Autodispens Features



-The main program Autodispens is over 42,000 lines of code. ‘Artificial Intelligence’ has been incorporated by isolating the rules, exceptions to the rules, several modes of learning and the result is that the system simplifies the prescription management process and reduces user input. This interactive, intuitive program uses real time parsing algorithm and the user-mimicking interface makes this the ‘ultimate user friendly’ system. It accesses the database by giving clues from the relevant fields (as much or as little), with or without using delimiters. This search-as-you-type © technology is lightning fast and there are no codes to learn. This represents the hallmark of our user interface.

– Automated Intelligent Drug Entry Routine (AIDER) which is the utilities program is just under 12,000 lines of code. Other modules include the Drug/PMR checklist and the Data watchdog programs. The whole package is over 60,000 lines of code.

– Runs on a range of IBM compatibles computers, 486 or above with
at least 1 megabyte of RAM and preferably at least 100 megabyte
hard disk space.

– Utilizes Colour, and extra memory where available.

– The computer interfaced to a laboratory scale to instantly count tablets, capsules, money and measure liquids. Currently caters for a wide range of Mettler and Ohaus balances.

– Modular program design.

– Customised labeller and PMR system based on our own search-as-you-type © technology

– Full stock control and ordering facility.

– Prescription endorsement facility (needs updating).

– Re-entrant ‘Oops’ facility to go back to the last step.

– Online pre-defined spreadsheet module for pharmacy accounts.

– Online note pad to take notes and print if necessary.

– Online help and 100 page manual (needs updating).

– Online cashing up program to count money.

– Facility to create a notepad for individual patient records to store more personal information.

– Pal requester allows search-as-you-type on customers own created databases such as telephone directory or local street names. A notepad can also be created for the above to store more information. For the telephone directory, it can also automatically dial the number through the modem.

– Support for second printer.

– Support for bar code reader to access drug or for stock control purposes.

– 10 User definable alarms (daily and prospective).

– Automatic order alarms based on wholesaler cut off times and shop opening times. Facility to send order automatically if final alarm not checked and order exists.

– Flags ’?’ on queries on sent orders. Replies from wholesaler tags query on individual drugs in the order Journals.

– Hot key formula calculator when ever needed, and enters result back if appropriate.

– Our own moving display routine to save screen burns. All the technologies used in Autodispens  are our very own including the search-as-you-type ©, sound search and the communications technology. We do not owe any royalties to anybody.


– The drug access is over 7,000 lines of code and is a finely balanced ‘pyramid of logic’. A section of the hard drive is block read and put in RAM. There are several lists being manipulated and reduced at the same time. There are many factors responsible for the lightning fast drug access and its ability to ‘mind read’ or ‘guess’ the required drug.

The following is a breakdown of its major features/logical components:

a. Searching in ‘real time parsing’ through GBE (Query by example) at each key press.

 b. Enter clues, as much or as little, with or without delimiters.
c.  Other factors responsible for the very fast access of the search-as-you-                   type approach include the optimum data structure, pointer manipulation, in depth study of ‘human rules’ for parsing. The search-as-you-type works by making use of the time between each key press for processing the data.

d. Priority and extended priority logic for flagging of frequently accessed drugs under different circumstances.

e. Its algorithm for ‘understanding’ or classification of similar drugs with different pack sizes or makers names such as currently used and non-currently used drugs.

  f. Automatic intelligent selective field blocking for differentiating similar drugs.

g. Three learning modes used under different circumstances to predict the desired drug.

h. Cross reference drugs with patient medication record, taking into account if the drug has been used recently.

I. Cross reference of the drug with the ‘alias’ drug through the catalogue. This is particularly applied when in certain cases the brand version is given priority over the generic version and vice versa.

j. The screen display routine which shows drugs in hierarchy order, differentiating generics and non-generics by colour, highlighting selected drugs on top of the list and relevant parts of other related drugs and ‘hiding’ certain parts of the drug for the sake of clarity.

– On screen display of predicted drug and other possible options.

– Automatic selection made by ‘predicted’ drug by highlighting the option.

– Selection can also be made at any time via highlighted bar option, which is changed by the up and down arrows keys.

– Selection can also be made by hot function-key option, present on same drug but different pack size or different manufacturer.

– Selection can also be made at any time via the hot Alt+ key option.

– Support for multiple manufacturers of generic drugs.

– Alternative manufacturers readily selected by hot function-key.

– Support for multiple pack sizes of same drug.

– Alternative multiple pack sizes readily selected by hot function-key.

– ‘Currently used’ switch for making a drug that is currently used. This would apply to generic drug with different manufactures or drugs with multiple pack sizes.

– Automatically switching of the above ‘currently used’ drug through ‘learning’ modes.

– Generic alternative to brand drug by pressing the space key. This logic would only apply if the clue used for the brand drug also applies to the generic drug sought.

– Generic alternative to brand drug & vice versa available at the press of the ‘=’ key, irrespective of clues used to access the original drug or the block of the original drug.

– Warning for dangerously similar drugs. There is facility to flag drugs in which the names are thought to be dangerously similar.

-Intelligent handling of drugs not found on the drug database. The drug is categorised by comparing the various name fields for the drug with known field names and then standardising them, for example Tablets becomes Tabs.

– Generic Drug Data Base (GDDB) provides useful information on each drug for quick reference and to promote learning. This may be used to implement overdose protection. This is a condensed drug data with different forms available, different uses and doses, special precautions and miscellaneous data.

– Drug catalogue is used to store GDDB data & interaction codes for a family of drug records.

– ‘Tab’ key toggles from Drug to Patient Record access when you start typing in the wrong place and vice versa.


– Directions entered in real time as continuous, multiple coded instructions and free format text if needed.

– Each key ‘mimics’ the user’s thoughts by automatically translating the directions according to the form of the drug which we term as context sensitivity or basic intelligence.

– Intuitive, common sense coding for directions coupled with context sensitivity means fewer codes to learn.

– Can mix coded directions and free format text.

– Choice of display formats for directions.

– Some warnings automatically incorporated into the directions such as “Shake the Bottle”, “Swallow Whole” etc taken from clues in the drug name.

– Warning text adheres strictly to BNF guidelines.

– Option to print maker’s name on label.

– According to the directions the quantity used in a day worked out even on complicated examples, for example H-13-4HPRN. The total quantity known therefore the number of days the treatment will last is also calculated. This is used to automatically flag whether the patient has come back for their medication too early or not. This facility constantly highlights the misuse or abuse of medication in the NHS. This technique together with the GDDB may be used in future for overdose protection.

– Second label can be used for long instructions and extra cautionary warnings.

– Automatic quantity entry where applicable.

– Split pack / multi pack facility for producing extra labels.

– Quantity is automatically given correct units.

– Up to 3 BNF and other warning messages available per drug.

– User definable warning messages available.

– Hot key access to different makers or pack sizes for quick reselection and scale download.


– Automatic downloading of current drug to balance.

– Buffers last four download drugs for immediate recall.

– Deltatrac for visual confirmation of target weight.

– Option to recalibrate piece weight through our devised concept of fractional calibration, on the fly up to any desired batch size, indicating minimum batch recommended.

– Supports liquid and powder measurement.

– Our devised concept of packing density level calculates optimum container size.

– Cashing up module used to count the float money and the days takings.

– Data-link from the cashing up program transfers the day’s takings on to the spread sheet.

– Other scale facilities include manual part counting, separate parts counting, fractional parts counting and putting the scale in to the weighing modes, all controlled from the computer.


– Uses the same search-as-you-type system indexed on surname.

– Uses a more natural interface in entering patient name title, forenames and surname. It recognises titles. Can change the configuration to have search the surname first, giving other clues as appropriate.

– Can enter address details at the time of entering patient name for the purpose of search or registration. When entering the name of a street, a list of street names is accessed from the database for a particular locality. The whole name and address is entered as a one step process.

– The ‘sound search’ facility of recognising names when misspelt, for example typing Paale Saahotta will still get the match for Pal Sahota. This facility is still being developed as more rules and exception to the rules are being added to the algorithm.

– ‘On-the-fly’ entry of patient record registration details for new records and automatic addition and maintenance of the patients drugs thereafter.

– Tab key toggles from Patient Record to Drug access when start typing in the wrong place.

– Automatic retention of surname for family scripts.

– No set limit to size of record in which the patient drugs be temporary or permanent. No apparent loss of speed noticed as more and more patient records are added.

– The drug storage in the PMR is temporary by default and the drugs are automatically removed after 6 months unless used within that time and in that case the storage becomes permanent.

– Usage code can be linked in with the GDDB data to show usage for that drug for that patient.

– Over the shoulder checking of patient record details such as the quantity, directions and drug such as in the case if the drug is the same but different maker or pack size.

– Over the shoulder owing and lent quantity recall and its automatic management.

– Stores 3 usage dates for each patient drug item.

– Bag label production at the touch of a key with details of patients name, address and any messages required.


– Interactions and the GDDB operates through the drug catalogue data, therefore individual drugs need not be allocated their own interactions or GDDB code. If a new drug is entered for which the computer already has a catalogue entry, it will be able to work out the interactions and its GDDB code. There is a facility to override this if needed.

– Custom made interactions chart in addition to the categories in the
Ivan Stockley chart.

– Non-interventionist interactions alerts, backed up by GDDB data


– Prescription archiving, automatic storage of all items processed through the computer for 3 months irrespective of patient medical records.

– Records from Archives can be accessed with direct matches, for example names, medication, dates or with wild cards, from hard drive or floppy disc backup.

– Prescription endorsement information also saved with archives for each prescription.


– System based on the drug tariff designed to endorse only if necessary.

– On screen endorsement and option of automatic endorsement via printer.

– Endorsement details stored with the archives and can be recalled for endorsement later.

– Facility to flag any part of the drug tariff but the main endorsement taken from part 8,7,3a,2,15,16,17 and 18a of the drug tariff.

– Automatic flagging and keeping track of broken bulk claims.

– Automatic flagging of control drugs, zero discount, black listed drugs, discontinued drugs, expensive generic alternative, borderline substance, calendar packs and special container.

-Also flagging of quantity ordered by number of days, extemporaneously prepared preparations, out of pocket expenses, oxygen and hosiery.

– Automatic calculation of Private prescription price.


– This utilizes our own custom made communications package.

– Ordering Options include:

a) Manual ordering which recommends quantity to be ordered according to quantity and percentage used.

b) Automatic ordering based on replacing each item used or according to percentage used.

c) Automatic ordering with full stock control taking into account what is used         and percentage used, the changing prescribing habits, maximum likely to be used in one day in a given month, anticipated order for expensive drugs for individual patients and the current stock level.

d) Combination of Manual and Automatic ordering methods depending on if the stock level has been entered or not.

– Automatic transmission of order and supports multiple supplier options.

– Browse / edit order list.

– Can add amend or delete list, or just change quantities via ‘+’ or ‘-’ key at any stage of ordering process.

– Automatic order lists generated for each supplier (needs updating)


– A multiuser system has been developed which can network up to six computers. This can be run on any networking package even the least expensive package because the problems of file locking and maintaining data integrity have been solved by our own logic which is implemented in the software.

– There does not appear to be a loss of speed as a result of this type of networking. This could greatly benefit large stores with two to more computers systems in the dispensary and several EPOS tills.


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