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Palmetto Health Adds RIVA, a Fully Automated IV Compounding System
Palmetto Health is one of the only hospital systems in Southeast with RIVA

Palmetto Health has added a RIVA system to its arsenal of patient safety and cost saving measures. RIVA is the only fully-automated Intra Venous compounding system on the market and offers pharmacies numerous safety and efficiency benefits. The technology provides true walk-away capability, allowing for extended production runs with no staff intervention required. Palmetto Health is one of only hospital systems in the Southeast with a RIVA system.

The system also lowers the cost-per-dose of medication, provides a complete electronic audit trail and labels every dispensed dose. Since its introduction in 2008, RIVA systems globally have collectively prepared more than 2 million doses of medication safely and accurately. The system’s safety record has been demonstrated by more than 125,000 routine quality control checks across all RIVA installation sites that have found no contamination in compounds produced by the machines.

Dave Amsden, director of Pharmaceutical Services and Clinical Nutrition, has been evaluating options for automation for some time but it took the coordinated effort of his team to make it a reality. “Our team knew that automation would be a benefit because of the large quantity of medications prepared by our Pharmacy Technicians or obtained from an outside compounding pharmacy and the cost associated with those services. It took some creative thinking to make it happen but worked diligently because we knew the positive benefits it had for our patients through cost savings and improved quality.”

“RIVA sets a new standard for patient and medication safety by eliminating cross-contamination and the risk of human error,” said Dr. Niels Erik Hansen, president and CEO of IH Systems. “We expect Palmetto Health like other participating hospital systems to experience significant cost savings through increased safety, productivity and efficiency in their pharmacy compounding processes.”

Here’s how RIVA will help: After a technician loads the machine with the appropriate medications and packaging, RIVA automatically and accurately prepares IV syringes and bags with minimal technician assistance. By automating this process, RIVA addresses the issues of quality of the product because it reduces the possibility of human error. It also addresses efficiency since the machine can increase the amount of medications that can be produced. Having the process in-house also helps ensure that medications are available when needed and that staff is intimately involved in assuring the quality of the product that is administered to our patients. All of these factors translate into cost savings and quality assurance for patients.

Amsden referenced a 500ml bag of Oxytocin, commonly used in pregnancy, as an example. The cost was reduced 79 percent when you compared purchasing it from an outside compounding pharmacy to preparing using RIVA. Amsden says that the Pharmacy will start with a small selection of medications but will expand. RIVA will be used for all Palmetto Health hospitals including the new hospital, Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge, slated to open in spring 2014.


About Palmetto Health
Palmetto Health, the largest health care system in the Midlands and third largest non-governmental employer in South Carolina, is composed of more than 10,000 team members, physicians and volunteers working together to fulfill Palmetto Health’s vision: to be remembered by each patient as providing the care and compassion we want for our families and ourselves. The system includes four acute-care hospitals—Palmetto Health Baptist, Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, Palmetto Health Heart Hospital and Palmetto Health Richland—as well as an expansive physician practice network, dozens of affiliated clinics and specialty care practices and a 501(c)(3) foundation. Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge, the region’s newest hospital located in northwest Columbia, is scheduled to open spring 2014. Recognized nationally as one of the best places to work and receive care, Palmetto Health also trains the next generation of physicians through its 23 residency and fellowship programs affiliated with the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. For more information, visit
About Intelligent Hospital Systems
Founded in 2006, Intelligent Hospital Systems (IH Systems) is a medical device company focused on the design and development of automated solutions for the hospital environment. Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, IH Systems manufactures RIVA, a fully-automated IV compounding system that prepares medications for syringes and IV bags in an aseptic environment. Using RIVA, hospitals enhance patient safety, lower the cost-per-dose of medications, reduce their vulnerability to medication shortages and cut waste. For more information, visit

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