Pharmacy Automation is the process of automatically handling and distributing medications through mechanical means. This reduces the risk of human error as well as increases your profitability. Automating a pharmacy does take some work, especially when installing the new pharmacy automation equipment that is responsible for the dispensing.
In addition, training is required for all nursing staff that will be using the new distribution method and a new inventory system needs to be created. But in the end, there are a number of benefits to automation. Here are five that you will see immediately.
What Are the Top 5 Clear Benefits of Pharmacy Automation?
- Patient Safety – Patients that need post-stay medications will benefit from the packaging that automation provides. Medicines are placed into clear pouches with clear directions that are easy for patients to read and use. This leads to fewer accidents when it comes to taking their meds.
- Better Patient Care – When your staff is less focused on counting pills and putting them in bottles, they can spend more time with the patients. This means that your patients will receive better care as well as get more information about their medications and how to properly administrate them.
- Higher Productivity – Your staff will not have to focus on dealing with medications and spend valuable time dealing with labeling and filling the prescription. This allows your pharmacists and staff to better serve your patients and work on more productive tasks.
- Greater Security – Controlling medications like opioids is a priority for any hospital or pharmacy. Automation means that there is no longer a risk that staff will make errors like forgetting to log out medication. While locked cabinets that require specific information can help reduce unwanted access to secured meds, they are still highly inefficient and leave room for errors. An automated system eliminates the need for staff to manually check out these meds and keeps them safe.
- Lower Inventory Costs – In a world where every business is looking to cut costs, being able to reduce your overhead from waste is very attractive. Waste can occur in cases of spilled medications or in the wrong pills being dispensed. With an automated system, the chance of these is eliminated. The pills are counted and dispensed automatically and packaged with no chance of waste.
There are several ways that a pharmacy can incorporate automation that goes beyond just counting and dispensing the medication. Automation can also provide for greater inventory management with automatic reordering of supplies when low. With some higher levels of automation, the system can identify more dangerous drug interactions and notify staff of these dangers so that alternative protocols can be established. The machinery can also contact doctors automatically in the case that refills are needed.
Automating your pharmacy is a long-term strategy for improving the overall efficiency and cost effectiveness of your system. Not only will you see a drastic reduction in costs, but you will also see your patients happier and have fewer patient-related accidents.