Prescription Assembly Solutions – delivering efficiencies to enable better patient care

Danny McNally, head of prescription assembly solutions at Celesio UK, explains how investment in new technology is benefiting patients.

The world of healthcare is changing and pharmacy must be prepared to adapt and move forward in order to better serve their communities.

The needs of our patients and the needs of the NHS aren’t the same as they were 10 – 20 years ago, but it’s still our job to meet those needs. That’s why we are committed to thinking differently and pushing the boundaries of pharmacy. Our sector must move away from traditional dispensing models and develop a robust, efficient process which is fit for the future of pharmacy.

At Celesio UK, we’re passionate about enhancing the role of pharmacists and a key enabler of this is our innovative Prescription Assembly Solutions (PAS) initiative.

PAS is essentially an automated system for assembling prescriptions. It fulfils prescriptions off-site at large hubs and then delivers complete patient orders locally, to community pharmacies. In the future, it will also be able to deliver to hospitals, prisons and mental health trusts. Taking this task out of pharmacy drives efficiency in the dispensary and frees up extra time for the pharmacy teams to offer more individual, patient-centric care.

We’re already seeing the benefits that technology like this can offer both community pharmacy and its patients. Removing this repetitive chore from the dispensary results in even higher accuracy and ensures pharmacists can devote much more of their time to interacting with patients and adding real value to their health wellbeing.

The reality is that we’re living through a particularly challenging time for community pharmacy, due to increasing financial pressures and evolving patient needs. As a result, pharmacies have had to stretch and increase capacity to meet new expectations. Pharmacy operators are being asked to deliver more for less and everyone is searching for solutions that will help to ease the burden.

The essence of PAS is that it is an enabler for highly skilled pharmacy teams to do more of the things that they’re trained to do, allowing them to have a bigger impact on patient health and wellbeing. It gives teams more hours in the day to spend with patients individually and provide them with relevant advice and services.

We know that closer individual patient interactions lead to better patient outcomes. At the end of the day, it’s a win-win for pharmacy and patients.

Looking to the future, there will be other opportunities where technology can help us become even more efficient. However, we must always keep in mind that our end goal is to deliver better patient care – not just efficiency for the sake of numbers. We want to ensure that pharmacists are able to do what they do best – improve lives – not just picking and bagging prescriptions, but releasing their genius and expertise.