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Joint Base Andrews News

NEWS | Aug. 4, 2023

316th Medical Group gains new vial-filling machine for faster prescription filling

By Staff Sgt. Jared Duhon 316th Wing Public Affairs

The 316th Medical Support Squadron purchased, with the help of the Defense Health Agency, a Parata Max 2 vial-filling machine which began filling scripts July 27.

“In March MHS GENESIS launched, and it slowed down the process of activating prescriptions, which slowed down filling, verifying and dispensing medications,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Eric Stratoti, 316th Medical Support Squadron Exchange Pharmacy Element chief. “Our pharmacy team heard the feedback from beneficiaries and wanted to explore a way to get patients their refills faster without compromising safety.”

Before the introduction of MHS GENESIS, the Exchange Pharmacy used a manual system to fill prescriptions and had a turnaround time of five days. The new system is expected to reduce the wait time to three days.

“Our old cabinet required us to do everything manually,” said Stratoti. “We would fill, cap and label each prescription, which would take less than five minutes. But when you have a weekend rush of 400 to 800 scripts to fill, that time really adds up.”

The pharmacy will be able to process more scripts at a time with much less manual interaction allowing for a much steadier rate of care and lowering the possibility of backlogs.

“We are now able to do batches of medication with the new cabinets,” said Stratoti. “With the manual process, prescriptions would come in and go into the log, we would then process them as they come in, but we could only process so many before they would start to go up and create a large backlog and a rollercoaster effect would happen. Now we can have a more steady flow because we won’t have a backlog of scripts to fill.”

The steady flow only effects the time for fill times.

“Time at the window may not change the waiting in line,” said Stratoti. “But, the days of waiting for your prescription to be filled will change.”

For more information about the Exchange Pharmacy, please visit