Magazine article Drug Topics

Baker Automation Getting Warmer Welcome by Retail

Magazine article Drug Topics

Baker Automation Getting Warmer Welcome by Retail

Article excerpt

While hospital, managed care, and mail-service pharmacies have enjoyed a long-time romance with automated pharmacy systems, community pharmacies are only starting to show a strong interest in automation. And they are doing so with good reason, according to executives of McKessonHBOC's BakerAPS and SI/Baker units. Both chains and independents need help in managing "the constraints and challenges" that will come with a 40% increase in prescription volume and a 6% increase in available R.Ph. labor over the next five years, noted Mark Sakaniwa, national v.p. of sales and marketing for BakerAPS.

Adding to the heightened interest in pharmacy automation is the growing emphasis on reducing and preventing medication errors. "The more you can take human labor out of the actual filling or counting process, the fewer errors you're going to have," Sakaniwa continued. The bottom line is that automation allows a pharmacy to process the same number of prescriptions with fewer pharmacists or fill more prescriptions without adding staff, thus minimizing the potential for error. At the same time, it frees the pharmacist to do more patient counseling, he declared.

On the downside, the cost of some systems may be a deterrent to automation usage, conceded Michael L. Jordan, president-CEO of SI/Baker, which provides automated systems to managed care pharmacies, including mail-order firms. However, he thinks a bigger obstacle is resistance to change.

According to Patty Gunn, BakerAPS senior v.p. of retail sales, "sharing information up front" can overcome much of that resistance. She believes retail pharmacies are "more embracive" of automated systems than ever before because of the increased demands of the Rx marketplace.

Sakaniwa agreed that cost is an objection, at least initially, but "when we overlay the cost savings from our system, folks are very open" to the idea of adding automation. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.