Automation for Independent Pharmacies Increases Net Profit and Sustainability

Are you looking to spend more time with patients and give individualized care and better service while adding to the bottom line? One way to do this is through the use of technology.

As the role of an independent pharmacist has evolved from someone who just fills prescriptions to a trusted advisor, counselor and provider of healthcare services, the need to utilize technology to streamline operational processes becomes more pressing.

Technology can reduce the amount of time spent on manual processes such as counting and filling. Pharmacists can spend more time counseling patients to ensure they understand medications and dosage and to help increase medication adherence. With extra time, pharmacists can further help their customers by synchronizing medications (providing all medications to a patient at the same time each month) which will help with adherence.

Available Technology

There are many technologies which can be incorporated into an independent pharmacy to increase net profits and add value to the business, including:

  • Pharmacy management workflow software
  • Automated pharmacy dispensing systems
  • Compliance packaging
  • ePA (electronic prescription prior authorization)
  • Telepharmacy systems

Is it Time to Automate?

While it’s difficult to go wrong increasing the efficiency of your business, investing in technology is expensive. Deciding when the time is right may seem daunting, but any of the factors listed below can signal it’s time to pull the trigger.

  • An increase in customer complaints due to long wait times
  • Lost business due to inefficiencies
  • Employees quitting
  • Sudden increase in business due to the closing of a competing pharmacy
  • An increase in prescription volume
  • The occurrence of dispensing errors

Each serves as a reason to start researching automation systems and consider investing in one or more technologies.

Impact of Automation on Net Profit

Purchasing technology such as automated dispensing systems with integrated pharmacy management software can increase net profit by reducing the number of staff and overtime hours.

More information can be found in a cost-benefit analysis done by the American Society for Automation in Pharmacy (ASAP) in 2014. The analysis shows the cost that pharmacies incur in the use of technology and how it improves patient safety and adherence and reduces fraud and abuse.


With the role of pharmacists evolving from dispensing and filling to counseling and helping patients take charge of their health, it may be time to incorporate automation into your business. In addition to allowing you to focus more on patient care, which will lead to better medication outcomes and adherence, you may be able to increase net profit. This serves as a win/win for both you and your customers.

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