Slowly, more and more businesses are embracing the efficiencies of automation to deliver services and products to their customers when, where, and how they want them. And, in many cases, businesses can pass on the savings in labor and delivery costs to their customers.
With automation and digital transformation driving so much change in other industries, why shouldn’t these principles benefit pharmacies and other healthcare providers too?
That’s what makes this next step in the digital transformation journey so exciting. The introduction of automation and robot-enabled pharmacies can deliver orders directly to customers’ doors, safely prepare medications for nursing home providers, or finalize prescriptions that are ready to pick up at local stores.
So what do evolutions in automation like the pharmacy robot mean for your business, and how can your operations, customers, and patients benefit from them?
Now, more than 30 years since they were first introduced in hospital settings, this technology is appearing in your local Walgreens or being used to prepare prescriptions that arrive in your mailbox. In fact, by 2025, Walgreens expects “as much as half” of their prescription volume will be filled in automated centers.
Although more complex and sensitive medicines will still be handled directly by pharmacy technicians or nurses, routine doses can be filled automatically, giving staff more time for direct patient care and customer service. For example, robot-packed pill packages for patients in a senior care home helped reduce the amount of time it took nurses to complete rounds from two hours to 28 minutes.
The Universal Benefits of Automation
Your business doesn’t have to handle medicine to benefit from automation, but pharmacists, healthcare providers, and their customers have a lot to gain from innovations like pharmacy robots and dispensing kiosks.
In particular, automation can bring some of the following benefits to your organization:
Error reduction: Automated devices like kiosks and pharmacy robots can run quickly, accurately, and repeatedly without the worry of technician fatigue that could lead to mistakes.
More time: Automated devices free up your staff to focus more on complex customer service needs and less on the repetitive tasks of their job.
Customer options: Introducing kiosks gives customers more options, including self-service, which is favored by 73 percent of consumers.
New services: Self-service kiosks and pharmacy robots are powered by data, which businesses can use to identify new customer preferences, market personalized services to customers, and introduce targeted messaging to upsell or advertise new products.