Pill packaging machines are an example of how automated technology can have a significant impact on the retail pharmacy industry. Properly programmed, the equipment can dramatically reduce turnaround time for filling prescriptions and offer other important benefits.
As for what those other benefits are, it depends mainly on the make and model of the pill packaging machine. Below are three benefits that come with using Versi-Mate — a compact, tabletop dispensing system — and Versi-Fill II — a larger, freestanding dispensing system. Both machines are from Pharmacy Automation Systems (PAS) and are available through Drug Package, LLC.
- Increases pharmacy efficiency and throughput
As pharmacies become busier, additional staffing is usually required to keep up with demand. The right automation can eliminate the need for additional staffing. Both the Versi-Fill II, and the Versi-Mate allow an operator to be 300% to 400% more efficient than manual filling. Having such accurate increased production capability can increase the bottom line without increasing staffing costs.
This also allows pharmacies in states with pharmacist-to-tech staffing regulations to increase production without adding a pharmacist or other staff. In this case – the savings are huge.
Also, in with the right automation the increased daytime production can eliminate both overtime, and second shift production needs. If after hours filling needs do arise, those demands can be easily, quickly and calmly handled.
- Helps your pharmacy win new business
Automating compliance pack fills is far more cost effective than manually packing them. Because both the Versi-Fill II and the Versi-Mate can automate almost any type of packing you encounter (over 95% used in the pharmacy industry), you can win new work with very competitive bids. Even competitors with automation fall short. Most automated fillers handle very limited packaging types. Not so with the Versi-Fill II and Versi-Mate – they fill almost everything used in the industry. What an advantage to a pharmacy growing their business.
- Helps increase Patient Safety
Dispensing the wrong pill count and dispensing the wrong pill strength are two of the most common prescription errors that pharmacies make. Mistakes often result from the high demand on the pharmacists and pharmacy staff who must try to juggle multiple tasks (filling prescriptions, answering phones, attending the drive-thru window, providing medication counseling, etc.).
A pill packaging machine eliminates the need to manually fill prescription vials or correct counting mistakes. It can also automatically fill blister cards. Simply use the machine’s interface to place the order, and then watch the machine fill the prescription. As you can see from the demonstration video, a prescription filling machine makes dispensing meds a more passive task, freeing up the pharmacist to place more focus on crucial tasks that can’t be automated.
- Offers Excellent Scalability
Say that you manage an independent retail pharmacy that is growing. You want to invest in a pill packaging machine that can be scaled up to meet evolving prescription filling needs. Versi-Fill II could be a great option. The machine contains 60 canisters and is expandable to up to 600 canisters.
As your business doubles and triples, you can scale up and keeping using the same machine. There’s no need to upgrade by purchasing a new machine; simply add more canisters.
Would a pill packaging machine such as Versi-Mate or Versi-Fill II help your pharmacy? The answer depends on the volume of prescriptions you fill, and/or whether you have prescription filling issues the machine could resolve, such as reducing the turnaround time for refills, or lowering an unacceptable percentage of prescription errors.
For help deciding whether a pill packaging machine offers enough benefits to justify the investment, call Drug Package, LLC, today at (800) 325-6137, or reach us through our contact form. We look forward to presenting solutions that enhance your pharmacy’s daily operations!