As we kick off 2022, it is an ideal time to take figurative stock of your pharmacy to decide what’s working and what needs an adjustment. Your pharmacy has a lot of moving parts. It’s not always easy to take a step back and identify weaknesses in the structure of your business or the day-to-day operations that occur on-site.
SynMed has experienced an interesting year, a year that further validated one of our founding principles: pharmacy automation is the future of prescription distribution. We are entering 2022 in a unique position as a leader in an ascendant industry. Working directly with hundreds of excellent pharmacy operators makes us uniquely qualified to propose a roadmap for your own annual pharmacy audit.
Whether this is year one of your first pharmacy or you’re celebrating 20 years with a successful pharmacy chain central filling for all stores, SynMed’s automation technology can modernize your workflow, scale your operation, and nearly eliminate human error.
In this blog, we’ll cover our recommended Five-Step Pharmacy Audit, providing you with a thorough list of checks for your pharmacy business.
If you’re a small operation helping an interconnected town, you understand (more than many) how important the individuals who make up your staff are to your pharmacy.
The questions are: How is your staffing situation today? Are you a lean team? Do you have extra sets of hands? Who is contributing to which goals and in what measurable capacity?
An overly lean staff poses risks to your patients (and therefore your business). Overburdened pharmacy technicians make mistakes — when two or three technicians manually handle the complex medicinal calendars for thousands of people, the margin for human error increases. Once your pharmacy reaches a certain number of patients, automation is the next logical step to maintaining and growing your business. Technicians laser-focused on perfect dissemination of prescriptions are unable to channel their energies into activities like carefully consulting with patients or seeking out partnerships with long-term care facilities. Investing in automation will allow your staff to focus on patient-related activities, increasing patient satisfaction and other factors.
Choosing the right prescription packaging for your pharmacy’s patient base is a critical decision. Adherence rates are top of mind for all pharmacies, and patient failure to adhere to their medication regimen can result in negative health outcomes. Is your pharmacy doing everything it can to ensure adherence? Did your patients come back every month last year? Did they fill their entire prescribed dosage? Are they giving expired medication back to you? Check all these data points in your pharmacy management system and examine them carefully. If there is room for improvement, consider SynMed!
Our devices are capable of handling over 30 different kinds of single and multi-dose blister packs and counting. Our intuitive systems provide flexible, adaptive solutions to fit virtually any packaging scenario. The adherence packaging we generate ensures your patients have everything they need to remain compliant and stay as healthy as possible.
Think about how you communicate with your patients. Are your interactions rushed? Are your technicians preoccupied? If it feels like there just aren’t enough hours in the day, you can almost guarantee that your patients have picked up on that energy.
If part of your pharmacy’s job is understanding the granular elements of your patient’s medical circumstances, then you know that accomplishing that requires facetime. SynMed automation provides opportunities for you to provide excellent patient care rather than the physical act of hand-filling their prescriptions. Hands-on patient interactions increase longevity by building lasting relationships, while hands-on packaging results in some of the costliest human errors we know of.
If data analytics isn’t already informing your pharmacy’s plan of action, it’s time to incorporate it into your future. How you process your pharmacy’s data and what you learn from its hidden, internal patterns are inextricably linked.
By analyzing your pharmacy’s data, you’ll be able to identify and chart trends like adherence rates, inventory levels vs patient prescription rates, insurance/cost-coverage data, and avenues for growth. Data analytics provide enlightening overviews and specific micro-comparisons between various metrics. Your current data management system is likely capable of converting raw data into precious insights that can maximize your pharmacy’s efficiency while focusing more on the care your patients actually need.
Independent pharmacies may come to understand their inventory, productivity, and adherence patterns in new ways, while central-fill pharmacies can use data analytics to guide themselves in a more profitable direction.
Accuracy rivals adherence for importance; in reality, they are two sides of the same coin. Ensuring accuracy is paramount to a pharmacy’s reputation — to say nothing of the fines and potential punishments it would face for errors resulting in serious harm. At the end of each year (and regularly in between), you should look at your data points that indicate accuracy (or lack thereof) with prescription fills. How often did a prescription come back due to the wrong medication being in the package? How many calls did your pharmacy get with complaints that a prescription was mis-filled?
SynMed boasts a 99.98% accuracy rate. It’s a sliver of a margin of error compared to the rate of error associated with manually sorting and packaging medication. SynMed’s accuracy is simply unmatchable.
Make sure you know how to set your pharmacy up for success in the future by taking the right actions today. Taking steps towards automation will boost productivity, eliminate human error, and free your staff to focus their talents on patient relationships and growing your pharmacy.
Get in touch with a member of our team to see how SynMed’s automation solutions can move your pharmacy forward in 2022.