Pharmacy automation is commonplace in large health systems - they use robots that dispense medications to fill thousands of prescriptions every day. But as technology advances, such automation is no longer reserved just for large systems. Presently, it might even be cost-effective enough to use in an independent pharmacy that fills just 150 prescriptions per day.
For community pharmacies, this type of automation speeds up pharmacy operations and puts an efficient spin on things, allowing pharmacists to offer more specialized care to their patients. Using such robots, independent pharmacies could see a decrease in wait time and an increase in the number of prescriptions they’re able to fill each day.
By using robots to complete repetitive tasks, staff have more time for other services that require complex, human thought. Your patients come to your community pharmacy to see you - not spend the day waiting in line. And automation can help make that happen.
The Efficiency of Automation
First of all, using robots for repetitive tasks is cheaper than paying humans to do it (on average it costs $12/hour to operate a robot and the average salary of a pharmacy tech is $18/hour) - and they’re also efficient and reliable.
According to officials, the task of dispensing medications will one day become entirely automated in order to reduce error and cut costs. Because of this, the pharmacist will take a more ‘front-of-house’ role, focusing on clinical duties, educating customers, and counseling patients.
There’s not just one type of dispensing automation, either - some are more sophisticated than others. Certain sophisticated dispensing technology can fill containers, put the label on, and screw the cap on as well, while more rudimentary dispensers are just basic pill counters.
How This Automation Works
Within a pharmacy, robots typically handle about half of the prescriptions - give or take depending on the location itself. You can get the most out of your automation by picking the right drugs for the robot to dispense - AKA the most common ones. Some advanced robots can store/dispense up to 225 different drugs, but the most common ones should be prioritized because staff spends the most time with these.
Some machines can be customized with added parts that help connect to health records and reduce the need for the use of paper and phone calls to providers. Another part involves listing the benefits of the drug for each patient who takes it.
Pharmacy Automations are the future of pharmacy - even independent and community pharmacies. Take a step into the future and see what automation technology can do for your small business.
Looking to increase your prescription volume? Zillscript offers Provider Engagement Services. The most tried and true way to increase a pharmacy’s script volume. Schedule a discovery call with a member of our sales team to get started.