If you can count on the pharmacy industry for anything, it’s that you’re likely in for a busy day. Pharmacy work is never boring — there’s always something to do, some problem to solve.
Like morning traffic, it takes one swerve to disrupt the general flow. One little mistake can set the wrong tone for the rest of your day. Pharmacy work is a well-oiled machine, so you need to adjust to any change at a moment’s notice.
Your pharmacy’s workflow needs to be as efficient and adaptable as possible. This requires a deep level of work synergy, proactiveness, and a little help from your pharmacy software system.
Here’s how you can enhance your independent pharmacy’s workflow.
Keep Your Pharmacy Clean
Pharmacy work keeps you on your feet. You’re always moving, whether it’s because you’re looking for a medication bottle or looking for which printer is printing that medical expense summary.
Time is of the essence, so your independent pharmacy has to be clutter-free as possible. Granted, your pharmacy will inevitably be a little messy, especially after you receive your order shipment.
Even so, that shouldn’t impede your pharmacy’s ability to efficiently perform its tasks. Your pharmacy’s floor should be spotless and your shelves should be as tidy as possible.
This also goes beyond general cleanliness.
Organize your pharmacy as efficiently as possible. That means separating the refrigerated medications from the vaccines and designating a “fast mover” section for the medications your pharmacy dispenses the most.
These are little, seemingly trivial fixes. But these changes go a long way in improving your pharmacy’s workflow. Those little slowdowns and extra seconds to find a medication add up, resulting in a workflow avalanche.
Keeping your pharmacy clean will result in shorter wait times, which will encourage your patients to return. Shorter wait times will give your independent pharmacy space to tackle more fills and provide more services with little additional stress.
Build Greater Work Synergy
Think of pharmacy work as a performance: you need to be at your best every time you walk on stage. You also need to lean on your colleagues to do their part.
An efficient pharmacy requires your staff to be in tune with one another. They don’t necessarily need to participate in grand team-building activities but it won’t hurt.
At the very least, make sure you tell your pharmacy staff what you need from them. Assign one tech to the drop-off area, and send another to the drive-thru.
This also requires you to know your staff’s strengths and weaknesses. Some are more enthusiastic to help the front end, whereas others are more efficient in a fill station.
What’s important is you tell your staff your pharmacy game plan. A clear plan will make the day ahead a little easier. This is especially beneficial during holidays and the end-of-the-year madness.
Choppy waters are inevitable, so you might as well have a plan of action.
How Your Pharmacy Software System Comes To Play
Even all the team-building activities in the world can’t help you if your pharmacy software system isn’t up to snuff. Likewise, a spotless pharmacy doesn’t mean much if the wrong pharmacy software system is impeding your pharmacy workflow.
As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, your pharmacy software system should be your right-hand man as you perform various pharmacy tasks. Your chosen software needs to be intuitive and easy to use, especially during peak business hours.
That’s where automation comes in.
Your pharmacy software system should have various automated features to improve pharmacy workflow.
An automated messaging system helps streamline patient communication. Instead of calling your patient every time you fill a prescription, your pharmacy software system can let them know automatically.
Need to fill a certain prescription before the others in the queue? You should be able to change “ready-by” times whenever necessary.
Sometimes a patient comes in earlier than expected. As such, your pharmacy software system should let you adjust to enhance pharmacy workflow.
Streamlining your pharmacy workflow allows you to adapt to whatever is happening. Your pharmacy software system should help you achieve peak efficiency, not hold you down.
An outdated or feature-light pharmacy software system will hinder pharmacy workflow. The quick tasks won’t be so quick. The bulk orders will take even more time to process.
If you find your software is negatively affecting pharmacy workflow, it’s high time to look elsewhere.
Visit our “Compare Software” page to see how different pharmacy software systems compare to each other.
Talk to Your Staff
Your pharmacy software system has plenty of resources to enhance pharmacy workflow. What matters is you know how you want your independent pharmacy to operate.
Your software is only as effective as the pharmacy staff who use it. This makes your pharmacy staff’s input extremely valuable.
Your pharmacy staff wears several hats throughout the day. They’re selling checking out customers, filling prescriptions, answering phone calls, and even administering vaccinations.
If you are the coach, they are the players. They work with the game plan you give them. Ask your pharmacy staff what they make of the game plan. Encourage them to be honest, transparent, and even blunt.
Listen to their suggestions about changing the pharmacy workflow. They might express interest in assuming other tasks, which could help energize pharmacy workflow.
Pharmacy work is a team effort. Pharmacy workflow will always be efficient with the help of clear, well-intended communication.
Pharmacy workflow consists of several moving parts, all working to make a grand whole. At its best, your pharmacy staff operates at an efficient and productive pace.
No matter how great your pharmacy workflow is, it can always be better. Work with your staff. Organize your independent pharmacy’s layout. Explore what your pharmacy software system has to offer.
These seemingly simple tasks will add up to a greater, more efficient whole. Before you know it, your independent pharmacy will effortlessly work with peak efficiency.