There’s constant tension in running a retail pharmacy because your point of sale is also a point of care. Your pharmacists are clinically focused. They’re filling prescriptions, counseling patients, and administering vaccinations.
But when you zoom out to the corporate level, your team is looking at customer experience from a business perspective. You know that satisfaction drives loyalty, which translates into revenue. And that’s critical as profit margins keep getting slimmer on the prescription side of the business.
When you think about satisfaction, what pharmacy customers care about most is convenience and speed. Waiting in line at will-call can damage their loyalty to your store.
Accuracy is important, but customers take that for granted. It hardly crosses their mind that they could get the wrong meds. They don’t think much about security either because that’s behind the scenes.
But the reality is that as a business, you have to worry about all of these competing elements.
Prescription medication errors occur once every 1,000 prescriptions.
Added processes slow down will-call
With accuracy, you might tighten your policies or use barcode procedures to make sure you have the right script, but it’s hard to know whether people are consistently following the new policies and procedures across your chain.
With security, it’s common to use a time-delayed safe with robbery in mind, but controlled substance management can create procedural bottlenecks and slow down will-call.
With speed, most pharmacies try to staff up during peak hours, but that’s expensive, and there’s a short supply of workers available. In fact, in a National Community Pharmacists Association survey conducted in
May 2021, 80% of independent community pharmacists are having difficulty filling positions.
Furthermore, filing procedures with randomized zones don’t reduce time or errors. And hanging bags or lighted bags are focused on retrieval, but will-call is about more than the prescription pickup process.
It’s tempting to put the most time and energy into improving speed. The reality is you have to balance speed, accuracy, and security —they are all critical to your business.
If controlled substances aren’t secured, you risk not just burglary but also internal diversion. If customers receive the wrong prescription, that causes a whole host of problems. And customers have no patience for unnecessary delays—in fact, too many of them take out their frustration on your store staff.
Over-focusing on speed will make other priorities suffer as the pharmacy world keeps changing. Nontraditional competitors are affecting customer expectations for prescription fulfillment. Workforce dynamics are making qualified staff more scarce and more expensive. Meanwhile, you’re seeing new opportunities to serve the community and grow revenue, like vaccinations and clinics.
More than 13% of independent pharmacies surveyed by NCPA are struggling to hire staff pharmacists to handle prescriptions and patients.
Working with BD Pyxis™ RapidRx Solutions
With BD Pyxis™ RapidRx Solutions, your teams will be better able to handle security and workflow at will-call without adding tasks—so your pharmacy staff can focus on patient care.
• Track the prescription journey.
Bags and bins create blind spots. With BD Pyxis™ RapidRx Solutions, you’ll take the filing out of will-call, automate controlled substances transaction logging, and connect will-call with controlled substance storage.
• Extend control beyond the safe.
Compliance gaps hide risks behind the counter. With BD Pyxis™ RapidRx Solutions, you can limit access to individual meds, help increase dispensing accuracy, and establish a complete audit trail.
• Automate key steps of the workflow.
Overreliance on people is unsustainable. With BD Pyxis™ RapidRx Solutions, you will shift controlled substances tasks away from pharmacists, reduce the number of steps of the return-to-stock process, and standardize the prescription filing process across your stores.
When you arm your pharmacy staff with the resources they need, you can run leaner and provide a better customer experience.