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Corum Health Dispense Editorial

A change of perspective can assist with dispensing optimisation

Dispensing is an integral part of your service offering and a central point that the rest of your business is built around. While retail sales are beginning to make up a higher percentage of annual profit, dispense continues to play this central role. A successful (and profitable) dispensing process relies on your ability to run an efficient service; dispensing a high number of scripts each day, while ensuring accuracy and safety to retain customer loyalty. This importance of dispensing in pharmacy businesses means it is often a focus of improvement throughout the industry.Business leaders repeatedly ask, “how can we make it better, faster, safer?” But this process-improvement focus can distract from the fact that for your customer, dispensing is not a service, but an experience. The obvious ways in which you can improve dispensing efficiency for your business may not correspond with an improved and more-efficient experience for your customers.
For example, by optimising for a faster rate of script dispensing, customers may feel as if they’re being rushed through the process, compromising their confidence in their care.
Equally, optimising for patient care and clarity by increasing pharmacist interactions potentially compromises the pharmacist’s ability to access important safety and medical information. For a customer, efficient dispense equates to receiving advice and a considered approach to handling their healthcare needs, in a reasonable timeframe. No matter how efficient process changes seem for your business, they are not viable if they don’t also offer improvements for your customers.
This challenges efforts to optimize for both process efficiency and patient safety in your dispensing service.

While the priorities, expectations or requirements of dispensing may differ between pharmacy owners and their customers, your approach to meeting the needs of both parties doesn’t need to.

Fundamentally, dispensing relies on information. Access to personal, medical and pharmaceutical details is vital for accurate and safe dispensing. But if we want to optimize this process to encapsulate efficiency as well as safety, having access is not enough. How you access this information becomes vital.

Software as an agent of change
The software applications you use structure your dispensing service and determine the results for both business and customers. Manipulating your software to reflect your desired service can ensure the structure of dispensing can meet multiple needs.

Your ability to optimize for these potentially-conflicting priorities relies on software designed for this evolved challenge.

As more pharmacies come to see dispensing optimization in this balanced light, we’re seeing a focus towards prioritizing certain software features.

Accessibility
By definition, a pharmacist’s ability to spend more time with a customer relies on them spending less time on the computer. Application integration, as well as intuitive, natural-language search features, reduce the time required to retrieve dispensing information. Workflows that present the information in an optimized sequence also play a role.

User and training friendly

Intuitive systems allow for simple daily use and simplified on boarding. Pharmacies are now prioritizing software with contextual workflows and in-system shortcuts to increase the time staff have to spend with customers.

Customization
Recognizing that pharmacy processes and customer expectations vary between businesses, customizable SIGS offers flexibility in systems to reflect individual practices

Efficiency & Safety-focused
Ensuring customer safety and peace of mind creates positive service experiences. The use of coded panels and alerts have shown a higher rate of concentration and notification of safety issues.

Being supported properly by your systems, software and applications will shape a dispense process that is both efficient from a business perspective, and safe for customers.

As the rate of business competition continues to rise in the pharmacy industry, the importance of customer satisfaction and high dispensing rates become more important than ever. We are increasingly seeing pharmacy businesses take a more customer-eccentric approach, by considering customers’ priorities, and modifying their software to suit.