The smart pharmacy mainly provides accurate medication dispensing, reduced waiting times, absence of medication errors, and increased number of drugs dispensed daily. Hospitals and health institutions have been working on that by adopting specialized automation software.
This digital transformation contributed to changing advanced pharmacy management systems that are based on big data technologies, artificial intelligence and cloud computing.
The smart pharmacy reflects the role of technology in medication dispensing without human intervention and without any errors. Also, it has achieved outstanding outcomes in terms of raising the level of effectiveness and operations efficiency, reducing the waiting time of patients to receive the service and establishing a more efficient stock management while reducing medical errors using barcodes and keeping medicines in the best condition.
The dispensing of medicines in the smart pharmacy is done by the robot that picks up the medicine and prints the label that carries the patient’s information and prescription, and then delivers it to the pharmacy window in a matter of seconds. The robotic pharmacy also uses state-of-the-art technologies through the design and operation of specialized software and the application of robots in pharmacies, as well as the necessary computer systems for their management.
Pharmacy automation has contributed to enhancing operations’ effectiveness using barcodes and artificial intelligence as a tool to reduce medical errors, in addition to designing control and follow-up points and integrating them into the system to ensure service quality and continuity, such as medical expiration tracking, and near expiration alerts, monitoring drug availability and automating the inventory and stock management.
The pharmacist’s fundamental role
Despite the great importance and numerous advantages of the advanced programming system, pharmacists will still provide the human contact between the patient and the smart system. They should check the prescription’s authenticity and must answer the patient’s questions and inquiries.
Therefore, the pharmacist can never be replaced as he plays a major role in explaining to the patient how to take the right medication, the right dose at the right time. This system reduces the burden of the daily routine work performed by the pharmacist, helping achieve greater productivity and more accurate work.
The pharmacist verifies the data and checks the patient’s barcode, thus making sure that any medication ordered is appropriate for the medical condition that is being treated, with the right dosage, and that the new medication does not negatively interact with any medication used by the patient.
Integrated Software Solutions
Today, the software solutions available in the smart pharmacy assist the pharmacist in the effective medicine distribution as well as in stock control and management. The state-of-the-art software solutions specialized in the pharmaceutical services’ automation offer the following benefits:
- Facilitating effective drug inventory management and tracking
- Correctly matching prescriptions to medications and written doses
- Automation of data entry and processing
- Reducing error rate and providing effective patient care
- Assisting the pharmacist in developing strategies to expand their business and improve patient care
- Saving time by dispensing a large number of prescriptions in record time, thus enhancing productivity
- Improving the quality of patient care and ensuring their safety
With automation, pharmacies can increase their efficiencies, increase their prescription filling rates, improve counting accuracy, reduce medication errors, increase safety, ensure adherence to medical doses, optimize their supply chains, and avoid supply delays and stock outages. Moreover, since the patient’s file is in this system, the pharmacist is warned about the possible interference of a prescription with another permanent treatment and is informed of the patient’s drug sensitivity, medical history, previous drug interactions, etc., which facilitates the drug administration and prevents any harmful effect on the patient.