How Do Pharmacy Robots Help Cut Costs? - The ScriptPro Blog

  • How Do Pharmacy Robots Help Cut Costs?

  • By ScriptPro
    March 27, 2019

    For pharmacies, there are a plethora of benefits to implementing a robotic pill dispensing system. From increasing the speed and accuracy of prescription fulfillment, to boosting operational efficiency and eliminating the risk of dangerous prescription errors. Let’s examine some of the most important ways robots help pharmacies cut costs.

    Reduce labor costs & reallocate FTEs

    Pharmacy robots help cut costs by reducing overall labor expenses. For approximately $12 an hour, an automated dispensing machine can be relied upon to do its job quickly and accurately, without the need for breaks, vacation, or sick days. And because labor costs are fixed for the life of a robot, they make pharmacies immune to wage pressures or employment shortages, which can drive up costs. Robots don’t require health insurance or 401k packages, have an extremely long lifespan, and won’t make costly mistakes.

    Utilizing robotics to handle prescription filling allows current staff to be reallocated to more valuable roles that enhance customer service and bolster revenue-producing patient services. Additionally, as prescription volume grows, static FTEs can be maintained since the robot can easily handle volume increases.

    Decrease filling and inventory expenses

    An automated dispensing and management system tracks inventory with a precision that’s difficult to achieve through other means. Such tracking helps minimize out-of-stock items, reduces filling costs, and allows operators to maintain better control of stock. This results in less waste and lets pharmacists concentrate on other important tasks, such as consulting with patients or physicians to improve quality of care. Filling time is also drastically reduced with a robotic system. Depending on the type and formulary of your pharmacy, a robot can fill approximately 30-60% of Rx total volume at a faster rate. The cost benefit of this automation can be significant in terms of increased speed of fulfillment and associated reduction of errors.

    Increase efficiencies with integrated pharmacy management and workflow systems

    Pharmacy robots need to be supported by powerful pharmacy management systems that are fully integrated and capable of handling all operations from point of entry to point of sale. These end-to-end management systems increase overall operational efficiency and streamline system costs.

    Pharmacy workflow systems have a similar cost-cutting effect on a pharmacy’s bottom line. Such systems, like ScriptPro’s SP Central Workflow System, coordinate workflow by identifying and batching prescriptions for patients. This helps ensure that patients receive the proper medications. A strong workflow system employs barcode scanning and other advanced workflow technologies to safeguard the process and reduce costs associated with manual dosage verifications and inefficiencies in the overall fill process.

    Conclusion

    Pharmacy robots, along with integrated management and workflow systems, help pharmacies cut their costs by reducing labor expenses and increasing operational efficiencies. Pharmacies that invest in these systems will undoubtedly realize increased ROI, helping them remain competitive in an industry experiencing increased workloads and shrinking profit margins.