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Robots have moved out of the movies and found a new role in local businesses.
Pharmacies may be the latest place where science fiction meets reality. While the idea may seem far-fetched at first, incorporating this type of technology actually makes a lot of sense.
Filling prescriptions is repetitive, repeatable, and requires great precision. It takes extreme focus to do correctly. Since pharmacists already have to tackle a multitude of clinical functions each day, they often pass this task to technicians. Figuring out ways to automate specific actions can really improve a pharmacy’s bottom line. Here’s how pharmacy dispensing robots can fill other gaps at community pharmacies.
Improved Patient Interactions
Counseling patients is critical in pharmacies. Patients often come in with questions or concerns about their medications and need a timely response. However, pharmacies are busier than ever before. Many pharmacists don’t have enough time to focus on this much-needed service.
Vial filling automation can help pharmacies reduce their daily workload. Instead of needing a person to count each pill by hand, robots can streamline the process. This technology can offload the facility’s prescription volume by more than half, giving pharmacists more free time to serve their patients.
A Cost-Effective Solution
Making money is essential to a pharmacy’s growth. However, operating a pharmacy requires a lot more cash than people realize, and many operations run on tight profit margins. A lot of a facility’s budget gets allocated to labor, and the rest goes towards inventory and overhead. Robots are a cost-effective solution that will save the pharmacy money in the long run.
Investing in pharmacy robots decreases the number of technicians needed at any given time. Robots automatically fill the prescriptions while the pharmacist attends to more pressing matters. This high-tech solution will help limit payroll costs. Since robots are more accurate than humans, this technology also cuts back on inventory loss. Facilities that switch to robotics should see an overall reduction in their operational and inventory spending.
Increased Service Volumes
The demand for pharmacies is at an all-time high. Patients can’t wait for their specialty medications, and many pharmacists work around the clock to provide service. However, humans are fallible, and there is a limit to how fast even the most skilled pharmacists can work.
Smaller pharmacies may only fill a few hundred prescriptions per day, but larger ones may receive several thousand requests. Automation is the best way to increase volume output without putting more stress on technicians and pharmacists. Moreover, there is less worry about making a mistake. Robots reduce the risk of miscounting or mishandling pills.
Time to Fix the Current Model
Too many pharmacists feel burned out. The pressure of accurately filling every prescription and counseling each patient can feel overwhelming. According to a PubMed abstract, 68-percent of pharmacists experience job-related stress and work overload at some point. Facilities continually hire new technicians to fill the gaps, but that comes at a high cost. Instead, it’s time for pharmacies to evolve to a more efficient system.
Robots are an ideal solution for the current pharmacy model. Instead of relying on technicians to fill prescriptions, robots can automate the process. Patients will also receive better service with automation in place. Robots are incredibly accurate, which reduces the likelihood of dangerous errors. Adopting this technology is the best way to fix the problems faced by many community pharmacies.