Community pharmacy is always under pressure to do more, but finding that time is a huge challenge. Traditional time management techniques will help to some extent, but if you are facing potential profit reduction, as pharmacy currently is, a more rigorous approach is needed.
Our business is all about improving operational performance. To do this, we spend time with teams to look at how things are being done, using an evidence-based approach. We study, in detail, how the dispensary actually works: what is adding value and what isn’t; what gets in the way and why; who is (and who should be) doing what for best effect.
We use our software tool, vFlow, to capture and analyse the information. We then recommend practical ways of reducing wasted time, allowing more time to be spent on value-adding activities.
Our observations have led us to recommend many neat solutions, some complex and others very simple. In one organisation, we generated over 150 ideas for improvement.
Here are a couple of examples:
The benefits of this approach, whether you do it in-house or engage a company like ours, are significant. We have seen potential for up to two days a week being freed up for a pharmacist, enabling more services, development of new services, management duties, strategic thinking time, improvement and anything else that might currently be on the back burner.
We have seen how time spent on dispensing and other processes can be reduced by dealing with the fundamental causes of delays and waste. People are getting more done without working harder and are less stressed. This can help put the pharmacy in a better position to grow healthily: increasing items, controlling operating costs and maintaining or even improving profitability.
Take hold of wasted time and unnecessary processes to help your pharmacy business become more efficient and effective.
Andy Chilton is a director at Velresco, and is speaking in the Business Theatre at The Pharmacy Show.
P3 is media partner for the Business Theatre at The Pharmacy Show