Dispensing medications is a core task of pharmacy, and although you may welcome an expanding prescription volume as a sign of a healthy business, it does require more staff time. You may not have the space to add people, you may not want the expense of overtime, and you definitely don’t want the stress, conflicts, or errors that can arise from overwork.
These issues are in addition to longer wait times and checkout lines for patients, and even more sales data for you to sift through when making business decisions. It also squeezes time that can be spent on clinical services targeted at better patient outcomes, which most observers agree is where today’s pharmacists need to focus. So tools that make prescription processing quicker and easier can play a vital role in both store success and patient health.
Although automation can be introduced at many steps in the prescription-filling process, from patient record syncing to integrated voice response (IVR) and inventory management, pharmacy robots are what come to mind for most people. Certainly these pill-counting and packaging machines move more quickly and accurately than people, but more importantly, they can free your time for higher-level patient services.
Read more about pharmacy automation.
While you don’t want your patients to have to stand in line, when several people arrive at the counter at once, only an efficient system will prevent it. Simply locating the filled prescription can be a time sink, which makes automated will-call systems an attractive option with their light-up bags directing staff straight to the right order. Those that integrate seamlessly with your pharmacy management system offer the most benefit, not least automated return to stock.
Read more about will-call systems.
All the prescription transactions you create have data associated with them, creating a rich source of information for decision-making – if you can decipher it. You can use the data to track patient activity, notably adherence, but also the monetary effects from new and lost patients. You can also see services that are leaking revenue, potential profit gains from selecting different drugs, and much more. Insights like these generally require business analytics or intelligence software.
Read more about using data analytics to optimize pharmacy operations.