Inmates at the Pennington County jail are getting their medication in a new way.
It's called a "Talyst" machine and it dispenses the proper dose to inmates when needed.
The county jail began working with a regional long-term care (LTC) pharmacy, which provides medication for the inmates who live at the Pennington County jail. The remote dispensing system allows the county to communicate directly with the pharmacy and have the ability to dispense medication almost immediately for inmate who needs medication right away.
In the past, the county worked with out-of-state pharmacies to keep the cost down for the community. An order would be placed and officials at the jail would have to wait for the order to arrive by mail, which could take up to two days.
Because the county is now working directly with a local pharmacy, they are able to get the medications which quicker.
The pharmacy measures, packs and ships the order in bulk.
Rob Yantis, Support Captain at the Pennington County jail, says this also makes a big difference when working with providers.
It's now easier to change the dosage if it needs to be adjusted.
"The inmates are going to see their medications right away, within 24 hours they have their medications available to them. We don't have to wait for them to be shipped to us. So that's a huge benefit for them," Yantis said.
Laurie Good, Nurse Supervisor for Pennington County agrees.
"It's more easily dispensed. When an inmate leaves, if we have orders, we are able to run the correct number of days that they need, place them in the bottle, and spend them with the inmate," Good said.
Working with a local pharmacy allows the county to save money as well.
Before the Talyst was installed, when an inmate left the system, any leftover medication was thrown away.
Now when the inmate leaves the system, the machine stops dispensing medication, which eliminates waste.
Yantis said the inmates haven't noticed any differences in service.
He says inmate care is better than before.