It’s estimated that by 2029 pharmacies worldwide will have spent approximately $9.8 billion USD automating everything from inventory management to the key services they offer, including filling prescriptions.1

Here are four ways you can use new technology to enhance your pharmacy.

1. Invest in a pharmacy software management system. 

Canadian pharmacists dispense and provide advice on 750 million prescriptions per year.2 Filling, tracking, and managing those prescriptions is a complex process. Plus, ensuring medication safety and supporting patients with good communications is a key responsibility.

A pharmacy computer software management system can help. A 2023 Scotiabank Insights on Pharmacists report found 62% of Canadian pharmacists use analytic tools to estimate drug risks from combining multiple medications.3  Such tools can build in workflow process efficiencies and even improve patient outcomes by tracking prescribed medications and related health conditions to help prevent errors or duplications.

The system can also help you avoid carrying too much inventory, which can impact your pharmacy’s cash flow. By auditing your inventory in real time, it allows you to instantly see what is selling and what is not and when to stock up or discontinue an item.

Tracking inventory manually can be time consuming. But by using a computer software system, you can analyze large volumes of prescription information and inventory quickly and easily, enabling you to improve your business by forecasting how sales of specific drugs and products are trending. The system can also alert you to when a when a drug is in short supply – lessening the chance that customer prescriptions will go unfilled or delayed, leading to a better customer experience. 

2. Leverage robotics for increased efficiency 

Counting, filling and labelling prescriptions can also be tedious. Today, robotic dispensing systems are taking on that role on. They can count pills, cap bottles, label vials and store medications and patient information to ensure accuracy. By using technology for the more mundane tasks, pharmacists and their staff can free up time for the human touch and focus on their patient and customer needs.

Robotics can also reduce the chances of human error. This is because they use barcode technology to fill every order with the right drug for the right patient.

Sarah Hyslop, Healthcare & Professional Specialist at Scotiabank says, “technology is all about making your pharmacy more efficient and improving the bottom line. As automation continues to advance, investing in the right technology will not only free you from performing routine, time-consuming tasks, it will also help save time and improve the quality of care you provide your patients.”

3. Optimize online channels to connect with customers

A 2022 survey found, “on average 20 to 30% of prescriptions in Canada are never filled. When prescriptions are filled, nearly 26% of Canadians admit to taking medications differently than prescribed.”4 However, Hyslop says that having an online relationship with patients may help by providing you with a better way to keep patients’ medical information and prescriptions up to date and share information on drug use and interactions.  

New Rx software can enable patients to upload their prescriptions digitally and receive a notification on text or online for convenience when they are ready to be picked up. Plus, it allows prescribers and pharmacists to securely transmit prescriptions electronically.

Further, building a strong website and presence on social media platforms can also help boost awareness of your products and services. In addition, posting information about your pharmacy, including individual profiles of your team and helpful tips and tools, can help build your pharmacy’s brand, communicate with customers and patients, deepen your relationships and enable you to stand out from your competitors.

4. Automate to help ease staffing shortages.

Scotiabank’s Insights report found 64% of pharmacists said a shortage of labour was one of their main challenges.1 Staffing shortages are also one of the key factors’ pharmacists identify as negatively affecting their mental health.2 However, maximizing automation in as many parts of your pharmacy’s operation as possible can help free your staff from routine tasks. As an additional benefit, it can build more time into your schedule for managing important cost centres, such as inventory purchases and marketing.

For additional advice and support to help you evaluate some of the financial impacts and benefits that may result from investing in new technology, contact us today.

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