Pharmacy Workflow Automation Solutions: Optimizing The Pharmacy Operations For Best-Ever Profit
7 months ago
Precision in performing any task is what determines its success.
Especially when that task is surrounding healthcare.
Something that connects directly to precision in workflow management in the medication sector is – automation.
So directly from the heads of automation experts, we continue (or should we say automate) our today’s journey into pharmacy workflow automation.
What is pharmacy workflow automation?
Simply put, pharmacy workflow automation is the process that takes off the burden of the activities that a pharmacist performs manually.
Diving a little deeper, the most prevalent types of workflow automation are –
- Data entry automation
- Kroll PMS automation
- Billing automation
It allows pharmacies to simplify operations and minimize the likelihood of manual errors.
Its advantages frequently include increased prescription volume and operational efficiency.
And a large number of consumers take daily prescriptions making pharmacy automation a fast-growing segment.
How can we say this?
According to Globe News Wire, the healthcare automation market size is to hit USD 91.6 billion by 2030!
Since the new generation automation tools are easily accessible making them quite affordable that even a community pharmacist can use them.
Questions we address regularly in pharmacy workflow automation as automation experts
We have been performing pharmacy workflow automation for 8+ years.
And we have a dedicated team of healthcare-specific RPA engineers.
Following are some of the questions that our team addresses regularly.
1. Are automation tools customizable at all?
A big YES!
Depending upon your specific workflows and needs, automation tools in pharmacy can be customized.
As a pharmacist, you may wish to carry out tasks back and forth including documentation to delivery.
Here, integration with TELUS Health Kroll may prove to be efficient, at the same time the need to maintain price transparency can lead you to integrate with Pharmacy Information Systems (PIS).
But if you have a large-scale pharmacy, you may automate operations on Kroll and other pharmacy software using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and so on.
2. What about regulations?
This is something that we get asked quite often.
Because even if you know how to automate pharmacy workflow – without compliance and understanding of the rules and regulations – you can never achieve efficient and viable pharmacy workflow automation.
For example, the dispensing of controlled drugs can’t be automated.
And to identify what you can and can’t automate – you have to understand the laws in your state and country that fall under the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Department of Health Canada (Health Canada).
3. Which medication and drugs can be automated?
From someone who has been in the healthcare sector for almost a decade, if you're going to utilize automation in your pharmacy, you'll need to think about which medications are "appropriate" for this capacity.
In most situations, you'll be automating high-volume prescriptions that don't fall into the regulated category.
For example, pill counters are the most basic kind of automation.
But now workflow automation is becoming more intelligent. Fill, label, cap, process billing, and manage delivery are another examples of it.
However, keep in mind that – the software and apps you have been using for automating workflows also need to be compliant with HIPAA, PIPEDA, and PHIPA.
4. What are the benefits of workflow automation in a pharmacy?
The biggest benefit of pharmacy workflow automation is that – you can easily focus on more meaningful workflows!
Apart from that, the following are its major benefits.
1. Reduces the possibility of errors
A day in the life of a pharmacist – a mountain of paperwork and repetitive computer-based tasks.
We know that in pharmacy, almost every small task requires a manual workflow – be it data-entry or documentation.
But you can eliminate these repetitive tasks (both paper-based and computer-based) with pharmacy workflow automation solutions.
This reduces the possibility of errors which directly improves patient safety.
2. Easier medication management
For pharmacists, simplifying medication management means more control and more time at hand.
They can better help, recommend, and inform customers about the drug they plan to purchase, its alternatives, administration, and other topics.
Simplified medication management workflows mean more control, ease of use, lower risk of error, and improved patient benefits.
3. Reduction of labor costs
We are not saying that using automation technology is taking over jobs.
But it simply means reallocating the resources to more meaningful work like allowing the staff to provide more patient-centric services.
4. More transparent work environment
Workflow automation in pharmacies also creates a transparent work environment.
Because you no longer need to chase down team members for vital information.
Mapping everything on workflow software ensures that everyone is aware of what has to be done, what is being done, and what is coming up.
5. Better inventory management
This is one of the biggest benefits of pharmacy workflow automation solutions.
Because we have seen that in many pharmacies – the better control you have over your inventory management, the smoother your pharmacy will run.
It eliminates the need for data entry and paperwork along with enables you to get real-time visibility of the stock.
6. Saves time and cost
No paperwork. No manual data-entry. No manual documentation.
These all things lead you to one thing – faster and streamlined pharmacy workflows.
This saves you valuable time and operational costs.
5. What is the impact of pharmacy workflow automation on patient experience?
Pharmacy workflow automation can impact the patient experience positively. Automated systems help pharmacists in filling prescriptions rapidly and more accurately, reducing the wait time of patients for their medicines.
This can lead to increased patient satisfaction and a better overall experience.
Automated systems can flag potential drug interactions or dosage errors, and can help pharmacists avoid mistakes that could harm patients. This can increase patient confidence in their medications and improve their overall experience.
Pharmacy workflow automation improves the patient experience by reducing wait times, improving medication safety, and increasing the accuracy of prescription fulfillment.
6. What type of workflows can you automate for your pharmacy?
As we said earlier, automation is not about replacing jobs but about efficient management of the pharmacy business.
You may also automate the onboarding and offboarding of employees.
Streamlining your pharmacy's staff management process provides you with a centralized platform for managing and accessing all employee-related data, such as employee performance, leaves, and attendance.
Procurement and purchasing of medications & drugs will be simplified when you integrate Pharmacy Management Software (PMS).
You get detailed order checks, price listings, manage vendors, automatically approve purchase requests, and issue purchase orders.
Wait! How can we forget the most important aspect which is order fulfillment?
By using systems like Kroll pharmacy management solutions you can accept new orders, verify prescriptions, get appropriate medications, and deliver them to clients on time.
In addition, your pharmacy can handle a greater volume of orders more efficiently as using automation with Kroll for data entry and bill processing saves manual labor hours in an efficient and error-free manner.
7. What are the challenges of implementing pharmacy workflow automation?
Though pharmacy workflow automation offers significant benefits, it has got several challenges. The primary challenge is the cost of implementing and maintaining the technology.
Automated systems can be expensive and require ongoing support and maintenance which may prove to be a significant barrier for small pharmacies.
Pharmacy staff may be reluctant to adopt the new technology. With training, communication, and support, you can address their concerns and ensure that they’re comfortable with the new system.
Another challenge for pharmacy workflow automation is the integration of the automated system with other pharmacy technologies. If they are not integrated fully, it can lead to errors and inefficiencies in the prescription fulfillment process.
But you won’t have to worry about all these challenges. We’ve got a solution for you at the end of this blog.
Implementing pharmacy workflow automation requires a lot of planning, time, and money. But we have got your back. We can help you ensure that the systems are integrated effectively and used efficiently along with being compliant with the healthcare regulations.
Well, this is the end of this blog, but not your curiosity.
So if you feel like talking to us or have any ideas you may want to put in work related to pharmacy workflow automation, we are just a click away.
A little glimpse of our expertise in pharmacy workflow automation
Based in Ontario, we are a healthcare IT company.
Rather say – we think, talk, brainstorm, perform, and execute only health tech.
Since our inception, we have accomplished 100+ successful integration & automation.
In other words – we have saved more than 100,000 clinical hours.
We are a jack of all trades (but only for health tech).
Be it a complex web and mobile app development or executing AI and ML for automation needs, we have a dedicated team for each segment.
It includes – developers, UI/UX designers, integration experts, in-house compliance specialists, business analysts, client service managers, AI and ML experts, QA engineers, and RPA engineers.