Pharmacy automation extends to any processes related to storing, dispensing, and delivering medication or managing internal pharmacy operations. To enable it, healthcare organizations need specific pharmacy software, equipment, and systemic re-engineering of the existing workflows.
Itransition offers consulting services to help organizations choose pharmacy automation technologies best suited to their operations, develops custom solutions to automate crucial workflows, and integrates multiple systems under one pharmacy IT ecosystem.
Pharmacy automation statsistics
pharmacy automation market worth in 2022
Grand View Research, 2022
of pharma and healthcare companies use AI to enhance quality control
of pharmacy technicians’ working hours can be freed with AI automation
Types of pharmacy automation solutions
Pharmacy automation solutions enable machines to support or even fully carry out certain workflows within healthcare and pharmaceutical organizations. Five major processes are particularly suitable for automation.
1 Storage & dispensing
Storing and dispensing medications are essential operations in any pharmacy. Every drug is handled nearly ten times before reaching the patient, leaving room for error and contamination. For instance, meds can be placed in a storage unit under inappropriate conditions, kept past their expiration date, or dispensed in the wrong quantity. However, using IoT devices for automating manual operations and inventory management software to keep track of each pharmaceutical item eliminates the possibility of such mistakes. Additionally, robotic devices like pill counters, weights, mixers, and packagers allow pharmacy staff to avoid getting stuck with repetitive actions and take on a more creative role.
3 Packaging & labeling
4 Data management
Patient data input, storage, updates, and transfer include repeated actions that can be automated. Every time a doctor issues an electronic prescription, data is transferred to the pharmacy and checked by the system against the inventory to discover if it’s in stock. Patients, therefore, can check where they can get a particular drug.
Medical ecommerce apps integration with the pharmacy management software allows auto-input of the information into the system when medication is sold to the patient. This way, online order records are maintained without pharmacists’ intervention. Additionally, the software for inventory and supply management monitors the stock levels for each drug, notifies personnel if it runs low, or can even place an order automatically.
5 Analytics & reporting
To serve their customers better while also creating a positive working environment for the employees, pharmacies should constantly monitor their performance, analyze feedback from staff and customers, and keep an eye on the pattern changes in common processes. Using specialized analytical software for this purpose is essential, especially when the customer base, turnaround, and the number of employees grow.
Ready to automate your pharmacy workflows?
Our pharmacy automation services
Automation is an intricate project that has to be carried out step-by-step and comply with security regulations. Our experienced team can help pharmaceutical companies to go through it as smoothly and quickly as possible.
Our experts will help you structure and clarify your business objectives to define which workflows need automation and determine the appropriate tech stack.
We can develop software to support your pharmacy automation strategy from scratch, tune the existing solution to fit your organization better, or integrate it with third-party apps.
Our team will integrate pharmacy automation systems of your choice into the larger organizational ecosystem and perform data migration.
We will train your personnel to use the new system, monitor its performance, help to overcome operational issues, and implement upgrades when needed.
Pharmacy automation success stories
Smart technologies in pharma automation
Developers often employ artificial intelligence and machine learning when creating pharmacy automation devices and software. AI performs a vital quality control function in dispatching and packaging solutions: it double-checks if the right medication is being dispatched by triggering the dispatching machine to photograph and weigh the drug, and then comparing it with the image and weight information in the database.
At the same time, AI-powered chatbots, implemented in patient-facing solutions, help users choose a proper over-the-counter medicine based on their symptoms or order a prescription online or via the phone. The technology can also help companies foster pharmacy business development by gathering, processing, and analyzing vital consumer data.
Best integrations for pharmacy automation
Pharmacies are often a part of a larger healthcare organization, be it hospitals, long-term care facilities, or central fill stations. For these organizations to run smoothly, pharmacy software must be connected to the IT ecosystem.
Enable timely prescription fulfillment and refills based on the information in patients’ medical history to avoid delivering the wrong medications, keep track of substance usage, and reduce the time and effort needed for order processing.
Coordinate equipment and substance ordering, their timely maintenance and proper storage, and optimize medication distribution across your hospital facilities according to real-time needs.
Boost profits by selling your pharmaceutical products and services online 24/7 with the help of ecommerce tools.
Connect with your customers, understand their needs, and improve their experience, fostering trust and loyalty with various patient engagement software.
Pharmacy automation benefits
Increased precision & safety
Inadequate measurement or contamination of medicine poses enormous risks for pharmacies and their customers, so human pharmacists must always stay alert, which is tiring. Machines, on the other hand, can ensure the precise weight, aspect ratio of the compounds, and sterility of the medication regardless of the number of operations.
Improved efficiency & resource allocation
The Journal of the American Pharmacist Association states in its research that pharmacists can save more than 46.5 minutes per 100 prescriptions filled by robotic dispensing devices compared to the traditional count and pour method. Pharmacy employees can allocate this time to provide better patient care or participate in drug research and development.
Automation reduces medicine waste due to expiration or contamination, prevents overstocking and damage of fragile medicine packaging, thereby making pharmaceutical operations more cost-effective.
Improved data protection & confidentiality
Pharmacy management software helps keep patients’ data securely stored and processed according to industry standards and regulations. Automated record-keeping and prescription fulfillment allow pharmacies to reduce the risk of drug misplacement or abuse while ensuring compliance with the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) and The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Automation adoption challenges
Interoperability & standardization issues
Significant initial investment
Set-up & maintenance
Entrust pharmacy automation to experts
Automating pharmacy operations has become necessary for growing your business while maintaining high-quality services and safe working conditions. However, such a complex process has many challenges for pharma organizations with little experience. In order to get ROI from your pharmacy automation systems faster and avoid getting bogged down by common automation implementation obstacles, we recommend partnering with an automation solutions provider with years of experience in the industry.
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