Pharmacy work is never static. It ebbs and flows according to that day’s climate. Some days are calm and steady, whereas others feel like nothing is going your way.
Whether you’re a pharmacist or technician, it’s necessary to adjust to whatever comes your way. The best solution is to have a streamlined pharmacy workflow.
A consistent pharmacy workflow is the best way to manage unexpected and routine work rushes. It also ensures you and your pharmacy staff do not waste a moment in providing exceptional patient care.
Here’s how you can streamline your pharmacy workflow.
Automation is all the rage in today’s pharmacy world. As pharmacies become more involved in healthcare work, you have more responsibilities than ever before.
Your pharmacy likely provides a wide range of clinical services, ranging from vaccines to clinical testing. Pharmacy automation lets you and your staff be everywhere at once without sacrificing the quality of service.
Look into autorefill progams, automated calling, or automatic dispensing services. Depending on your pharmacy’s workload and specialty, your needs will vary compared to other pharmacies. Consider the automated services that best suit your pharmacy’s needs and go on from there.
Automated services refine your pharmacy workflow, letting you focus on the task at hand while still providing comprehensive care.
Look into Mobile Apps
Another way of streamlining your workflow is through mobile apps. Depending on your pharmacy software system (more on that later), your patients have direct access to their prescription records and can request refills with the tap of a finger.
Mobile apps are another form of pharmacy automation, in that your patients can request refills on their own so you can focus on more urgent tasks.
This works especially for independent pharmacies, where the patient-pharmacist relationship is tight-knit and built on a great deal of trust.
Not only do mobile apps streamline you pharmacy workflow but it promotes greater health literacy. Mobile apps put your patients in the front seat of their health journey as they review their medication history.
Greater health literacy means greater patient adherence, which strengthens your loyal customer base. With the help of mobile apps, all of this is happening while you’re focusing on the next pressing task.
Assign the Right Tasks to the Right People
Sometimes the most effective solutions are the simplest. Effective communication is a central tenet of streamlined pharmacy workflow. When each staff member knows their role in a given moment, they can give that task their all. All it takes is some good old fashioned delegation.
This is especially true during peak business hours, likely during the early morning and evening hours. Patients are either going to or returning from work, so time is of the essence.
The best way to manage those rushes is to coordinate an effective plan of action. Assign your cashier to the front end, your technicians to the drive-thru or the fill stations.
As a pharmacist, fill in any blanks that need to be filled, whether that means handling your troubleshoot queue or administering vaccines. What matters is each staff member knows what they are doing.
Communication is key, so streamline your pharmacy workflow with a few concise words.
This one applies to high volume pharmacies. A dedicated patient base comes with its perks — but with great power comes great responsibility.
More patients means more prescriptions. More prescriptions mean a greater workload for you and your pharmacy staff. Streamline your pharmacy workflow with central fill services.
Central fill stations fill mostly maintenance medications for the next business day. Central fill is perfect for prescriptions that don’t need to be filled right away so you can focus on more urgent prescriptions, mainly ones from emergency rooms.
Central fill stations lift a weight off your pharmacy’s shoulders by filing prescriptions that aren’t needed at that very moment. Just make sure your patients know their medications aren’t coming in til the next day (communication is key after all).
Follow the Script (Your Pharmacy’s Procedures)
As mentioned earlier, a clear plan of action is essential to achieving an efficient pharmacy workflow. When your pharmacy has robust procedures to begin with, making a plan becomes much easier.
Take your fill procedure for example. Make sure you or your technicians are consistently following certain steps: make sure the fill tray is clean, double-count controlled prescriptions, and put the medication back to its original location.
It sounds simple on paper but it will create large problems if left unattended. Many of the best ways to create a streamlined pharmacy workflow are by doing the small things exceptionally well. It’s very much about getting down to the basics, as perfecting the basics lets you thrive in more complex situations.
And in the pharmacy world, “complex” might as well be your middle name.
Your Pharmacy Software System
Simply put, your pharmacy software system either makes or breaks your pharmacy workflow. Not even the best pharmacist or technician can make do with a lacking software system.
Furthermore, a lacking pharmacy software system will make the hectic days more chaotic and even the easier days a hassle.
Choose a pharmacy software system that includes the previously mentioned features. Moreover, make sure your software system seamlessly integrates these features so you don’t have to troubleshoot in the middle of a holiday rush.
Streamline your pharmacy workflow by getting pharmacy software that works for and with you. The path to a streamlined pharmacy workflow will go from an uphill battle to a walk in the park.
Visit our Compare Software page to learn how some of the top pharmacy software systems compare to one another.
Achieving a streamlined pharmacy workflow is simpler than it sounds — it just requires some discipline and open-mindedness. It requires a greater understanding of pharmacy technology and how to leverage them.
Streamlined pharmacy workflow also requires you to work with what you already have. Utilize your staff and technology to its fullest potential, and the rest (a streamlined pharmacy workflow) will fall into place.