Comparison of traditional methods versus SAFEcount for filling prescriptions: A pilot study of an innovative pill counting solution in eSwatini

Autoři: Paul J. Krezanoski aff001;  Joseph D. Krezanoski aff002;  Nkosinathi Nxumalo aff004;  Rose Gabert aff002;  Alison B. Comfort aff001;  Phinda Khumalo aff006;  Kidwell Matshotyana aff007
Působiště autorů: University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, United States of America aff001;  Opportunity Solutions International, San Francisco, CA, United States of America aff002;  Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, Boston, MA, United States of America aff003;  ICAP at Columbia University, Mbabane, eSwatini aff004;  University of Washington, Seattle, WA, United States of America aff005;  National Yang Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan aff006;  Eastern Cape Department of Health, Bhisho, South Africa aff007
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article



Packaging medications is a crucial component of health system efficiency and quality. In developing countries, medications often arrive in bulk containers that need to be counted by hand. Traditional counting is time-consuming, inaccurate and tedious. SAFEcount is a novel and inexpensive handheld device that may improve the accuracy and speed of pill-counting in resource limited settings. We designed a head-to-head trial to compare traditional and SAFEcount prescription filling in eSwatini.


We recruited 31 participants from 13 health facilities throughout eSwatini. Speed and accuracy for each prescription was recorded while each participant filled prescriptions of various quantities using both the traditional and SAFEcount methods.


Traditional pill counting resulted in an error rate of 12.6% inaccurate prescriptions compared to 4.8% for SAFEcount (p<0.0001). SAFEcount was 42.3% faster than traditional counting (99.9 pills per minute versus 70.2; p<0.0001). Using SAFEcount was preferred over traditional pill counting by 97% (29/30) of participants.


The SAFEcount device is a preferred alternative by counting personnel and is significantly faster and more accurate compared to traditional counting methods. SAFEcount could help improve the efficiency and quality of health care delivery in place of traditional hand counting.

Klíčová slova:

Balance and falls – Nurses – Opportunistic infections – Pilot studies – Schools – Consumer electronics – Imaging equipment


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2019 Číslo 12
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