How Do You Free Up Your Pharmacy Staff to Deliver a Great Customer Experience?
From implementing new technologies and methods of delivery to telepharmacy and central fill, see what strategies pharmacies are using to improve their customer’s experience by freeing up their staff
April 3, 2020
Now more than ever, your pharmacy staff is tasked with expanded responsibilities.
In the face of increased store volume, staffing challenges, and, most importantly, delivering patient care, how do you pivot some of these tasks away from your staff so they can provide the best possible customer experience?
Below are four tactics pharmacies can implement to free up their staff in order to focus on creating more meaningful customer interactions.
Tactic #1: Technology Implementation
Robotic pill dispensing systems allow pharmacies to increase prescription volume as much as 4-fold without the need for additional staff members. But the benefits do not stop there; pharmacy robots also free up staff for more value-added customer interactions, minimize the opportunity for errors, and improve staff satisfaction.
Robotic pill dispensing systems allow pharmacies to
increase prescription volume as much as 4-fold without the need for additional staff members.
Every day we see new technologies and services that go beyond pharmacy robots disrupting the pharmacy industry. Pharmacists, as a result, can focus on improving patient outcomes and reducing healthcare costs. These solutions range, and can include:
- Software that identifies interventions for high-risk patients
- Billing and authorization services to simplify the pharmacy workflow and move these tasks from the pharmacist’s workload
- Automated solutions that streamline the prescription pickup process.
Tactic #2: Prescription Home Delivery
Prescription home delivery is not a new concept. In fact, many independent pharmacies have offered prescription home delivery as a free service for many years.
Home delivery of prescriptions not only provides customers with an improved pharmacy experience. Prescription delivery can also increase medication adherence and reduce return to stock. With the increased availability of prescription delivery service partners, pharmacies can easily add prescription delivery to their service offering without adding to the workload of their overworked staff.
Medication non-adherence poses a significant healthcare challenge, causing up to 125,000 preventable deaths per year. This also creates $300 billion in avoidable healthcare costs. By reducing prescription return to stock through prescription home delivery, more prescriptions reach the hands of patients. As a result, it increases the potential for medication adherence and ultimately improving patient outcomes.
Through prescription home delivery, pharmacies reduce prescription return to stock and get more prescriptions into the hands of patients.
Tactic #3: Leverage Telepharmacy
Telepharmacy, another option, can reduce travel times from 40+ minutes in remote areas where the prescription volume does not support a full-service pharmacy.
Where allowed by state regulation, certified pharmacy technicians can staff remote telepharmacies. A remote pharmacist then completes the verification and patient counseling from a computer, mobile device, or telephone. Leveraging a pharmacist to cover multiple locations maximizes labor productivity and keeps labor expenses under control.
Telepharmacy also provides a convenient option to extend or avoid cutting back hours at a lower volume store. This leads to a better customer experience and improved access to care.
Lower volume stores can extend or avoid cutting back hours with telepharmacy.
Tactic #4: Utilize Central Fill
A highly automated central fill pharmacy operation can fill up to 30-40% of the prescription volumes for a region at a fraction of the operating expense. These operations drive lower inventory costs and minimize waste, especially for high dollar drugs, by shifting the carrying volume to a centralized location. The technology deployed in a central fill facility also increases patient safety by improving accuracy and reducing errors.
A pharmacy operation with automated central fill can fill 30-40% of the prescription volumes for a region at a fraction of the operating expense.
Central fill allows store pharmacists to operate at the top of their license delivering patient care. This may include services such as vaccinations, medication therapy management, and medication adherence counseling.
A central fill operation can also help other support services such as centralized prior authorization and supporting remote or telepharmacy. In this way, pharmacies can free up store staff to spend more time with patients.
Automated prescription pickup solutions help pharmacies simplify and streamline their customer’s prescription pickup experience.
You can deploy a number of technologies and methods to free up your staff to deliver a better customer experience. Start a conversation today to learn more about how Bell and Howell can help simplify and streamline your customer’s prescription pickup experience with a multi-portal, automated pharmacy solution.