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Pharmacy Automation System in the USA: A Key to Reduce Repetitive Pharmacy Work

Quick Summary: “Automation”, is a word that we are all familiar with its importance and benefits in the healthcare industry.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, automation is widely taking place in the pharmacy sector to help both patients and pharmacies reduce the time-consuming process.

As per a recent survey, “The pharmacy automation market was valued at USD 4,697.67 million in 2021 and the market is expected to reach USD 6,983.16 million by 2027 at a CAGR of 7.8%”.

As the trend toward automation is evolving in the pharmacy, let’s discuss in detail what automation in pharmacy is and how we can help you to create your own software-based pharmacy automation system working on RPA, AI and OCR technologies in the USA.

What is a pharmacy automation system?

Before jumping into the long definition of automation systems in pharmacy, first, let us clear your wrong assumption about it.

Most people out there only believe that pharmacy automation is only about robots taking over everything, but in reality, it’s a whole different thing.

It’s a system or software that assists pharmacies to automate the majority of routine computer-based tasks and reduce medication errors, generate reports, and make data entries without any human input.

In addition to this, the repetitive tasks include – prescription management, auto-refill, patient data and communication management, billing & accounting, and streamlined inventory management.

The purpose of an automated pharmacy system is – to make life easier for both patients and pharmacists by using software technology.

How does automation work in a pharmacy?

To automate the routine computer-based tasks in pharmacy, there are three major parameters for that.

Technology:

RPA (Robotic Process Automation) technology is used to automate common workflows. It is an advanced software technology that helps you create and manage software robots (In a form of a .exe file) that accomplish given or repetitive tasks the same as the humans on a computer system.

Just like humans, software robots can understand, analyze, manage, and complete the assigned tasks, but they act faster and more efficiently than humans.

RPA Tools:

You need RPA tools to build or deploy a successful RPA technology into your pharmacy system. For that, UiPath is one of the leading RPA platforms. With UiPath, a pharmacy can build software robots to enhance efficiency, flexibility, and scalability.

UiPath contains three major components – studio, robots, and orchestrator. All the UiPath components work together seamlessly. For instance, here is the whole process.

  • You can create RPA workflows by doing drag & drop, manual coding, and process recording features.
  • Robots are software workers that utilize the animations created in the studio.
  • Orchestrator deploys robots, schedules work, and reports, on the overall performance.

After creating a program in UiPath, you can download a .exe file. However, there is a two options for that, attended and unattended program.

Attended means, you need to start the program manually while unattended means, the program will automatically run as per the scheduled time.

Computer Program (software bot):

Now you just need to install the .exe file into your computer to automate common computer-based tasks within your pharmacy store. This computer program is built and trained to automate a process and it does the same.

If you still have doubts, watch this video to easily understand what is RPA.

 

What are the benefits of a pharmacy automation system?

The automation system in pharmacy is beneficial for both patients and pharmacists.

Why? Because it streamlines the employees’ workflows and assists them to improve productivity which directly enhances patients care outcomes. Apart from that, the following are the major benefits of it.

  • Efficient workflow makes the pharmacy business more profitable, flexible, and convenient
  • Employees can focus on the other important tasks
  • No chance of the error which improves accuracy
  • It facilitates work productivity
  • Simplifies the patient data management
  • Helps you avoid the time-consuming inventory management process
  • Auto-refills prescriptions reduce the burden on the patient
  • Improves patient care experience
  • Reduces overall cost, valuable time, and efforts
  • Automate patient data collection helps you communicate with them efficiently

Where can you use pharmacy automation solutions?

The automation in pharmacies is driven by the increasing demand for auto refills, efficient prescription management, and convenient patient data control.

As a result, we offer multiple automation solutions for your pharmacy business in which you can focus on other essential tasks rather than manual data entry.

Auto refill prescriptions:

Auto refill prescriptions help patients to not worry about the medication due date. The system automatically refills prescriptions before the patients run out of medication if the patient has already agreed to join the auto-refill program.

As a result, patients don’t need to text or call their pharmacist regarding prescription refills.

Automated inventory management system:

Using automation software for inventory management, you don’t need to repeat the same procedure every time. It generates an automatic inventory report and not only saves your time but also reduces human errors and helps you focus on the other key important tasks.

Furthermore, the software offers insightful inventory data in which you can analyze how your inventory is performing and what’s missing in real-time.

Automatic billing and invoice:

It automates and streamlines all the accounting-related workflows for your pharmacy business.

Automatic billing or invoice reduces your manual accounting errors, saves valuable time, and eliminates time-consuming processes.

For instance, let’s assume a scenario in which the automation system will extract and send the patient billing data from the master pdf.

  • OCR technology scans and extracts the complete billing data from the master pdf.
  • It creates individual billing pdf for every consumer.
  • Automatically sends it via SMS or Email.

Email or SMS automation:

Using email or SMS automation, you don’t need to manually reply or notify the patients regarding medication queries, prescription refills, and payments.

Furthermore, it automatically generates and sends all the essential medication information to the patients via email or SMS, with error-free data.

Automatic pharmacy management system:

It is the all-in-one automation solution for the pharmacy.

Operating a pharmacy store without PMS (Pharmacy management system) is like running your life without a mobile phone.

By automating the PMS, you can automate multiple tasks in the pharmacy system such as – stock level, sales, billing or invoicing, email communication, and EPS (Electronic Prescription Services).

Which technologies are used in building software-based pharmacy automation systems?

RPA (Robotic Process Automation):

As we discussed earlier, how RPA helps pharmacies to reduce the workflow burdens and automates the manual data entry process, while at the same time improving patients satisfaction. However, there is also a limitation of the RPA in the automation system.

RPA lacks the ability to think for itself. In other words, if the input and output is not fixed, RPA won’t be able to automate the process. Additionally, RPA requires well-structured data to perform and deliver the required results for the given tasks.

OCR (Optical Character Recognition):

OCR is a technology that extracts the data automatically from the print image, written text, or document and converts it into a readable, editable, and searchable format to utilize in the data processing.

However, OCR also needs a well-structured or pre-planned template to extract fast and accurate data from the image or documents.

AI (Artificial intelligence):

When it comes to the pharmacy business, there is a huge amount of patient data that needs to be collected, managed, and stored in a well-structured manner.

AI helps you fully automate all the tasks that need to be done in real-time, while at the same time focusing on the accurate and convenient output.

Additionally, the most important part is that AI can deliver the definitive result as per the change in the needs. In other words, AI contains the ability to think for itself for the given instruction.

For instance, Cognitive OCR. It is a combination of AI and traditional OCR.

Unlike traditional OCR, Cognitive OCR doesn’t need a fixed or pre-planned template to extract the data from the given image or document. In other words, it thinks and performs the same as humans.

Improve your pharmacy productivity, flexibility, and scalability with our pharmacy automation solutions

Who we are?

We are an Ontario-based healthcare IT company.

Talking about healthcare IT, we are performing it for the past 7+ years. In other words, we have the ultimate expertise in it.

We’re dominating the Canadian and USA healthcare industries with our experienced and dedicated team of healthcare-focused IT team that includes – RPA engineers, UI/UX designers, web and app developers, QA engineers, compliance specialists, and business analysts.

Whom do we help?

With our hands-on experience and healthcare-specific knowledge, we help healthcare start-ups, hospitals, clinics, individuals, and businesses to dominate their competitors by delivering remarkable user experience and optimizing their internal workflows.

How do we help?

As a healthcare IT company, we deliver the most promising healthcare IT solutions as per the business needs because, for us, every business is unique.

For that, we offer adequate healthcare IT services such as – mobile and web apps, custom EMR/EHR software and integration, telemedicine apps, AI, IoMT, and RPA solutions.

For us, the most powerful tool is our healthcare IT expertise and understanding.