As in all industries, pharmacies are also experiencing the impacts of the labour shortage. Productivity issues are omnipresent for pharmacy managers and owners, not to mention the supply issues! In short, it’s a challenging time for pharmacists. For these reasons, you might be looking to improve the efficiency of your lab. There are several ways to achieve this. In this article, we’ll present and revisit some of the options available to you.
Possible avenues for improvement of your lab efficiency
Centralized automatic filling service
Lab technicians often attest to this: the preparation and verification of prescriptions are routine tasks that are demanding in the schedule of a technician. The recounting of pills and the verification of prescription compliance are operations that take time because they need to be done with exemplary thoroughness.
In this way, centralized filling services are a real opportunity to eliminate these unnecessary operations in the laboratory and help your employees save time that can be reattributed to greater customer attention. In addition to promoting efficiency, this could lead to economic growth for some pharmacies.
Optimize your inventory management
Many pharmacies are tackling the management of their inventory, the aim being a reduction in the number of items kept in stock. Indeed, inventories take an important place in the activities of laboratory technicians. Selecting one-piece moulded products, for example, will allow you to reduce the volume of parts in your inventory, thereby saving valuable time.
Measure your workflows
Before setting improvement targets in your operations, you might want to measure your workflow first. By analyzing working methods in the laboratory, you can detect the challenges encountered and thus develop strategies to overcome them. For example, revising roles and responsibilities is often a winning strategy to improve workflows. This could mean assigning specific tasks and responsibilities to certain staff members with a view to developing their skills in a specific area, thereby adopting a more efficient work pace.
Promote multifunctional products
Encouraging the use of multifunctional products, such as Ecolo-vials, which can be easily be equipped with a safety device or be converted to an easy-to-open vial is a possible avenue for improvement in laboratory efficiency. Their integrated cap helps limit losses, facilitates inventory management, reduces the quantity of units to order, and simplifies work.
Gain Insight from Experts
Whatever avenues for improvement interest you, you may want to seek help from a specialist in the field who will support you in your efforts.
What are the impacts on operations?
Improving lab operations could have impacts on many different levels.
In terms of the preparation process, you might find the following:
- Fewer errors and more precision
- Less time needed to devote to it
- Process optimization
- Reduced inventory costs
On the verification side, you could benefit from:
- A more up-to-date inventory
- Reduced risk of medication shortages
- A rationalization of the allocation of resources in the laboratory
At the time of distribution, you might discover:
- More options
- Simplification of medication monitoring
- Easier verification of patient adherence
- An increase in clinical services and consultations
- Better health and safety for patients
In conclusion, simpler cost management, consistent quality of service, and increased operating speed will help boost your lab’s efficiency. By optimizing your operations, you’ll help improve the working conditions of your employees while promoting your economic growth. In doing so, you’ll also be a part of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Finally, you’ll offer your patients/customers increased access to your lab technicians, who can use the newfound time to support and advise your clientele. Your patients will likely be happy to receive their medications more quickly and to benefit from the extra time you can give them. As you can see, developing more efficient strategies in the laboratory is a win-win, for everyone.