How to Improve Pharmacy Workflow


How to Improve Pharmacy Workflow for Greater Efficiency

Increasing efficiency and reducing operational costs can be critical factors for pharmacy profitability. An efficient workflow for your pharmacy practice can also impact overall levels of stress and satisfaction amongst both pharmacy operations staff and patients.1 Pharmacy employees often find they are spending most of their time addressing insurance issues, physician callbacks, and urgent requests; these tasks increase workload without adding revenue.2

Taking steps to improve pharmacy workflow can mitigate the tendency towards chaos, alleviate pressure in the working environment and generate better profits.3 Increasing pharmacy workflow automation and maximizing the physical pharmacy operations workspace using options like parcel lockers can have a significant positive impact by facilitating easier staff and patient exchanges. In turn, this helps alleviate the pressure in a busy yet critically important work environment of a pharmacy practice.

Why is Efficiency Important for Pharmacies?

Increased efficiency is an integral part of enhancing productivity and providing higher-quality patient care and better customer service. An efficient workflow also helps ensure that pharmacy staff are reliably and effectively filling prescriptions and providing meaningful patient care while maintaining a sustainable business model.4 Some of the specific benefits of improving pharmacy workflows include:

  • More filled prescriptions – More efficient workflows mean that staff can fill more prescriptions and patients can pick up their prescriptions sooner. This helps pharmacies build trust with patients, as they can expect their prescriptions will be filled promptly.
  • More staff satisfaction – Bottlenecks in pharmacy workflows are a source of frustration for both staff and patients. Removing barriers and streamlining procedures means that staff can get more done, more efficiently – and often in less time.
  • Happier patients – Today’s consumers have high expectations and expect convenience in every aspect of their lives. This is especially the case when it comes to essentials like medication. Faster and more efficient prescription fulfillment means patients can get the medicine they need to feel better and return to their day-to-day routines sooner.

Ways to Improve Pharmacy Workflow

Investing time and energy in improving pharmacy workflows can significantly improve how work is done as well as the overall patient experience. Pharmacy staff will be happier and so will the patients waiting to receive their medication. Workflow improvements can include increased pharmacy workflow automation and better retail pharmacy space integration, as well as behind-the-counter procedural improvements.5

  • Optimize the physical workspace – Design and execute an organized process that improves workflow from prescription arrival to filling, verification, bagging, and hand-off to the patient. For example, prescription drop-offs can be placed in color-coded baskets based on priority, with specific baskets used for those requiring a physician call-back or an insurance resolution.6
  • Streamline movement in the pharmacy – How many steps must technicians and pharmacists take to complete a prescription? Is there any way to bring the work closer to the worker by moving workstations closer together?7 Map out the workflow route and, if possible, ensure all employees have the tools they need close at hand.
  • Staff the pharmacy appropriately – There should always be one technician prioritizing and entering prescriptions. There should also be at least one production and one clinical pharmacist on-site. Each certified pharmacist needs to have a different personality type and skill-set, with one verifying prescriptions and the other concentrating on handling patient care.8
  • Focus on automation – Consider automation to support pharmacy staff.  Visual and auditory aids, pharmacy software like script automation, and smart parcel lockers can all help streamline pharmacy workflows, increase efficiency, and speed up the prescription fulfillment process.

Automating Prescription Pick-Up with Smart Parcel Lockers

Improving workflow, efficiency and the patient experience while protecting the bottom line is a top priority for pharmacy owners. With Parcel Pending smart parcel lockers, pharmacists can effectively streamline prescription pick-up while maintaining the chain of custody.

When a prescription is placed in the smart locker, the system uses the patient’s preferred notification method (i.e., email or text notification) to let them know that their order is ready for pickup. The patient then collects the order using a secure, 6-digit pin. Parcel Pending also offers a signature-required option on collection to ensure order security and provide full chain-of-custody visibility for each prescription pick-up.

A smart locker system can significantly improve operational efficiency, allowing pharmacy staff to focus on patient care and reduces operating costs by channeling valuable staff efforts to where they are needed most. Smart lockers can serve as a contactless collection and drop-off for patients and clinics. They also improve the patient experience by enabling a self-service collection and drop-off process.9

The smart locker’s durable, stainless steel construction keeps items safe from damage and theft, and the sleek design immediately enhances any indoor or outdoor retail pharmacy space.

Find out how Parcel Pending by Quadient smart parcel lockers can improve pharmacy workflows, staff efficiency, and patient satisfaction for your location(s). Contact one of our package management experts today.


  1. Telepharm. 3 Tips to Improve Your Retail Pharmacy Workflow.
  2. Grove RPh, D. Pharmacy Work Flow: Improving Efficiency. www. May 18, 2015.
  3. Ibid.
  4. RAO Information Technology. Major Tips To Improve Pharmacy Workflow. February 22, 2022.
  5. RPH On the Go. 3 Tips to Improve Your Retail Pharmacy Workflow. October 13, 2022.
  6. Grove RPh, D. Pharmacy Work Flow: Improving Efficiency. www. May 18, 2015.
  7. PBA Health. Improve Pharmacy Workflow in 6 Simple Steps. October 3, 2018.
  8. RAO Information Technology. Major Tips To Improve Pharmacy Workflow. February 22, 2022.
  9. Parcel Pending by Quadient. Parcel Lockers in Healthcare: Bringing security and convenience to the forefront.