The complexities of owning and operating a pharmacy go beyond understanding the prescriptions you fill for long term care facilities and patients. You also need to take steps to ensure the long-term success of your pharmacy. The reality is that the world of pharmacy ownership is competitive, and gets more competitive year after year.

Taking proactive steps to stay ahead of the competition can keep you from falling behind. Implementing the right tools and systems in your pharmacy will put you ahead of the crowd. Two easy ways to increase your efficiency are by implementing pharmacy automation and leveraging workflow analysis.

What is pharmacy automation?

Pharmacy automation has been around for decades. As technologies improve, so have the options for pharmacy automation. Today, there are a number of time-consuming tasks that can be automated instead of being done by hand. Pill packaging, pill splitting, and medication detection are all labor-intensive tasks that can be automated. With the right combination of equipment and software, you can maximize the space in your pharmacy, help increase patient compliance with strip packaging, reduce labor costs and errors, and increase production capacity and profits.

Pharmacy automation software and solutions

Pharmacy automation software is the foundation of automation solutions. The software is essentially the brain of the pharmacy automation process – it tells the pill packaging and medication detection machines what to do. The tasks that the software performs are highly customizable.

Strip pouch packaging

For example, Noritsu offers automated strip packaging systems that can print patient information directly on the packages. You can include any necessary data on the packages such as patient name, unique identifier, Sig codes, and even a photo ID. The software allows you to customize and automate what is printed on each package. This allows for more efficiency while ensuring the correct medications get separated, packaged, and labeled.

The strip packaging systems at Noritsu are operated using proprietary NexusRX software. The NexusRX software can be seamlessly integrated into your existing pharmacy management software so you can start using this technology without changing your current management software.

Medication detection machine

Another example of pharmacy automation software at work is the medication detection machine. You can leverage automation software to store images of the medications in your formulary, and then verify each pouch using that customized library. Any irregular pouches are flagged so you can review them for accuracy. You can even integrate your medication detection machine with a remote interface. This medication detection check-out system (MDC) allows you to review flagged pouches remotely. Noritsu’s software significantly reduces the number of pouches pharmacists must check by hand. This saves time, increases efficiency, and minimizes disruptions to the workflow.

Compliance and adherence products

Compliance and adherence products and software are beneficial for both your pharmacy and your clients. Strip pouch dispensers can make the process of getting medications to patients much quicker. For example, staff in LTC facilities won’t need to use vials or blister cards to dispense medication. Instead, the strip pouch packing is pre-packed with medications resulting in a more efficient and accurate med-pass.

Including compliance and adherence products in your long term care or central fill pharmacy will ultimately be good for patients, caregivers, and the success of your pharmacy.

Workflow consulting

If you’re not keeping up with demand, or you want to grow your pharmacy without moving to a larger location, take a close look at the workflow in your pharmacy. There may be areas where high-speed prescription automation software and fulfillment services can improve your speed and efficiency. However, it may be difficult to determine where there’s room to improve your workflow.

Having an expert analyze your workflow gives you more insight into where your systems need improvement. Noritsu offers workflow consulting, offering you multiple levels of technology and automation solutions to streamline the productivity of your pharmacy.

Pharmacy automation software and fulfillment solutions can be transformative for LTC pharmacies and central fill pharmacies. Adding innovative products such as automation software and fulfillment solutions will benefit your business as well as your clients. We’ll work with you to find solutions that make logical and financial sense for your pharmacy. These automation solutions will expand the capacity of your pharmacy and improve your workflow.

The benefits of pharmacy automation

Long term care and central fill pharmacies benefit from the solutions that automation provides. As a pharmacy owner, you want to know exactly how prescription automation software and fulfillment will directly impact your pharmacy. Automation solutions will provide some of the following benefits:

Reducing the risk of errors

Even a small error in medication filling can pose a risk. The wrong medication or dosage can put a patient’s life at risk. Because of this, you already have processes and procedures in place that are designed to minimize risks. Adding automation to your workflow can speed up this process, making it easier to check strip pouch packages and identifying any errors. You can be confident knowing that every fulfillment is accurate, and you’re getting the right medication to each patient.

Fewer interruptions to the workflow

Filling medications correctly is a multi-step process. An interruption to your workflow can slow everything down and make it difficult to get the prescriptions filled and out to patients in a timely manner. Setting up high-speed prescription automation software and fulfillment solutions in your pharmacy can streamline your workflow. Automation can take over tasks that commonly interrupt your workflow, and notify you of any upcoming actions that need your attention.

Saving on labor costs

Automation at your long term care pharmacy can provide significant savings on labor costs. Automation solutions like strip pouch packaging, pill splitting systems, and a medication detection machine will speed up tasks that are time-consuming and labor-intensive. Bringing in automation software and solutions will help you increase productivity without hiring new staff or increasing your hours.

At Noritsu, we have an entire line of products and automation solutions that will increase your accuracy, improve your workflow, and help you stay ahead of the competition.

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