Hospital pharmacy automation projects often start with the primary goals of increasing patient safety and improving care. The benefits of error reduction and pharmacist time returned to focus on patient care activities have been well measured and documented. While those are key performance indicators when implementing radio frequency identification (RFID) in hospital pharmacies for medication inventory management, there are other important benefits to automation as well. These include improved staff satisfaction, morale and overall well-being. The “softer” benefits might sometimes be overlooked but pharmacist and pharmacy staff satisfaction is incredibly important, not the least of which because happier staff leads to happier and healthier patients.
Improving Pharmacy Staff Satisfaction and Morale by Reducing Manual Workload
According to the Drug Topics 2015 Salary Survey: “A significant number of pharmacists (70.9%) said that they saw an increase in workload” and “Increased work volume was also the top factor listed most often as a reason for increased stress levels.”
RFID automation is extremely effective in reducing manual workload and cutting time spent on repetitive tasks. Automating tasks such as manually counting the drug inventory of kits and trays doesn’t just improve accuracy and safety, it increases efficiency and saves time. In turn, reducing manual, repetitive workload increases morale by empowering pharmacy staff to spend more time doing what they love - taking care of patients.
According to an article in Pharmacy Times “A recent study of practicing pharmacists found that more than 68% experienced job stress and role overload.” The article goes on to say “Among the functions they perceived got short shrift was patient counseling, because they lacked either time or necessary skills.”
By using RFID healthcare technology for kit and tray replenishment, hospitals enable pharmacists and staff to spend more time focused on high value patient care tasks, which not only increases productivity, it enables staff to derive more satisfaction from their work.
Improving Pharmacy Staff Well-Being and Reducing Injuries with Functional Design
Due to the nature of their daily activities and the repetitive actions they undertake, pharmacists and pharmacy staff may experience chronic injuries, such as wrist pain or tendinitis. Chronic injuries result over time from repeated overuse.
According to OSHAcademy Course 360, possible solutions to help prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in pharmacy settings includes: “modification of pharmacy tasks to decrease incidence of work-related MSDs” and providing “ergonomically comfortable work stations.”
At Intelliguard®, our RFID work stations are engineered with human factor ergonomics in mind. The staff-friendly design maximizes comfort and prevents pain and injury. Fold-down desk surfaces and height installation options optimize comfortable, functional use, providing comfort for staff while minimizing physical space requirements for equipment:
- Each workstation includes a fold down desk surface for RFID inventory processing
- The Countertop and Under Counter models are designed to be installed at any height to optimize comfortable, functional use
- Integrated touchscreen computers eliminate keyboard use
Intelliguard® RFID work stations can be easily customized allowing for proper ergonomic use and fitting specific space constraints. According to the Shelf Obsessed blog 6 Tips for Creating a Functional Pharmacy Workflow: “Creating a more functional pharmacy workflow should be an ongoing goal of pharmacy owners, managers, and pharmacists, as these efforts will lead to improved productivity, efficiency, and accuracy. Simple steps like pinpointing inefficiencies such as redundant or unnecessary movements and excessive bending and reaching can make a big difference over the long hours of a working day.” We couldn’t agree more!
Improving Pharmacy Staff Productivity, Efficiency and Satisfaction
Our numerous case studies clearly document the quantitative benefits in time savings and error reduction gained from RFID hospital pharmacy automation. The qualitative benefits come through in the customer comments we receive, such as:
“We were dazzled by the technology and its ease of use. It has taken a very burdensome and time consuming process and made it simple and fun!"
Contact us to learn more about hospital pharmacy RFID automation and how we can help you reduce errors, save time and make work safer and more enjoyable for you and your staff.