Pharmacists’ and pharmacy technicians’ time is stretched thin. In a busy retail pharmacy setting, pharmacists spend a large portion of their time on tasks that can be automated with self-service technology. This can free up pharmacists for more important duties—like filling prescriptions—and improve the patient experience by decreasing wait times.
In the post-pandemic world, we’ve come to rely on pharmacies for vaccines, medications, and quick trips to the store to avoid long lines at supermarkets. We’re already seeing retail pharmacies making strong recoveries after the pandemic and outpacing earnings estimates for 2021.
On the other hand, the increased traffic can be a burden on pharmacy staff and customers, especially when pharmacists are balancing a range of duties outside of verifying and filling prescriptions.
Pharmacists are pulling double-duty
Some of those extra duties include:
- Greeting, routing, and queuing customers
- Answering non-pharmacy-related questions
- Selecting OTC medications and verifying eligibility
- Rx pick-up and drop-off assistance
These additional responsibilities increase the cost of filling prescriptions for retail pharmacies by distracting pharmacists and technicians from their main functions. We know that, on average, it already costs retail pharmacies more than $12 to fill a single prescription. That number skyrockets to over $70 for dispensing specialty drugs.
There are many roadblocks on the path to filling a prescription—some unavoidable. However, retail pharmacies can still reclaim 10% or more of their pharmacists’ and technicians’ time by automating or redirecting many of their patient- and customer-facing tasks to self-service kiosks.
Self-Service kiosks lessen the burden
Self-service kiosks can serve as a patient-facing hub to streamline tasks line:
- Rx pick-up
- Shopping for OTC
- Rewards/membership management
We’ve already seen kiosks work successfully in hospitals and diagnostics laboratories—and they are ubiquitous across retail—so the leap to retail pharmacies is not altogether new.
Self-service kiosk technology has advanced in recent years, making it easier to automate complex workflows like ID and insurance card verification. Further, modular solutions like Aila’s Interactive Kiosk let pharmacies choose the features they need (like checkout and receipt printing), all while easily integrating with their current systems.
Patients benefit too
Self-service has become the preferred service for many consumers at retail stores, airports, testing labs, and other frequented places. According to one study, over 65% of consumers preferred using self-service over interacting with an associate.
There are a range of reasons shoppers and patients might prefer a self-service option over interacting with an associate—whether they’re in a rush and want to avoid lines, or they just don’t feel like talking, self-service provides the option to do it themselves.
Aila’s Interactive Kiosk for self-service pharmacy solutions
The Interactive Kiosk is a versatile, pharmacy-ready solution for check-in, pickup, and in-aisle experiences. Built exclusively for iPadOS, it offers fast, intuitive experiences, support for printers and payment terminals, and a range of mounting options for any environment.
See how the Interactive Kiosk can be used to streamline a range of retail pharmacy experiences:
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