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Cuts to reimbursement + increases in expenses = an unhealthy bottom line. It’s an equation that has many pharmacy managers and owners scrambling for ways to make up the deficit.
Using automation to fill medication adherence packages measurably increases a pharmacy's throughput, and reduces the need for manual interventions when compared to traditional manual filling and pre-pack.
When is the Right Time to Switch to Automation?
Confused as to whether your pharmacy should invest in automated medication packaging systems?
- Do you find your pharmacy is overstaffed during non-peak hours?
- Have you been billing less revenue due to generics?
- Have you noticed your profits eroding, but your book of business looks the same?
If you answered “Yes” to any of the above, the time to look into automation is now.
Benefits of Automation
Single Dose Adherence Packaging
If you have reached a point where there is too much inventory “sitting on the wall” in your pre-pack area or the flow of pharmacy work is erratic and unpredictable, automation helps you gain control over both.
Omnicell automation interfaces with your existing pharmacy information system enhancing scheduling and workflow management, and improving accuracy and production of medication packaging. Accuflex® and Express II™ technology allows a pharmacy to fill medication adherence blister cards as soon as medication orders are received, rather than pre-packing medications in anticipation of future orders. Pharmacies may also choose to increase their efficiency by filling medication orders in groups, such as in batch, location, or delivery schedule. Automation of order management helps to reduce delivery launch bottlenecks usually experienced within the pharmacy and allows for more efficient utilization of support staff.
OnDemand incorporates bar code verification for an extra measure of security. Pharmacies of all sizes can use OnDemand to reduce their medication inventory and improve the pharmacy cash flow.
Unlike other automated packaging systems, Omnicell has automation options that provide flexibility for the pharmacy, including solutions that allow for a variety of packaging options to serve various customer needs, including standard blister cards, unit dose blisters, reclaimable blister cards, and the OptiPak system.
Multiple Medication Adherence Packaging
In an effort to expand their business, many pharmacies are looking to service alternative markets such as ALFs, group homes, and community patients by offering multimed adherence packaging. If you are currently servicing multimed customers with manual packaging, but cannot take on any more business or find that your current method of packaging is straining your existing resources, now is the time to look into multimed packaging automation. Adopting multimed automation, allows a pharmacy to maintain accuracy levels while bringing on new business without the need to hire and train new staff.
Consider More Than the Benefits of Multimed Automation. Consider the Effectiveness of the Packaging.
While there are many multimed products on the market, the final packaged product needs to be a key factor in your decision making process as well.
- How easy is it for patients to understand which medications they should take and when?
- Can the patient or the caretaker determine at-a-glance if a time pass was already taken?
- Is the packaging presented in such a way that it is overwhelming and confusing or is it easy to understand?
- Does the packaging provide ample space for the medications and printed medication information on a single blister or does a single time pass need to be apportioned into multiple containers?
Simplicity is critical when considering multimed packaging. According to a national survey among U.S. adults, forgetfulness and confusion account for 27% of poor medication adherencei. Patients and caretakers need an easy way to ensure medications are not missed or doubled. Omnicell has created a multiple medication adherence packaging system organized by time-of-day and day-of-the-week. This easy-to-follow design provides visual reinforcement of what to take and when, and it is provenii to help patients take the right medications at the right time. Learn more.
Omnicell offers several OnDemand Automation systems:
Single Dose Automation
Omnicell AccuFlex®- uses robotic technology to accurately and efficiently fill a variety of single-dose blister cards and unit dose foils.
Omnicell Express II™- optimizes robotic technology for high-speed and accurate fulfillment of single-dose blister cards and reclaimable packaging
OnDemand® 400 accurately dispenses multiple medications into a single compartment of a medication adherence package
i Data analysis of a March 2005 Harris Interactive Poll, n = 2,507
ii Effect of a pharmacy care program on medication adherence and persistence, blood pressure, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol: a randomized controlled trial. Lee JK, et al, JAMA, December 6 2006 Vol 296, No. 21