Advancements in technology are rapidly reshaping how pharmacies operate.

To stay ahead of the curve, pharmacies are seeking out tools like robotics and automation for medication dispensing to streamline their operations, reduce human errors, and improve patient care. With any investment, selecting the right vendor for pharmacy automation equipment is not just about convenience; it’s a critical business decision that can profoundly impact operations. This guide will walk you through the criteria you should evaluate to ensure your investment in pharmacy automation yields the best success.

Expertise in Pharmacy Automation Build Quality

Not all pharmacy automation vendors are created equal. Look for a vendor that not only has expertise in pharmacy automation, but also in consistently building quality robots and equipment that stand the test of time. “Built like a tank” is not just an old saying; in the pharmacy world, it’s a necessity. With potentially thousands of daily fills, equipment reliability is paramount. The vendor you choose should use durable materials, innovative design, user-friendly interfaces, and straightforward maintenance protocols. Because downtime isn’t just frustrating; it’s a logistical nightmare that can cost your pharmacy thousands.

Pharmacy Automation Efficiency-Boosting Features

The right pharmacy automation features don’t just facilitate tasks; they can revolutionize pharmacy operations. You should always keep an eye out for cutting-edge features that align with the evolving needs of pharmacies. As you evaluate vendors, make a list of your pharmacy’s most manual tasks to see if their pharmacy robots can automate your most time-consuming work. 

Some pharmacy automation efficiency-boosting features to keep in mind:

  • Managing drug changes: Ensure that your system is adaptable and up-to-date with the ever-evolving pharmaceutical landscape.
  • Inventory management: Modern equipment can autonomously monitor and reorder stock, saving time and reducing errors.
  • Label printing: Automation should guarantee that every label is accurate and generated efficiently.

In addition to seeking out features that can save your pharmacy time and money, you should also look for features that help the facilities you serve. For example, long-term care (LTC) pharmacies that implement a single scan at administration can drastically reduce errors and streamline processes in both the pharmacy and the LTC facility.

Pharmacy Automation Integrations

Beyond build quality, cohesion between all automation equipment and other software systems utilized in a pharmacy, including your Pharmacy Management System (PMS), can make or break your workflow. If your pharmacy has piecemealed equipment that runs from separate applications, it can cause confusion when training staff members.

The ideal scenario? A unified, integrated application system across all equipment. This approach offers several significant advantages:

  • Streamlined Workflow: A single application simplifies operations and reduces navigation between interfaces.
  • Consistent Training: One system reduces training time, as staff only need to learn one interface.
  • Data Uniformity: Using a single application ensures consistent data handling across equipment, minimizing errors.
  • Maintenance & Cost: One application is easier and often cheaper to maintain than multiple systems.
  • Seamless Communication: All devices communicate fluidly under one system, ensuring timely updates and efficient operations.
  • Enhanced Security: A unified system allows for focused security protocols, reducing potential vulnerabilities.

Exceptional Pharmacy Automation Customer Service & Long-Term Support

Above and beyond pharmacy automation customer service can be a game-changer if an issue comes up. The difference between a minor hiccup and a significant downtime can often be how promptly and effectively a vendor responds to an issue. Almost as important as build quality and innovative features is a pharmacy automation vendor’s reaction time when it comes to getting your equipment back up and running smoothly. Your evaluation should include checking for responsive support, comprehensive training offerings, and proactive maintenance schedules.

Investing in automation equipment is a long-term commitment. The last thing you want after spending thousands of dollars on pharmacy robots is for a vendor to sunset a product and discontinue support on your equipment. Ask a potential vendor how often they sunset their pharmacy automation and what their protocol is for long-term support of customers utilizing this equipment.

Questions to Ask When Evaluating Pharmacy Automation Vendors

Choosing the right pharmacy automation vendor is a multifaceted decision. While initial costs are a consideration, it’s vital to view this as an investment, focusing on long-term benefits and support. Dive deep, ask probing questions, and always prioritize your pharmacy’s needs. Your decision today will shape your operational landscape for years to come, so make it a well-informed one.

Knowing the must-have pharmacy automation equipment for your pharmacy is key for a seamless, efficient operation. Understanding the unique needs of your pharmacy and investing in automation accordingly is crucial for achieving a system that delivers both accuracy and efficiency. By staying updated with the latest trends and technologies, pharmacies can continue to offer unparalleled service in an increasingly competitive environment.

In our comprehensive Buyers Guide, we’ve compiled a list of questions you should ask as you evaluate potential pharmacy automation vendors to help you make the best, most informed investment. Use the link below to download the guide and get your free worksheet!

Download our free Buyer’s Guide to Choosing the Right Pharmacy Automation Vendor, which includes a list of questions to ask when evaluating new pharmacy automation equipment. 

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