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Customer stories | Great River Medical Center

A healthy dose of data

Great River Medical Center wanted to find a way to get medications to patients more quickly. It created an automated end-to-end medication management system, built on Microsoft’s technologies for the Internet of Things (IoT). By connecting devices and data to back-end systems that manage inventory, medical and billing records, the hospital eliminated time-consuming manual processes, and cut medication delivery time by two-thirds.

The solution:

A connected hospital

To build an intelligent new medication system, Great River started with existing things—a pharmacy carousel, anesthesia workstation and 28 medication dispensing cabinets with barcode readers and label printers—and connected them to back-end systems that manage data on inventory and medical and billing records. By harnessing that data, and connecting people and infrastructure together, Great River changed the trajectory of its operations in real time.

"We were doing too much manually, which wastes both pharmacy and nursing time, and decreases accuracy,” said Darwin Cooley, pharmacy director, Great River Medical Center. “We were overwhelmed by the number of calls from nurses and physicians who were waiting for medication.”

The technology Rx

Great River’s system includes an inventory management carousel, an automated unit dose packager, medication-dispensing cabinets with barcode readers and label printers, and two anesthesia workstations. The platform manages the flow of data throughout the hospital, and is linked to medical and billing records, and inventory and security systems, providing efficiencies that translate into tremendous business value.

The business impact


Great River Health Systems, a leading regional healthcare provider with a 378-bed hospital that admits 6,000 patients each year and performs 180,000 outpatient procedures, wanted to improve medication distribution and management without adding employees.


Great River implemented a solution from Omnicell that connects devices including two anesthesia workstations, a pharmacy carousel, and 28 medication-dispensing cabinets with servers and a database that manages electronic medical records, inventory, and billing.


  • Reduces medication delivery time from 1.5 hours to 30 minutes
  • Cuts pharmacy inventory costs by $400,000
  • Achieves annual savings of $300,000

Transforming patient care with IoT

Microsoft Azure IoT services enable better patient care, better access and lower costs in health organizations.

Microsoft’s Internet of Things blog

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