The future of pharmacy
Many pharmacy operators are switching to the benefits of robots in dispensing and the preparation of blister packs. Omnicell have been instrumental in implementing this change at a community pharmacy level. James Clewlow has spoken to a long standing client of PDT, Mayank Patel of Pearl Chemist, on the impact robotics has had on the running of their pharmacy business.
James: Firstly Mayank (Mike), great to see you and thank you for taking the time to talk to me about how you are embracing technology challenges and how technology will shape the future of pharmacy. You have utilised an Omnicell Robotic Dispensing System and when you demonstrated it to me I was amazed at how intuitive and ‘clever’ it is. What do you see as the prime benefits of utilising robotics?
Mike: When anyone talks about automation in a process the one key thing is that it gives you more time. Over the years increased levels of dispensing has meant that pharmacists and their support technicians and staff have been unable to spend as much time with patients as they would like, and as pharmacy leads in primary healthcare, as is needed. Our use of the ‘robot’ allows key staff to devote more time to concentrate on promoting other services. It allows pharmacists to grow their clinical skills.
James: What other benefits are you seeing?
Mike: We are working to find out how automation helps with stock control and with the management of the number of deliveries made to the pharmacy. This has got to be a good thing in terms of resource and the environment.
James: How is your technology supporting other providers?
Mike: We have been able to use the robot and the blister pack service to give assistance and support to St Georges Hospital in a way that we otherwise could not. Overall it is about the freeing up of employees’ time, which results in not only better services but happier and more satisfied employees. In a time where recruitment and retention pressure are extreme we are able to give our staff a better and more satisfying working environment.
James: On a lighter note, I understand that your shop in Tooting has become a bit of a destination hub and you are now offering guided tours of your robot system and that you are looking to provide live streams on YouTube of your ‘special one’ in action!
Mike: Nice idea but maybe not. All true though.
James: Thank you Mike and I look forward to seeing you at the Pharmacy Show.
Visit us at the Pharmacy Show
We are exhibiting again at the Pharmacy Show this weekend (16th – 17th October) at the NEC in Birmingham. You can find us at Stand G28 – stop by and pick up your copy of our show newspaper! We hope to see you there.