Automation and technology bring value to the pharmacy

August 15, 2011

Pharmacy automation systems offer their users a way to improve and streamline their workflow.

Key Points

Pharmacy automation systems offer their users a way to improve and streamline their workflow. By boosting efficiency and reducing errors, they contribute to improved service to patients. Viewed from a broader perspective, these changes can provide the impetus for a transformation of the pharmacy business.

"Technology-driven workflow provides the solution of organization, which opens time and permits us a pathway towards our goals."

"We, as a profession, need to learn to work smarter, not harder, to counteract the effects of rising prescription volumes, plummeting margins, and redefinition of our services," Davis said.

"To work smarter, we need to route and organize the flow of both product and information as they are propelled through our business," he added.

"If we keep our heads down and our thoughts on minutiae, we will miss some vital waypoints. But if we permit technology to dedicate our staffs to consistent execution, then we have the reward of looking away from those tasks and finding those waypoints."

Efficient workflow

Other pharmacists agree that technology provides direct and immediate benefits to day-to-day operations and may even be key to survival in a demanding and competitive professional environment.

His goal is to capitalize on the efficiencies created by the system, which enables technicians to enter and fill prescriptions while the pharmacist verifies their work.

With the routine processing of prescriptions delegated to others, the pharmacist can then spend more time counseling patients.

"QS/1's workflow now gives us the ability to see all the information we need at the final verification - except for the DURs, which we are hoping they will add soon. Because we now have the ability to see the pill image, the national drug code [NDC], and the hard copy of the prescription at the final checkpoint, we have the confidence that our technicians can be more heavily involved in the filling process," he said.

This arrangement should also improve accuracy, High said.

"We feel it's easier to catch mistakes compared to checking your own work. This not only frees up our pharmacist, it also puts in another safety measure."