Robotic automation in retail pharmacy is a growing industry that many independent pharmacy owner/operators are turning to in order to maximize staff time and reach their profit goals. While it’s true that adding automation to existing services can save time and help prevent mistakes, which leads to better patient care, there are also monetary benefits to adding automation to your workflow. Below are three ways that robotic automation can boost profits for independent pharmacies.
Redirect fill labor to profitable pharmacy services
Since pharmacy automation makes it possible to require less labor for filling prescriptions, it is one of the fastest ways that a pharmacy can start to see benefits to its bottom line. Because pharmacy robots can be used to check pill counts, lot numbers, and expiration dates, fewer payroll hours are required for these monotonous tasks, and pharmacy staff time can be reallocated to patient-centric services, such as med sync programs, adherence packaging, or diabetes education, to name a few.
When using a robotic automation system, such as the RxSafe 1800, in existing workflow it is not uncommon to reduce or re-purpose full time employee (FTE) hours by up to 19% of the pre-implementation total. These savings in payroll costs can add up to positive profit retention for any pharmacy.
Elimination of theft and waste
As an independent pharmacy, theft and waste can have a dramatic impact on your bottom line. Robotic automation can address this concern head on.
In an article by Amy K. Erickson, MA, a contributing writer for Pharmacy Today she noted that Riverside Methodist Hospital was able to reduce waste in 7 major areas when they implemented automation. These seven include:
- Overproduction: too many hours required
- Delays: idle time or waiting
- Transportation: consuming resources due to unnecessary moving
- Over processing: Spending time on areas that require too much time
- Inventory: Overabundance of products taking up valuable space
- Motion: Unnecessary movements by people
- Defects: Needing to redo work that was done with errors or incorrectly.
When choosing an automation solution that can help to reduce theft, look for one that offers biometric login to prevent unauthorized users from accessing your medications.
Automation systems that track expiration dates and lot numbers can help to reduce waste due to expired products. It’s easy to pull a specific lot number when needed, and with automated tracking, it’s always clear what medications are expiring soon, and current inventory is tracked down to the pill or package.
According to a study by The University of Arizona, automation can also dramatically reduce costs associated with human error. If you find that medications are going to waste due to any number of human error factors, it is worth considering the savings that might be available should you choose automation.
By reducing both waste and theft, pharmacies are able to lower the overall cost of medications, which in turn means more profit retained.
Free up floor space for other uses
Freeing up floor space with an automation system can mean more space for retail goods or to add additional programs. Whether adding a healthcare clinic, selling over the counter medications, nutraceuticals / multivitamins and other preventive care, or retail gift items, the extra space saved with an automation system can mean additional revenues for your pharmacy, as more space is available for adding profitable services.
Are you interested in learning more about pharmacy automation? RxSafe is a comprehensive solution that can help free up time, save money, and allow for more accuracy in the prescription process. We’d love to discuss how we can help you bring all the profit-boosting benefits of pharmacy automation to your independent pharmacy. Please give us a call at 877-797-2332 to find out how we can help.