Dealing with Rising Workloads and Data Needs Through Automation - The ScriptPro Blog

  • Dealing with Rising Workloads and Data Needs Through Automation

  • By ScriptPro
    October 12, 2018

    As prescription volumes continue to rise, driven by an aging populace and expanded healthcare coverage, retail pharmacists must shoulder ever-burgeoning workloads. Compounding this are heightened expectations to step into the role of front-line patient care specialists, taking on greater responsibilities within collaborative care networks. To cope with these challenges, pharmacies are increasingly turning to automation. And, that’s a smart move.

    Pharmacist as care provider

    More and more, pharmacists are expected—and want—to provide clinical and preventive care services, which might include comprehensive patient counseling, performing medication therapy management services, and administering diagnostic screenings. It’s a daunting challenge when needing to accomplish the traditional prescription filling and dispensing tasks while also contributing to the development of a more effective, holistic model of patient care.

    Gaining back time with pharmacy robotics

    Pharmacy automation has become a powerful component in helping retail pharmacy meet these challenges head on. Robotic dispensing and pharmacy software systems that streamline workflow, pharmacy financials, and inventory, are helping to revolutionize the way pharmacists work. Pharmacy robots not only help save labor by automating the relatively mundane and repetitive tasks of filling prescriptions, they carry out their duties faster and more efficiently than their human counterparts, and with extreme accuracy. They help contain costs by increasing efficiencies – and by freeing the pharmacist to perform more high-level clinical duties.

    Utilizing pharmacy data to improve the patient experience

    Integrating a software workflow or management system with a robotics platform helps optimize the end-to-end pharmacy operation. Workflow software functions in concert with automatic dispensing technology to coordinate the identification and batching of prescriptions for every patient. Accuracy is ensured for every prescription – whether robotically or manually filled. The entire prescription process is tracked from point of entry to point of patient dispense, letting pharmacy staff always know the “who, when, and where” of each fill. Pharmacy workflow software provides real-time insight on pharmacy operations, streamlining access to prescription data, which in turn allows staff to meaningfully engage with patients on the status of their prescriptions, medication interactions, and much more.

    As pharmacists’ role in patient care continues to evolve, so does the need for more efficient and collaborative processes that help define and improve the model of comprehensive holistic care. Pharmacies will need to embrace and invest in automated systems and integrated pharmacy software to maximize return on investment and best meet the growing demands of a rapidly changing industry.