Easing Rx labor struggles and improving adherence while increasing profitability

Frequent readers of our blog know that med sync coupled with adherence packaging not only benefits patients, but improves your pharmacy workflow, relieves stress on overworked staff, and increases profitability.

It (almost) sounds too good to be true, right? If you’re still skeptical, just watch the video below with Amber Suthers, Clinical Services Director at Surgoinsville Pharmacy in Tennessee.


No time to watch? Just read the brief Q&A with Amber. 

Q. RxSafe: Tell us a little bit about the solution you were using before you introduced the RapidPakRx™. What were the issues with that?

A. Amber Suthers: Before we started using the RapidPakRx, we were utilizing the Dispill cold-seal packs. And we did not have any automation with that, so it was manually filling the bubbles and then the pharmacist had to come behind and manually check each bubble. So just the labor and stress that went into that has all been alleviated with the RapidPakRx.

Q. Why did the pharmacy decide to invest in the RapidPakRx?

A. We invested in RapidPakRx because we had hit about 50 patients on our adherence packaging and that was taking a full-time employee. This team member was always back there packing. We were not able to grow that service. We weren't able to pursue other avenues with adherence packaging, such as vitamin packs or energy support packs, or anything like that. So, we weren't able to grow that service to see increased revenue, and that's why we invested in the RapidPakRx.

Q. What are your patients are saying about the new adherence packaging?

A. The responses they've had to the strip packaging has been positive. They have more confidence knowing that they're getting the right medications at the right time of day. They don't have to worry about forgetting a dose or taking a double dose. And the caregivers for our patients who utilize the service say that a lot of stress has been taken away from them. Patients are freed from the burden of filling up their weekly planners and making sure that someone checks on them to make sure that they've taken their medicine every day. So it's really just freed up their time and worry as well.

Q. Tell us about your workflow now, versus before the RapidPakRx.

A. Our workflow is much better. We do not have to worry about things being shorted or owing people medication. So it's freed up the ‘little mess’ that happens when you don't have the medication. And then it's just also made things more cost effective because the patients don't have to come to the pharmacy multiple times. So it helps with their cost of getting to the pharmacy. Plus, the labor that goes into any manual process has been alleviated.

Q. Let's talk about the difference in costs. How much was Dispill costing the pharmacy, versus the RapidPakRx?

A. One of the reasons why we also considered the RapidPakRx was just the cost per patient fill, as far as materials. If we were going to expand Dispill to get the materials and all the labor went in, it was about $5 just for the materials and things for the bubble packs and labels. So the cost is definitely better. And in the long run it'll save a lot more money.

Q. What about the time that it took before to fill the Dispill pack versus the RapidPakRx?

A. Before when we were utilizing Dispill, the process of the technician filling the bubbles and then the pharmacist coming back to double check all the bubbles, that's at least two times longer than what it should have taken. And so if I estimate how much time is saved per pack, I would say that's about 60%. Just because now you can do multiple patients at one time.

Q. How many of new patients are you acquiring per week or per month?

A. Each week, especially over the last couple of months, we've probably gotten about five transfers a week. And that's not been from any type of ‘heavy marketing’ or anything like that. It’s just been organic growth from senior assisted living homes that we deliver to already and that we service. And so, when we get any of their new residents, they just go ahead and set them up on the pouches.

Q. Can you speak a bit on the labor shortage?

A. I would recommend RxSafe to help with any staffing issues that you have. We have been in a staff shortage here for a while, and so adding the RapidPakRx has allowed us to free up some time and allow people to float back and forth. So I would recommend this to anybody that's having a staffing problem with their adherence packaging.

Q. How does your pharmacy charge for the packaging services?
A. Anybody who signs up for the packaged medications, we charge a subscription fee. So that is money that cannot be touched by anybody because they're paying for a service. And the added revenue from that is just something that you can keep. Right now we're charging $20 and that also includes one free delivery a month. So you need to know like how far you want to deliver and all that to make sure that it's cost effective.

At RxSafe, we know every pharmacy is different. If you’d like us to explore how the RapidPakRx could help improve your patient adherence, workflow and profitability, call us at (833) 791-1772.


RxSafe improves patient health by partnering with the nation’s 21,000 independent retail pharmacies, using our technology solutions to transform the way you do business. We collaborate with pharmacies and other industry innovators to enable patient adherence, attract new customers, create additional revenue streams, and boost profitability. Learn more: www.rxsafe.com.