Pharmacies are always looking for ways to do more with less—especially independent retail pharmacies as they face a unique set of challenges. To remain competitive, clinical pharmacies must overcome trials not only within their four walls, such as limited counter space and a smaller staff, but also industry-wide issues such as HIPAA compliance standards in U.S. based pharmacies and other changing policies—making operational efficiency of the utmost importance.
The speed and accuracy in which you are able to fill prescriptions is vital to both patient care and keeping operating costs low. The tools you implement as an independent pharmacy owner have a significant effect on your business, from your software management system to guiding how your staff performs as a team, and can set your pharmacy apart from the competition.
Here are 4 ways to improve the efficiency in your clinical pharmacy:
1. Focus on Relying on Automation Wherever Possible
Technology is a key driver for creating more efficiency for any business. In a small retail pharmacy, relying on automation to streamline and replace manual routine tasks cuts common wastes from limited and inefficient space, as well as prevents pharmacy staff from being over-tasked. Automation creates a better workflow, allowing for improved patient relations and staff to spend more time in their areas of expertise.
Having the right software system in place for point of sale and back-end management provides tools for increasing productivity, lowering cost, and improving profitability. Features such as pharmacy workflow management, vendor integration, purchasing and receiving management and billing components alleviate pharmacists of these tasks and allow their focus to be on substance dispensing and patient care.
2. Focus on Establishing a Performance Baseline
Without an established baseline to measure workflow, it is impossible to know if your pharmacy is operating effectively. Identify key performance indicators relevant to your business and establish a benchmark for your success.
Things to consider when developing your baseline include:
- Does your staff exercise successful communication?
- Is the physical setup of your space disruptive to the flow of work?
- Does your inventory ordering system track and adjust levels for seasonal trends in your area?
- Are technician workstations equipped with all the tools to complete prescription processing?
Track performance with real-time reporting showing measurable indicators such as the number of scripts filled per hour to establish your pharmacy’s best practice and identify opportunities to improve profit margins.
3. Focus on Inventory Management and Control
Prescription medications are one of the costliest expenses of a clinical pharmacy. Having too much product on the shelf or too little in times of need can be catastrophic to the bottom line. Because of this, having the right mix of product from over-the-counter to prescription processing is crucial. Optimize your purchasing habits—ordering drugs manually is time consuming and can be disruptive to the workflow when needing to reorder stock last minute. Automating inventory ordering ensures you’ll have the right stock when your patients need them.
4. Focus on Improving Patient Care in Your Clinical Pharmacy
Leveraging the right pharmacy point of sale and management system enables pharmacists and technicians to make the best use of their skills and spend more time on patient care, offering the best possible customer experience and more personalized service.
Cut wait times and boost loyalty with delivery services, gift and loyalty rewards, and wireless tools for line busting during peak times. Offer the added convenience of technology such as mobile printers for on-demand label printing, self-checkout kiosks, and the ability for electronic signature capture to keep customers coming back, and to set your pharmacy apart from the competition.
Relying on automation and increasing the efficiency in your clinical pharmacy is the first step to lowering your costs and boosting your profits. The added convenience for customers and personalized attention to their care will ensure repeat business, and an enhanced experience.
The technology solutions available from Auto-Star provide many of the tools needed to manage multiple operational tasks within your retail pharmacy business. Contact us today to learn more about point of sale technology specifically designed to improve pharmacy operations.
Not sure how to choose the right point of sale system for your clinical pharmacy? Download our free buyer’s Clinical Pharmacy Buyer’s Guide today.