How Can a Community Pharmacy Achieve Improved Efficiency?

As a local pharmacy operator, you should always look for opportunities for improved efficiency. With an efficient pharmacy, you can service more customers, better monitor costs, and increase profits.

But where can you find ways to become more efficient?

Leverage these three opportunities to achieve improved efficiency in your pharmacy.

Perform an audit of existing processes

Before your pharmacy can know where inefficiencies lie, you need to do a full review of your existing workflows and processes.

Take a long hard look at your current workflow system. Start by asking the following questions to your employees: Does it meet the needs of the organization, management and staff? Does it help employees to succeed? Is it simple to use but also of value to all? Is it consistent throughout the organization?

If the answer to all of these questions is “no,” then you might need to revamp your processes.

When you discover the root/s of your problems, it’s time to make the adjustments. Take a look at these three opportunities you can consider.

Put a premium on employee training

If your employees aren’t well-trained in daily procedures, they’re essentially useless.

Training is essential in helping employees understand their roles, learn new techniques, and most importantly, ensure safety.

According to The Pharmaceutical Journal, unlike their hospital counterparts, community pharmacists don’t have a clear training program. Any structured training program should support new team members and those looking to progress their careers. The program can include in-house training sessions with more experienced staff and managers, as well as presentations by suppliers and e-learning tools.

Investing in training and development can improve customer service, raise staff morale, boost employee retention and increase profits.

Improve inventory management

Pharmacist

Inventory management is tied directly with your profit margins. You need to be constantly on top of the capital that goes out and the revenue that comes in.

Perform regular inventory checks to see what sells quickly and what tends to sit on the shelves. Drug overstock can be costly, as unused drugs expire or lose efficacy over time. More so, the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) said that too much stock can lead to insufficient cash flow.

Take time to study what are the most prescribed and top-selling medications. Consumer preference is also very important to consider. You may not know it, but liquid iron supplements may be more popular than regular iron tablets.

On the other hand, the Association of Healthcare Internal Auditors (AHIA) has recommended pharmacies to invest in technology that will enable them to easily track drug quantities and expiration dates in real-time. This will not only minimize wastage but also ensures the pharmacy can keep a proper stock of effective medications.

Improve the work environment

For your pharmacy to remain efficient, it needs to be run by top-performing employees. One way to keep your best employees is to provide lucrative bonuses and benefits. You should also honor their time priorities. Give them enough rest time so they can spend more quality time with their families or pursue personal interests.

These are the steps to achieving a more efficient community pharmacy. Staffing, purchasing, and work environment are some of the key areas to improve.

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