A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. As government funding for pharmacies is set to change, most likely to a performance-based model, they will need to look carefully at their chain of procedures, assessing whether any weak links are holding them back. Adrian Pittock, marketing director of Valley Northern, a UK leading pharmacy and healthcare supplier, explains the small changes a pharmacy can make to be as cost effective and time efficient as possible.
Those little paper bags may appear innocent, but they could be causing more hassle than you realise. Time spent rummaging through drawers for the correct bag size is time that could be better spent elsewhere. One alternative is to use handy bag dispensers, such as those provided by Valley Northern. With these, staff can easily see which bag size they need without any thought and grab and go.
In addition, when bags are running low and it's time to reorder, time is wasted searching for order codes for each bag size. Bag dispensers with order codes in plain view keep re-ordering hassle-free so pharmacists can focus on serving their customers.
There is no rule that pharmacy tablet cartons have to be plain. In fact, plain cartons can cause more trouble than you think. For example, it may just take two seconds for someone dispensing a prescription to choose where to stick the label, but with 1.8 million people visiting a pharmacy in the UK each day, these two seconds really start to add up. Choosing a carton with a clearly outlined space for the label, like ProBox® cartons which were the first printed pharmacy cartons on the market, saves time.
Ready capped bottles
Uncapped bottles used to be the standard. However, a huge problem with storing bottles and caps separately is the potential for contamination. Pre-capped bottles guarantee contamination-free products, and again reduce wasted time as there’s no need to match up caps with bottles. Bottles such as UnoPac P.E.T Ready-Capped Bottles are also 100 per cent recyclable and suitable for some liquids. Wasting time matching caps and bottle neck sizes is something that can be avoided.
Why say it when you can stick it?
Having the right labels can also save time and money as well as improve patient safety. Using labels to clearly mark expiry dates, final repeat and pay are just some of the ways labels can ensure the whole pharmacy team knows what is needed. Additionally, pharmacists can use fridge labels to make it clear that medication needs to be kept refrigerated. This saves staff having to ask questions and reduces costly waste resulting from incorrect storage.
These small changes can make a huge difference to the daily running of a pharmacy. Ensuring any weak links are strengthened will set the pharmacy in good stead for the new performance-based funding that the Government is proposing. Save time and money by running a hassle-free pharmacy.