Create a Win-Win Situation: Set Realistic Expectations with Customers to Improve Workflow Efficiency
It’s 4:30 pm on Friday. You haven’t eaten lunch, have four customers waiting to pick up their prescriptions, have a cycle for a facility that needs to go out by 5 pm, and received a new admission with 12 prescriptions that was just discharged from the hospital.
So much for getting out the door by 6 pm!
With reimbursements at an all-time low, increasing prescription numbers and growing your business is extremely important. Here are five tips to ease growing pains and make yourself available for the most pressing situations in your pharmacy.
1. List Hours of Operation
Make sure your hours of operation are clearly listed outside the store and provide business cards with your hours on them. The business cards can be used as appointment cards to get customers in a day or two before they run out of medication. If you are servicing a facility, make sure these hours are posted in a common area—such as by the fax machine—with instructions on what to do after hours.
2. Implement Cut Off Times
Create cut off times for prescriptions. For example, all refill requests sent by 12 pm will be delivered and/or picked up the same day, and all new orders received by 4 pm will be delivered and/or picked up the same day. Anything after that set time frame will be delivered the next day.
3. Establish Policy and Procedure
Have a policy and procedure in place for medication changes and how they should be handled.
4. Prioritize Urgency
Use color coded baskets or totes to prioritize prescriptions by level of urgency. For example, red can be used for customers waiting, white for daily new orders that need to be delivered by closing, green for items that can go out the next day, and blue for cycle medications that should be checked 2-3 days in advance of delivery.
5. Appointment Based Model
If you use the appointment based model to bring retail patients into your Medicine-On-Time business, use this opportunity to discuss the aforementioned tips with customers. Focus on the benefits of utilizing an appointment based model, such as no wait time for service and prescriptions.
If you can incorporate a few of these tips into your daily pharmacy activity, you will find that leaving work on Friday afternoons can be less stressful. You can focus your time on customers out front while someone else completes the new admission.
For more tips and suggestions, please do not hesitate to call Rebecca Lambeth, our Pharmacy Optimization Manager, at 800-722-8824 Ext. 815.