PerceptiMed Will Call White Paper (7 of 10)

7   Misplaced Package Search / Retrieval

 

Will Call White Paper: search for Rx bag

Figure 6: multiple pharmacy employees search for a missing prescription.

Locating a misplaced/missing bag is extremely labor intensive and significantly contributes to will call search times.  A will call management system prevents misplaced/missing bags.  A scripClip bag checked into the scripClip system cannot go ‘missing’ providing power is maintained.[1]  As a result, the column in the table for ‘Using scripClip Automation’ shows zero time spent searching for missing bags.  The measured labor savings and improved customer satisfaction levels are significant.

 

The accuracy of misplaced/missing bag rates reported by pharmacists is questionable due to the fact that many pharmacists do not directly monitor their will call operations throughout the day.  They are only informed of a missing prescription when a clerk requests a refill after not locating the prescription.  Anecdotal reports appear to support that pharmacists that have a direct view of their will call area from their work area tend to report more misplaced prescription events.

In this study, the measured time for misplaced packages is separated from the regular search / retrieval times due to the limited misplaced package data.  Due to the lack of consensus regarding what is an ‘average number of misplaced packages’ for any particular pharmacy, no attempt was made to integrate misplaced search times with normal search times from the previous section.

The results in this section clearly demonstrate that adding scripClip automation to will call workflow virtually eliminated all misplaced bags.  Similar results were achieved in a university-pharmacy pilot program using scripClip. The pilot was in operation for over two years and did not report any misplaced bags.

A misplaced/missing bag event usually includes the following actions:

  1. An examination of every bag on one or more rows.
  2. Additional staff members stop and assist in the search.
  3. In cases where the bag is never located, the clerk or technician will involve the pharmacist in refilling the prescription.

Table 4. Misplaced/Lost Bag Search Times

Misplaced Bag Searches
Will Call Without Automation missing bag searches Will Call Using scripClip automation
12:24 (mm:ss) / average search 1 0 sec 2

1 The misplaced/lost bag data (before automation) was limited.  In 5.5 work days, four misplaced bags occurred at a rate of O.7 misplaced bags/day, Staff time to locate bag − shortest interval was 2:36 (mm:ss), longest interval was 27:43 (mm:ss)

2 No misplaced bags under management by the scripClip will call system were reported during the analysis period after scripClip was installed.

[1] The scripClip system continuously monitors bags in will call for battery levels and issues alerts days before battery levels drop to critically low levels.  Also, when a bag is selected for a new prescription, the system performs a battery check and will not allow a bag with a low-level battery to be used.

 

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For a complimentary analysis of your pharmacy’s will call operations, please call PerceptiMed at 650 941 7000 ext. 1.  An experienced pharmacy operations consultant can provide advice on improving your workflow and calculate your expected ROI when implementing will call automation in your pharmacy.