Innovative Pharmacy Solutions…from our customers
Posted on August 23, 2017
By KJ Delaney, Application Consultant
As an Application Consultant, I get to travel across the United States and Canada. I get to visit all sorts of hospitals and pharmacy sites. I get to meet new people, and visit with old acquaintances. From time to time I get to teach them. But on one of my last visits, a customer taught me something; something about an innovative pharmacy solution.
I found myself in St. Claire, Missouri a few weeks back, visiting Medicine Shoppe. I was meeting with Marty Hinterlong, the owner and lead pharmacist. Medicine Shoppe has been a customer of ours for a number of years. Marty is an early adopter and a huge proponent of pharmacy technology. Since 2006, he’s been connecting our vial filling devices together. He started by pairing his FastFill 200 and FastFill 64 solutions. His reliance on technology is more customer focus, “anything that I can do to help me focus on the customer is what I want.” One other point he wanted to make was, “I need our technology to be cost efficient for both me and especially my customers.” The customer focus is what is driving him. The automation that he is using and manipulating is helping to achieve customer satisfaction.
Currently, the site has both a FastFill 220 and a FastFill 54. What he is doing differently than other customers is that he is using them both together, as one product. In the FastFill 220, he has his fast moving medications, the way most sites do. But he also has a FastFill 54, which houses his narcotics and larger tablets. The FastFill 54’s efficiency is due to the larger canister capacity. With the inclusion of the FastFill 54 for the CII controlled substances, the site is able to automate 80% of its volume.
The difference is, with his help and our interface engineering team, he married the two products together with only one interface. The way it works is that when he sends an order over to the 220, it will look in the product database. If it cannot find the product, it will send the same interface message over to the FastFill 54. The new order will then show up on the FastFill 54 screen. There is just one interface for two systems. So, Medicine Shoppe has the only FastFill 274, anywhere! Marty believed when he first saw the FastFill 54, “mirror these two together where they work basically the same.” The inclusion of the FastFill 54 is due to the lockable canisters and larger canister capacity. This technology is assisting Marty and his staff to do their work efficiently. This will allow them to focus more on the customer.
Marty also provided some feedback for both fellow pharmacy sites, as well as some tips that we at ARxIUM will use for future products. First, for the pharmacy, “don’t look at how many orders you do before you decide to invest into technology. If you do 100 a day, you should have at least some sort of automation. Start small and grow, because you start to think outside of the box and learn what is out there for your next growth level, which will come if you are efficient.” For us at ARxIUM, “repetition should be automated.” One other thought that he brought up that he is constantly looking at is, “where is my system jamming up?” These simple statements will actually help you when you decide what you, the consumer needs to purchase for efficiency, as well as what we here at ARxIUM need for even more customer focus.
I looked up the definition of innovative: (Of a product, idea, etc.) featuring new methods; advanced and original, (Of a person) introducing new ideas; original and creative in thinking. I feel that with the help of our customers, and a special thanks to Marty and the Medicine Shoppe staff, that path is endless.
With our focus on customers, I feel that it is only right to include you on what we need next. I want you to look at your repetition and where your bottleneck is. We want to know from the customer, “I wish we had a machine that did this …”, or “wouldn’t it be great if the machine could do that …?” During my visit to Medicine Shoppe, Marty and I had a thought-provoking discussion about just that. It changed the way I looked at pharmacy needs and where our focus should be. If you want to help innovate the automated pharmacy to help you shift your focus more toward your patients, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.. We want to care for your needs, so that you can spend more time on the needs of your patients.
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