Lifewatch: RIVA

Reported by Claire Hosmann - email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

(WECT) - Patients at a Utah Hospital may be getting their life saving IV's prepared by RIVA.

RIVA is not a nurse or a doctor, but a highly sophisticated robot called the robotic IV automation.

15-day-old Hank Goedhart gets three different IV's that were prepared by human hands, which is traditionally how the IV's are prepared.

Pharmacists, gowned, gloved, and masked in a special clean room make custom IV's for children because a lot of drugs are not made in pediatric doses.

"And a lot of the adult doses are ten, even a hundred fold greater than the pediatric doses," said pharmacist Kevin Jones.

In a room more sterile than an O.R., RIVA measures, injects, labels, and delivers finished IV's in both syringes and bags.  There are no mistakes, no risk of contamination, and no waste.

"It verifies it by the bar code. It takes a photograph of that and it also measures the size of the vial neck," said Jones.

RIVA knows exactly what it is filling, and the precisions in micro-measurements guarantees what a young patient is getting.

The machine continually cleans itself by using pulse UV light to sterilize surfaces.  It could save primary a half million dollars per year since under the hand method, unused IV drugs have to be thrown out within a week.

The robot's IV's keep 30 to 60 days.

Though the RIVA price tag is about a million dollars, doctors say it will pay for itself in safety and drug costs.