaller bodies are more sensitive to even minute variations in drug doses. The system also helps to improve compliance and environmental safety, as well as waste reduction and overall IV room operational efficiency.

"The Grifols KIRO robot enhances patient safety by performing barcoding check of all products used and gravimetric control based on the drug's specific gravity. Its accuracy exceeds the volume demarcations on the syringe," said Jenny Elhadary, Vice President of Clinical Operations at Lurie Children's. "It also provides staff safety by reducing their exposure to hazardous drugs and protecting them from repeated stress injury."

The correct preparation of sterile individualized drug doses is a complex process. The ability to achieve exact accuracy to prescribed doses can be influenced by several factors, such as limits in the measurement precision of syringes and other equipment, natural variations in manual processing, and FDA-allowed variations in products received from manufacturers. The Grifols KIRO Oncology system is designed specifically to address these challenges and facilitate compliance with best practices and regulations.

The Grifols KIRO Oncology system accommodates a variety of sizes and manufacturers' bags, syringes, and cassettes. It can prepare patient-specific doses and small batches using liquid and lyophilized drugs. Uniquely designed with two robotic arms, the system is able to perform vial reconstitution and bag filling in parallel – just one example of the separate tasks the robot can achieve simultaneously.

The system performs gravimetric checks at all stages of the compounding process and releases final products based on their accuracy to prescribed doses. Partially used vials are held and tracked within the cabinet for subsequent dose preparation, helping to minimize waste of costly drugs.

In-process barcode readers and cameras precisely identify vials, bags, and disposables by comparing readings and images taken during processing with those in the Grifols KIRO Oncology system's database.

Safety-critical compounding operations, as well as the system's unique automated cleaning process, take place in a completely enclosed environment. The system's ISO 5 class environment  protects users and the environment from unintended exposure to hazardous drugs during loading and automated compounding processes.  The KIRO Oncology system can also be integrated as a biosafety class II cabinet in USP797 and GMP-compliant facilities to support monitoring and qualification procedures.

"Pharmacy operations have evolved to embrace the patient safety and workflow benefits of advanced medication safety technologies," said Bill Churchill, M.S., R.Ph., Chief Pharmacy Officer at Brigham & Women's Healthcare in Boston. "Advanced robotic systems that aid pharmacy specialists will be essential to modernizing sterile compounding processes – many of which have not significantly changed in decades. In addition to offsetting human and manufacturing variations, newer technologies can help pharmacies more efficiently handle the influx of new medications as well as the overall increase in workloads."

About the Ann & Robert Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital is ranked as one of the nation's top children's hospitals in U.S.News & World Report 2015-16 Honor Roll. Founded in 1882, it is the pediatric training ground for the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and one of only a handful of U.S. children's hospitals with a dedicated pediatric research center, the Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute. It was the first children's hospital in the country to receive the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Magnet Award for Nursing Excellence. Last year, Lurie Children's treated more than 174,000 patients. 

KIRO Oncology