You may have heard some compelling reasons not to automate your pharmacy. They are shared by many who don’t really understand what it is all about. As the pharmacy automation experts we can safely say that these pharmacy automation myths are not all that they appear to be and are often founded on hearsay and speculation rather than evidence and experience.
We understand that pharmacy automation is not for everyone – one size does not fit all. Every pharmacy is different and has different needs. If you run a single pharmacy that is dispensing low volumes and doesn’t dispense into compliance aids then maybe pharmacy automation isn’t right for you. We accept that. For the rest of you there is a place for pharmacy automation in the successful future of your business and we believe we can help realise the myriad benefits.
At times some of the pharmacy automation myths may have originated from people being sold the wrong automation solutions, which are then installed poorly with little support. It’s important to get it right so if you are looking for specific advice get in touch and we’d be happy to help you decide on the right solution for you.
Pharmacy automation myths
We speak with clients on an almost daily basis and learn about how they perceive pharmacy automation. We often talk about very similar concerns early on in the journey to automation. Here are the top five concerns that we reassure clients are not a worry.
1. Automation is expensive.
Pharmacy automation involves some pretty seismic changes in how you operate your pharmacy. Good changes. Ones that result in speed, safety, accuracy, efficiency and profitability. When done well, pharmacy automation is a very positive investment. You can learn more about the costs involved in our recent article about pharmacy automation costs and may be surprised to find that it is much more manageable than you realised. The truth is that a pharmacy automation project, while not as expensive as you think, may be one of the biggest costs in the life of your pharmacy. Some of the numbers can look big. However, as shrewd business people you will be comfortable assessing the cost in relation to the benefit and realise that the value is all important. The future of your business may rely on finding new ways to deliver increasing dispensing volumes as profitably as possible. Pharmacy automation is an important solution. There are a range of ways to manage the financial cost and we work with our clients to help them structure costs to suit their plans.
2. The machines are massive.
While in the past machines were large and required an equally large space to be given up to housing them the technology has moved on significantly resulting in efficient, compact machines with a small footprint. Heating, venting and power consumption are also much more manageable resembling that of a large domestic appliance. Our wide range of machines allows us to work with you to select the perfect machine that fits into your world and does the job you need it to do. We complete a full site survey, which also considers working ergonomics so that your process is efficient.
3. It’s too disruptive.
For many the thought of installing pharmacy automation and their impression of the disruption caused can be a real barrier on their journey. Any kind of work that affects your polished working processes will cause some disruption however our extensive experience with more UK installations than any of our competitors means that we are perfectly placed to ensure the smooth installation of pharmacy automation. Choosing the right time, the right team and the right approach makes all of the difference. Compatibility with your PMR is also a concern. Our technology integrates with all of the major PMR systems and work with many people to build bespoke integrations.
4. The machines break.
Pharmacy automation involves machinery and machines can malfunction. It is known. Any process, whether it involves machines or humans requires management. The unknown of managing a new process like pharmacy automation can make people nervous. There is a lot we can do to help. We work with clients to find the best maintenance arrangements, warranty and preventative maintenance schedule to minimise both planned and unplanned downtime. We advise on simple housekeeping that can be done on site that reduces downtime to a minimum. Many of our clients are now looking at dual function or even dual site operations to support maximum productivity.
5. I’ll need less staff.
This is one of the biggest ones as clients often expect that most of the benefit of automation will come from being able to work with less staff and recover investment that way. Our experience tells us differently. While it is at times possible to work with less staff many clients focus on the how they can redeploy their staff to complete jobs that only humans can do and that generates high profit sales. Customer service and clinical services are often high up the list. Your dispensing process will be more efficient and require less resource. Your dispensing capacity will increase enabling you to dispense more in less time from the same space. How you choose to capitalise on these benefits is for you to decide.
Speak to the experts
A myth is defined as ‘a widely held but false belief’ and there is no place for those when running a complex and competitive business like a pharmacy. If you are sure that pharmacy automation is not for you and you are confident that you are basing your decisions on fact no myth then wouldn’t try to dissuade you. If you need to explore your thinking further then we are here to answer your questions.
Ask us a question
If you have a quick questions just click on the button below to ask us and we’ll get back to you. No need to make it any more complex.
Come and see for yourself
We’ve built a demonstration space at our state of the art facility at TechSpace One in Warrington, Cheshire. Come along for free and take a closer look at our machines.