Minimizing Errors With Pharmacy Automation

Automating work processes can be a touchy subject. Some see automated technology as partly responsible for dwindling job opportunities, as machines replace manpower in the name of efficiency; while others see it as a helpful strategy for maximizing the efficiency of human workers.

Both perspectives have a point, but when it comes to pharmacy automation, the second view has the most validity. Pharmacies can’t do without pharmacists or pharmacy technicians, but the ability of these workers to provide error-free service to customers can be greatly enhanced with automated technology.

Pharmacies essentially serve under the Hippocratic Oath like medical facilities. They make revenue from what they do, but that’s precluded by a dedication to service. This is what makes pharmacy automation systems so attractive; they help pharmacies provide a high level of customer service, and become financially better off for doing it.

How Automation Prevents Errors

In pharmacy settings, the term “errors” most commonly refers to human oversight that impacts a customer negatively in some way. They’re the crucial mistakes that no one catches for some reason, like typos in a classic novel.

For example, a busy pharmacist might accidentally count the wrong number of pills, and cause a patient to run a day short on something serious, such as anti-seizure medication. Or a rushed pharmacy tech could fail to apply enough pressure to properly seal a blister card using a hand roller, causing some pills to move into each other’s blisters under the foil backing.

The first error could be minimized by using the automated prescription filling system Versi-Fill II, an automated prescription filling machine that dispenses a wide variety of pills fast, with excellent accuracy. The second error could be minimized with one of our cold seal machines or heat seal machines that automatically maintain the right temperature and apply the right pressure.

Interested in Automation Options?

According to a recent report from Modern Medicine Network, “Quality improvement systems and multiple levels of check-offs are critically important to help pharmacies catch errors before they reach patients, according to a 10-year study of closed [injury] claims and several pharmacy industry experts.”

The study found that “75.3% [of closed injury claims] arose from patients receiving either the wrong drug (43.8%) or the wrong dose (31.5%).” — two prescription errors that pharmacy automation can minimize.

The machines we talked about earlier are examples of quality improvement systems by means of automation. Because they help minimize dispensing errors and packaging errors, they naturally improve customer service, while helping the pharmacy save and earn more money — a win, win situation that matches every pharmacy’s basic business model.

To learn more about the benefits of pharmacy automation, and what Drug Package can do to help your pharmacy automate, give us a call today at (800) 325-6137, or send us an email through our contact form. We’d love to talk.




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