Pharmacies must operate efficiently to remain in business. An inefficient operation leads to a loss in profits while negatively impacting patient satisfaction. Furthermore, when the pharmacy isn’t efficient, the stress levels of all parties rise. How can a pharmacy improve its efficiency?
Numerous solutions serve as the answer to this important question. For example, pharmacy workflow solutions can significantly increase efficiency as can improved communication. Solutions for inventory management and prescription processing need consideration at this time as well. What changes should be made promptly to see results in a short period?
The Physical Workflow Setup
With the right physical workflow setup, pharmacies find redundancies decrease, confusion is minimized, and errors happen less frequently. For example, a directional assembly line ensures medication touchpoints remain clear at every stage of the process while color-coded baskets reduce errors. Furthermore, they become of great help in prioritizing orders. These simple changes significantly improve the efficiency of the pharmacy workflow yet often cost very little to implement.
Ensure the inventory is stored intuitively. Doing so helps to avoid accidents, such as spills. Never use makeshift counter space, shelves, or fixtures in a pharmacy. They can make organizational issues worse. Any task that is repetitively done needs to be accommodated in the pharmacy workflow. Keep this in mind when moving forward and make changes to the physical workflow setup to ensure this accommodation.
Put a fitness tracker on each employee in the pharmacy and see how many steps they take in the average workday. The answer might surprise you. Doing so helps to determine where changes can be made to eliminate unnecessary steps. Make changes so every pharmacist and technician has their tools on hand to carry out the tasks they regularly complete. Find ways to bring workers and their tasks closer together, as this can significantly streamline overall operations. Small changes make a big difference in improving efficiency in a pharmacy, so look where these changes can be made today.
Introduce a Telepharmacy
Pharmacies find adding telepharmacy software greatly improves the workflow of the pharmacy. This remote dispensing software alters the way prescriptions are processed by moving this task to the technician. The pharmacist is eliminated as a rate-limiting step in the process. The software takes in the prescription and moves it to a virtual smart queue. Doing so allows a remote pharmacist to move through the workload once they have counseled patients and provided clinical services.
With the help of this software, a remote pharmacist uses live-video calls to counsel patients. They never leave their workstation, eliminating steps as mentioned above. This saves time and allows them to complete more work.
In addition, the remote pharmacist reviews the telepharmacy prescriptions while remaining in their workspace. The pharmacy technician takes on a larger role in the daily operations. This change and the introduction of remote counseling allow pharmacists to spend more time with patients without taking time away from other tasks they must complete.
Pharmacies find they can improve the efficiency of their operations with thoughtful planning. When efficiency improves, the impact is seen in the bottom line. Speak with staff members to identify other areas where changes can be made. They become of great assistance in achieving this goal, as they know what is inefficient and leads to frustration on their part. Work together as a team to improve the efficiency of the pharmacy and see the results pay off in a major way.