Select your location:


Select your language:

Decoding MedSMART: Your top 20 questions answered

Julian Vogelsanger
10 April 2024
Reading Time: 6 min.
The automated dispensing cabinet MedSMART is transforming drug handling processes at the point of care. Designed for efficiency and patient safety, the system offers secure and reliable storage and dispensing of medications in various clinical settings, including wards, emergency departments, intensive care units and operating rooms.
Questions and answers about MedSMART

MedSMART can be customized according to your facility’s needs to unlock key features and benefits:

  • Greater efficiency thanks to different heights and flexible combinations of main and auxiliary towers.
  • User-friendly software provides clear instructions, detailed drug information and specific warnings, enhancing patient safety.
  • Configurable drawer and shelf modules cater to a variety of drug storage needs.
  • MedSMART lets users activate a second verification process when dispensing critical drugs for greater security.


Do you need more information about MedSMART? We’ve compiled the 20 most frequently asked questions about MedSMART below. Four different categories help you quickly find what you’re looking for.

  • User access and management
  • Inventory management
  • Medication handling
  • Documentation and reporting

User access and management

Dealing with user access and management is crucial for seamless operation.

Caregiver logs in via touchscreen

What does the login process look like?

Users can log in using:

  • Badges
  • Fingerprints
  • Username/password

How can user permissions and roles be assigned?

Each user is assigned a specific role, which can be directly imported from the hospital's active directory. The roles grant or deny permissions for performing transactions at the cabinet.

How does MedSMART handle multiple users trying to access simultaneously?

To avoid queues in front of the automated dispensing cabinet, users can use the web application SMARTCenter to access remotely from a ward PC.

Drugs for specific patients can be reserved via the NurseConnect feature. When users log into MedSMART, they can directly dispense the reserved drugs.

Inventory management

Efficient inventory management is a key pillar of MedSMART's capabilities.

SmartMatrix side view

How does MedSMART manage replenishments?

Every drug in the cabinet has set minimum and maximum stock levels. Once a drug hits the minimum level, it's automatically included in the restocking list. This list can be sent to the hospital's ERP system to kick off the pharmacy's replenishment process. The system also helps the user by guiding them to the correct compartment when restocking the cabinet.

Is it possible to assign specific settings or safety requirements for different product groups?

Product or medication groups can be defined, allowing specific settings such as security checks or access based on user roles.

How does MedSMART handle expiry management and lot numbers?

The system keeps tabs on expiry dates and the cabinet operates on the FEFO principle (First Expired, First Out) when dispensing drugs. It gives warnings for drugs approaching expiry and allows expired ones to be reliably removed. Lot numbers can also be tracked and documented in reports.

Can users customize the refill order for drugs?

Yes, users can set the refill order by scanning drugs. Alternatively, MedSMART recommends grouping drugs in the same storage location to reduce the need to open the same drawer or door multiple times.

Is it possible to view the overall inventory of all MedSMARTs and show stock from one cabinet in another?

Yes. The SMARTCenter web app lets users instantly see the total inventory across all cabinets. Users can also check if a particular drug is available in another cabinet from the one where they are working.

Are temperature-controlled MedSMARTs available?

Cabinets have temperature sensors for monitoring, but there's no active temperature control. For refrigerated drugs, external locks can be used to integrate refrigerators into the cabinet system and manage access to them.

Medication handling

MedSMART ensures precise medication handling. It helps with administering drugs, control expiry dates, managing patient-brought medications and handling generic drugs, all with a focus on patient safety.

MedSMART illuminates the compartment in which the medication is to be dispensed.

Are drugs always administered on a per-patient basis, or is there an option to dispense a drug for multiple patients simultaneously?

Usually, drugs are administered one patient at a time to enhance safety and avoid errors in therapy preparation. But in dispensing mode without prescriptions, users can take drugs without specifying a particular patient and dispense them for multiple patients simultaneously.

If users open a bottle of liquid like syrup, can the expiry date be adjusted (e.g., to approximately four weeks after opening)?

Yes, users can enter the expiry date when they open a container like a bottle to administer a drug. This ensures accurate tracking and management of the medication's shelf life.

Can MedSMART manage medications brought in by the patient?

Yes. Although most drugs are available for multiple patients, certain medications can be marked as “patient’s own meds” and are exclusively dispensed by the cabinet for that particular patient.

How does the system handle generic drugs? Does it automatically recommend opting for a generic version if it's available?

Generic or equivalent drugs can be specified. If a prescribed drug is not available but an equivalent exists, the system automatically recommends taking the equivalent. Pharmacists handle these definitions.

Can information, warnings or questions to be answered be assigned to a drug and displayed during 'take', 'return' or 'refill' transactions?

Yes, the system's Clinical Data Messenger (CDM) function lets users assign information, warnings and questions to drugs. These details are shown during 'take', 'return' or 'refill' transactions. Users can also enter relevant information, such as when a physician modifies a prescription.

Is there an option to enable a verification process or implement two-person verification for critical drugs?

Yes, there's a witness function that requires another user to confirm or verify a transaction. This confirmation is documented in reports for accountability.

Is there an alert system for prescribed medications that haven't been loaded into the system?

If prescribed drugs aren't loaded into MedSMART, a warning will be displayed. Users can then assign the drug to the cabinet and load it during the regular refill process.

Can the system display a photo of the medication package during dispensing and loading?

Yes, users can link pictures of medication packages to the drug database, helping them choose the correct medication.

Can MedSMART send alarms (via SMS or email) when specific parameters like temperature, humidity or stock levels deviate from standard values?

Yes, important information and alarms are prominently shown on the SMARTCenter web application dashboard. Moreover, they can be sent via email or SMS to designated users, or integrated into the healthcare institution’s warning guidance system.

Documentation and reporting

In the ever-evolving healthcare landscape, documentation and reporting are paramount. MedSMART seamlessly documents narcotics transactions, generates insightful reports and offers a robust reporting system for various aspects of the automated dispensing process.

Documentation and reporting with MedSMART

Can reports be generated and exported using the MedSMART system?

Yes, the system offers a range of report templates, including inventory, activity and overall system data. Users can customize these templates to include the required information. Moreover, reports can be scheduled for automatic generation and exported in different formats, with the option for email delivery.

Can the system document transactions related to narcotics management and also generate reports for these transactions?

Yes, every transaction within the system is digitally recorded. MedSMART can automatically document narcotics transactions, and export this information in reports.



Did those 20 questions not cover everything you had in mind? Send us the 21st question, and we’ll do our best to provide you with a comprehensive answer!

About the author

Julian Vogelsanger works in our Product Management department. He knows our MedSMART automated dispensing cabinet like the back of his hand. He uses his experience with MedSMART and the rest of our products to develop clever workflows for the needs of our customers.

More about Julian Vogelsanger
Search more tags
Pharmacy AutomationOpen PharmacyPharmacists InsightsUnit DosePneumatic Tube SystemApplication TipsInnovationsIntralogisticsModernizationPatient SafetyHospital PharmacyInterviewDigitizationServiceClosed Loop Medication ManagementNew WorkEmployee ExperiencePoint of CareHospital PlanningHRPurple JourneyTransport AutomationFuture PharmaciesPurple Culture