Pharmacy automation is part of the mechanical process of handling routine work, manage files, store information, and more. By automating your pharmacy management, you ensure reducing human errors, increasing work efficiency, and boosting profitability.
In this article, we will explain what automation is and how it can help you manage your pharmacy in better ways.
Why Pharmacy Automation is Important
The pharmacy management system aims at creating an electronic work environment that helps in managing and using data, entered from more than one source and device to the system.
Automation of tasks, technical, operational and office procedures, has become an important criterion in achieving the required administrative quality.
Whether you own a large or small pharmacy, individual or chain of pharmacies, automation accomplishes routine work in the shortest possible time and at the lowest cost.
Automation aims to transforming pharmacies from relying on papers and records to using mechanical and digital softwares. This increases the strength and smoothness of the internal administrative system, which also helps improve customer service.
For example, the medicines that reach the customer depend on a series of procedures that starts from supply of medicines to the pharmacy until they reach the customer’s hands.
This includes receiving medicines, then sorting and reviewing the items, pricing , storage, and then the distribution for each branch.
Each procedure requires different activities where the receipt of medicines includes purchase orders and issuance of invoices, then lists are prepared to sort and write notes, specify returns, activities and procedures continue until the sale of medicines to the public.
Does Automation Threaten the Pharmaceutical Industry?
Automation does not threaten the profession of pharmacy, on the contrary it helps achieving menial tasks easily.
It also provides pharmacy owners and managers with complete information and data that helps them make decisions quickly and accurately, because it reduces the time of the administrative work cycle, increases speed, raises the level of quality, and reduces the percentage of human errors.
The most important function of the automation process is to transfer pharmacists’ efforts, activities and skills into valuable data that ensures the continuity of work with the same efficiency. Even with the change of human resources, this data can be used to ensure continuous development and growth.
4 Steps of Pharmacy Automation
Exploration and Understanding
This stage of automation includes knowing all the procedures and activities in the organization, in order to get ready for its automation, because there are some complicated procedures that are difficult to be automated.
Sometimes, there are some unofficial procedures that are not included within the announced management cycle, and there are three levels for this stage:
Procedures that have a direct relationship with the customer
Internal procedures related to employees
Procedures related to suppliers
Collecting and Analyzing Information
This step helps gathering and analyzing the available data from different stages of automation.
Here pharmacy automation related to procedures can either be done separately or collectively to study forms and papers that are used to complete each task, how it is done, and how it relates to other tasks.
One of the most prominent ways of collecting and analyzing information is the direct meeting with workers in pharmacies, where it is possible through dialogue and discussion to identify the procedures and activities carried out by each employee, which helps to draw a complete map of the administrative process.
Building a To-Be Modeling
Here pharmacists can view a detailed visualization of the procedures and how they will be performed after their automation and transfer of activities.
Some activities begin to be transferred to the system, and the rest of the routine work is completed as it is, in order to test the effectiveness of the system.
The To-Be Modeling is tested and adjusted so that it reaches the best possible image before the actual implementation of the system.
The temporary implementation turns into a full implementation that converts all routine manual procedures into actual pharmacy automation, and this is done through one of the following methods:
Use ready-made applications
Workflow management applications
Cloud Business Automation Tools
Create and design a custom application