One would be hard-pressed to find an adult who has never taken a prescription medication at some point in their lives. Perhaps it was prescribed for an acute or ongoing condition, administered in the emergency room, or given during a surgical procedure. According to Kaiser Family Foundation, a global leader in the pharmaceutical arena, U.S. pharmacies dispensed nearly 3.8 billion medications in 2011 alone. Sales that same year totaled roughly $227 billion. Those numbers when laid out in black in white are, quite simply, astounding. With the population living longer and becoming increasingly debilitated by disease, it stands to reason that pharmaceutical use will likely increase. In turn, the rising pressure on pharmacy staffs worldwide to keep up with demand will create an even greater need for streamlined dispensary processes.

While some pharmacy procedures may never naturally align with an automated process, there are several tasks that do respond well. This process, called pharmacy automation, utilizes technology like pill counters and web-based, real-time inventory and database programs. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are relieved of some of the more mundane or repetitive tasks, freeing up time to focus on more pressing, intricate issues. Productivity increases are realized while administrative costs and wait times diminish.

Smaller pharmacies or hospitals may have limited funding to initiate the automation process. However, with some further research, pharmacy leaders can implement automation simply with the purchase of a pill counter. With the various counters on the market, each operation should be able to find an affordable pill counter for their budget and volume needs.

Lastly, pharmacies will need to take the initiative to educate their staffs about the counters. The newest, technologically advanced pill counters utilize a database containing average piece weights (APW) for each drug. Instead of a technician manually counting out 30 pills of a prescription beta-blocker, the database registers the cumulative weight of the pills based on that drug's APW to determine if the quantity is correct. Accurate and efficient, production rates soar when this method is initiated. While the database will require ongoing monitoring, the value of the efficiencies to be gained is significantly greater than the necessary upkeep.

Torbal has several affordable prescription balances and scales to accommodate any pharmacy operation. Please contact us for personalized assistance.