Health and Wellness

An Easy Pill To Swallow: How Pharmacies Can Improve Their Efficiency

While businesses focus on more overt methods to improve, such as their marketing strategy, productivity is the defining feature that can benefit any organization. Even when it comes to something as holistic and essential as a pharmacy, it’s important to remember that any pharmacy owner can improve their operational efficiencies through a number of effective approaches. What are the best opportunities for pharmacies to improve their operations? 

Focus on the Right Inventory

Having too much or too little inventory can be a problem. While too much inventory ties up shelf space and working capital, too little can result in lost sales. Ensuring the slower moving items can be checked less frequently is essential but the pharmacist needs to identify the fastest moving items. These fast-moving items may need to be brought to the front of the reorder points or stored safely. For items that need to be stored in a medical fridge, it’s important that these inventory levels are reviewed every quarter and if each item is deemed to be a fast or slow-moving item. It’s also vital to ask the patient if they need certain medications or drugs with every reorder. Because a good relationship with the patient can be as beneficial to managing the inventory. 

Measuring the Workflow 

If you don’t measure the workflow, you cannot see how the pharmacy is making progress. The best place to begin is by defining what you need to measure. When you establish a solid baseline of performance, you can determine the widespread impact of any future developments. Once these are in place, you can start to hold staff accountable for their performance. Measuring accuracy in terms of the number of scripts per hour can be a good place to begin. While many organizations don’t like the idea of metrics, especially in a place like a pharmacy, it can help your staff to work according to the facts rather than eliminating decision-making arising from misinformation. 

Automating Wherever Possible

Lots of companies have started to design technologies to aid technicians and pharmacists in terms of filling up prescriptions. It depends on your goals, but automation can free up the pharmacist’s time so they can deal with patients more effectively and maintain high levels of service without adding extra members of staff. It’s also crucial to remember that, while the technologies are efficient, they can be expensive. However, there are cheaper approaches to doing this by altering your work processes and setup. A simple reorganization of the workspace could encourage your staff to fill scripts quickly without needing to go far away. Additionally, you can put the fastest-moving drugs closer to the worker as this will reduce the need to move. 

Incorporating Brainstorming Sessions

Sometimes it benefits to ask your workers to step back and observe each key process. Because if they see unnecessary issues causing delays or there are opportunities for improvement, they can record these and report them to the team so everybody benefits. 

Efficiency is vital regardless of the industry and hopefully, some of these areas can provide a perfect starting point.

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