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The Benefit of Pharmacy Automation During a Pandemic

Posted by Caitlin Taylor

Oct 27, 2020 9:00:31 AM


Since the pandemic first took hold around the world, maintaining good hygiene has been one of the enduring guidelines for staying healthy. We’ve all made practices like frequent handwashing, wearing a mask, and maintaining a six-foot distance and limiting contact from others part of our everyday lifestyle with the hope that they will prevent COVID-19 from spreading. As businesses that are essential to their communities’ health, pharmacies have had to take extra precaution to keep their patients and
employees safe.

The CDC has advised pharmacies to minimize time customers spend on the premises and limit contact between and staff and patients as much as possible. With the high business volume that pharmacies see, it can be difficult to get customers in and out of the pharmacy quickly with their questions answered and everything they need. During a time when safety and hygiene are the top priority, pharmacy automation can be a key factor towards maintaining a healthy environment in the pharmacy.



Time Saving 

Of the many guidelines that have been put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, keeping a safe distance from others may be one of the most important and most difficult to maintain. If a pharmacy is busy, it’s difficult to get people in and out quickly and efficiently while still providing them with good service. Pharmacy automation can save pharmacy staff time, allowing customers to spend less time in public in contact with others.

Reconstituting medications is a unique task in the pharmacy workflow that often leads to customers standing around waiting. Unlike prescriptions for pills and tablets, reconstituted medications can’t be filled ahead of time. They must be reconstituted when the customer arrives to pick them up. During a pandemic when people are being encouraged to spend less time in businesses, automating reconstitution can help reduce customers’ wait time. A pharmacy water dispenser can reduce the time needed to reconstitute a medication from minutes to mere seconds. That’s less time a customer must spend waiting in the pharmacy in contact with pharmacy employees and other customers.



Reduced contact

During the pandemic, businesses have also been taking care to sanitize surfaces to reduce the risk of virus transmission. With how busy pharmacies get during the cough, cold, and flu season, surfaces behind the counter like workstations, keyboards, and phones become high-touch areas that need to be sanitized. Using pharmacy automation supplies streamlines processes in the pharmacy, often eliminating extra supplies that would need to be sanitized after use.

Pharmacy automation also helps pharmacy employees reduce contact with materials in the pharmacy. Typically, reconstituting medications is an involved process that would require a pharmacy employee to measure the water needed from a gallon of distilled water using a graduate. Pharmacy water dispensers allow pharmacy employees to reconstitute medications efficiently with far less contact. Instead of handling the extra supplies needed for manual reconstitution, the pharmacy employee only comes in contact with the easy-to-clean screen of the pharmacy water dispenser.


The COVID-19 pandemic has not been an easy time for pharmacy employees or their customers. Social distancing measures and extra cleaning procedures while necessary, add another layer of stress to an already busy environment. Automating processes in the pharmacy like medication reconstitution can help make being in the pharmacy safer and easier. 


Topics: Pharmacy Trends


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