A major responsibility of clinical and retail pharmacists is monitoring, filling, dispensing and labeling prescription medications for their patients. While this is an important responsibility, it can be very tedious and time consuming and take away time pharmacists could be spend providing direct patient care. Thanks to the rise of pharmacy automation systems, however, pharmacists can safely administer prescription medications and spend more one-on-one time with patients. More and more pharmacies, both large and small, are seeing the various benefits of pharmacy automation systems.
A pharmacy automation system is a robotic prescription dispensing system that has the capability to manage, store and distribute patients' medications. They can count, fill and label vials, as well as track and store over 200 medications and patient information. With this, the systems improve patient safety and care and boost productivity, while minimizing stress for pharmacists like Robert Lammle.
Another benefit of this system is it can fill prescriptions after the pharmacy has closed for the evening, leaving prescriptions ready for patients to pick up the following morning. This is very beneficial for drive-through and high volume pharmacies.
While these systems pose many benefits, some are concerned they can lead to cross-contamination. However, this issue is preventable because the systems have separate cells for each different drug. The best automation systems also have a photo verification feature which electronically records every prescription it fills.
Another argument in disfavor of pharmacy automation systems is that they will take jobs away from pharmacists. However, this is not the case because the systems are not fully performing the pharmacists' duties. A pharmacist has the complete knowledge of drugs, their side effects and how they interact with other drugs and are essential to providing the proper care to patients. They also perform health screenings and immunizations and provide advice on prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.
What are your thoughts on pharmacy automation?