Pills and Pixels: Simplifying Medicine with Automated Prescription Filling

In a world where technology touches every aspect of our lives, it’s no surprise that even our pharmacies are getting a tech makeover. Enter Automated Prescription Filling—a game changer in the way pharmacies operate, making getting your medication faster, safer, and more reliable. Let’s break it down into simple terms and discover how this innovation is transforming the pharmacy as we know it.

Understanding the Automated Prescription Filling Process:


  • The Journey Begins: Streamlined Data Input

What Happens: The automated prescription filling process kicks off when a doctor sends a prescription electronically to the pharmacy, or a patient submits a physical prescription that the pharmacy staff then enters into the system. This digital entry marks the prescription’s first step into an intricate, highly efficient process.

The Impact: Consider the precision of digital communication systems, which virtually eliminate the errors common in manual transmissions. A report by the Center for Information Technology Leadership estimated that electronic prescribing systems could prevent up to 85% of medication errors. This initial step ensures that every detail, from the drug’s name to the dosage and frequency, is accurately captured in the pharmacy’s digital system.

  • The Safety Net: Integration with Medical Records

What Happens: Once the prescription is digitized, it’s automatically cross-referenced with the patient’s electronic health records (EHR). This step is crucial for identifying potential drug interactions, allergies, or other contraindications that could harm the patient.

The Impact: Imagine a scenario where a patient, let’s call her Emily, is allergic to a specific medication, but that detail might have been overlooked in a manual check. The automated system instantly flags this allergy, preventing a potentially dangerous situation. Studies have shown that integrating prescription systems with EHR can reduce adverse drug events significantly, making medication safer for patients like Emily.

The Heart of Automation: The Automated System Springs into Action

What Happens: Sophisticated algorithms then take over to validate the prescription against the patient’s medical history in real-time. This step checks for dosage accuracy, drug interactions, and adherence to treatment guidelines.

The Impact: It’s akin to a highly advanced, real-time data analysis system that can detect anomalies in vast datasets within seconds. Pharmacies report a drastic reduction in dispensing errors, with some noting a 70% decrease in mistakes, ensuring patients receive the right medication at the right dose.

Optimized Inventory Management

What Happens: The system automatically checks if the prescribed medication is in stock, managing the pharmacy’s inventory efficiently. If a drug is running low, the system can prompt reordering, ensuring that essential medications are always available.

The Impact: This is similar to just-in-time inventory practices used in manufacturing, which have been shown to reduce waste and increase efficiency. For pharmacies, this means improved service to patients, with medications readily available when they are needed, minimizing wait times and avoiding treatment delays.

Precision and Safety in Dispensing


What Happens: The automated dispensing technology accurately counts pills or measures liquids, ensuring that patients receive the exact dosage prescribed by their healthcare provider.

The Impact: Think of this precision like a highly skilled chef measuring ingredients to ensure the perfect flavor balance. In pharmacy terms, it translates to patients receiving the correct amount of medication, crucial for the efficacy of their treatment. Errors in dosage can lead to ineffective treatment or adverse reactions, but automation reduces this risk significantly.

Secure Packaging and Labeling

What Happens: Once the medication is dispensed, it’s securely packaged and labeled with the patient’s name, medication name, dosage instructions, and any necessary warnings.

The Impact: This meticulous approach is akin to the careful packaging of consumer electronics, where every component, from the device to the instruction manual, is clearly and securely packaged. In the pharmacy, such labeling ensures that patients understand how to take their medication correctly, enhancing safety and efficacy.

The Human Touch: Pharmacist Oversight

What Happens: Despite the advanced automation, a pharmacist conducts a final review of the prescription before it’s handed over to the patient. This step ensures that the automated processes have correctly interpreted and filled the prescription.

The Impact: This is comparable to a pilot manually checking the autopilot settings before takeoff. Even with the most advanced systems, human expertise is irreplaceable for ensuring safety and accuracy. Pharmacists bring a critical layer of oversight, using their knowledge and experience to catch any potential issues before they reach the patient.

    “Automation is cost-effective and provides a layer of predictability that can streamline processes and improve overall efficiency.” – Bill Gates

    Why It’s a Game Changer

    • Safety and Accuracy:  By minimizing human intervention, automated prescription filling significantly reduces the margin for error. This proactive approach enhances patient safety by virtually eliminating instances of incorrect dosage or medication mix-ups.
    • Efficiency: The streamlined workflow facilitated by automation expedites the prescription filling process. What once might have taken hours can now be accomplished within minutes, enhancing overall efficiency and convenience for both patients and pharmacy staff.
    • Pharmacist Availability: With the burden of routine tasks alleviated, pharmacists can redirect their focus towards providing personalized care to patients. This shift fosters deeper interactions, allowing pharmacists to address inquiries, offer medication counseling, and provide invaluable support tailored to individual needs. Ultimately, it cultivates a more patient-centric healthcare experience, where attention to detail and empathy reign supreme.

    Conclusion: The Future of Pharmacy

    The automated prescription filling process embodies the integration of technology and healthcare, aiming to improve patient outcomes, enhance safety, and streamline pharmacy operations. Through each step of this process, from initial data input to the final pharmacist check, automation plays a pivotal role in ensuring that patients receive the right medication, at the right time, in the right dose. This technological advancement not only represents a significant leap forward for pharmacies but also marks an evolution in the broader landscape of healthcare, where precision, efficiency, and patient safety are paramount.

    Comments Section:

    We’d love to hear your thoughts! How do you feel about the integration of technology in healthcare, specifically in pharmacies? Share your experiences or any concerns you might have below.


    Automated Prescription Filling, Pharmacy Technology, Healthcare Innovation, Medication Safety, Pharmacy Efficiency

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    How Automation is Making Inventory Management an Efficient Yet Effortless Process

    Inventory management forms the heart of all the manufacturing and allied activities – procuring the raw material, converting it into the final offering by the firm, determining optimum stock levels, and reorder quantities. The optimum level of inventory, at a given point, avoids under- and over-investment of funds and resources. An efficient inventory management system is crucial to saving firms from stock-shocks and losing customers.

    Role of RPA in Inventory Management

    Inventory management includes a series of repetitive tasks across various departments with a mostly transactional nature. Automating, with better coordination among the various departments, reduces redundancy, duplication of work and saves time and effort.

    With automation of inventory management, oversights in determining optimum reorder levels, quantities, and delays are eliminated. An automatic system continuously monitors the stock levels, provides day-to-day data on usage rates of various stock items, notifies, and orders when the levels go below the safety-mark.

    It analyzes the average daily consumption of raw-materials and adjusts the reorder levels according to the market demand. It determines an optimum stock level by regularly calculating turnover ratios and time period.

    Increased levels of transparency help the organization to rectify the stock levels at any time and evaluate present requirements. It is a stable system that gets updated continuously which makes it simpler and easier for the organizations to absorb market shocks and adapt to a dynamic external working environment.

    How Inventory Automation benefits SMEs?

    For SMEs, with limited free funds, an over-investment in inventory results in a huge opportunity cost as well as carrying and holding costs of the excessive stock. An under-investment, on the other hand, can distort the entire manufacturing process thereby not catching up with the market demand and ultimately losing its customers.

    The SMEs, in their growth phase, manually maintaining and monitoring an increasing data on sales, finished goods, WIPs, raw materials, parts, and components, etc. is not an easy task, it more than often results in inaccuracies and mismanagement.

    Integrating the inventory management automation system with the firm’s EPR eliminates the need for manual recording and stock-taking by developing a separate database for each of the stock and produce and updating the change in their levels as and when it happens.

    How does it work?

    It develops and maintains databases for different departments. The automation system keeps accessing the databases of different departments – sales, purchase, production- modifying the re-stocking levels according to the needs of the departments.

    Once the stock levels are reduced below the threshold, the automation system kicks in the procurement process. It generates requirement details, sends it to the concerned department for approval, places the order for purchase, collects the invoice from the vendor, and updates the payables account.

    The automation system, while ordering the stock, goes through and analyzes all the options available to the firm and identifies the lowest price at which the inventories can be re-ordered. It keeps on evaluating the various lag-periods to determine the time duration that is most cost-effective for re-ordering.

    Market research shows firms that have adopted the automation system have effectively reduced their inventory processing time. The time taken for completion of each operating cycle is down by 20% and the entire inventory processing time has been reduced by 70-72%. It also reports, these firms have nearly zeroed the losses incurred due to delays and discrepancies in reorders. The firms with automation have reported zero line stoppages.

    An automated inventory management system makes the firm more efficient and organized. Here is how it does it.
    Eliminating Mundane Manual tasks:

    The process of inventory involves many mundane manual tasks including stock-taking, making purchase orders, updating data on raw materials, finished goods, spare parts, etc., which are prone to human errors The automated system takes over these tasks, executes without any inaccuracies, and on time, and releases much of the human resource blocked in the process.

    Efficient coordination:

    The process requires a lot of external and internal communication and coordination. The system is integrated with the operating system of the firm, it coordinates the demand and requirement for various inventories at various production and sales levels. Automation, also, communicates with the vendor, supplier, and end customers, resolve their queries instantaneously, and collects feedback.


    Since automation is able to determine an exact stock level required to keep the business functional, it reduces over-stocking thereby cutting down on the warehousing and holding or carrying costs of the inventories. It also avoids under-stocking and hence, zero or negligible costs are incurred in terms of customer or goodwill loss.

    Selecting the right seller:

    An automation system thoroughly analyzes the various alternatives available to the firm and picks the seller that asks for the least price. It lists the vendors, gets quotations, matches the offering to the requirements of the firm, checks for hidden costs, if any, and selects the right seller to place the order.

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    Why Accounts Payable Automation a key game changer to the success of Mid-Size Businesses?

    The current tools required to optimize and automate Accounts Payable (AP) are designed to accommodate the objectives and challenges of larger enterprises. As a result, small to mid-sized enterprises, with annual revenue ranging from $1 Million to $100 Million, are left with limited options. They are more than often reduced to patching together a series of disparate tools, to address the issue. These strategies have limited advantages. Primarily companies use a method to minimize the data entry job to a single pain point.

    Managing Accounts Payable (AP) is a costly and tedious process that requires accuracy and regularity. The Automation of Account Payables provides for a simple yet effective way to manage the AP while cutting down on back-office costs and manual errors.

    The real advantages of a completely integrated and controlled AP system, though, go far beyond an optimal data entry system. AP Automation guarantees rigorous supervision, simpler authorizations, strategic transfers, and access to transactional data in real-time. Thus, financial practitioners will take quick and optimal decisions for the bottom line of their company.

    With the present-day advancements, automation technology has caught up to the specific needs of SMEs. They are no longer deprived of the advantages of an efficient and mature AP state. Robust AP technologies and systems to serve the needs of a mid-size business are now available. They also provide efficiency gains and control enhancement functionality to optimize the results.

    Mid-sized firms already enjoying the benefits of AP Automation

    Some have just entered this sphere while some others are still stuck with erroneous and expensive manual processes. However, given the advantages and effectiveness of the automating solutions more and more firms are steadily integrating these solutions in their daily operations ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning).

    Front Runners

    Many firms have digitized the maximum proportions of their invoices. These are the front-runners in AP Automation management. They use cloud-based automation solutions that ensure accuracy in financial statements, reduction in fraudulence and embezzlements, freedom from manual errors, and cost-efficiency.


    Next comes the followers, these firms have done partial digitization of the invoices and continue to have a decent percentage of paper invoices as well. Such organizations do not have a well structured and functional automated AP workflow. At most, they have adopted elementary automating solutions such as an invoice registering tool, e-payment tools, etc..


    There are, still, some firms that are purely manual-labor intensive and have little or no automation. They are dependent on human-driven processes to manage their AP. These are the beginners and they undertake massive paperwork, manual entry of invoices, and book-keeping. Such firms are prone to human error and bias at multiple levels and processes. Fraudulence, an error of omissions and commissions, delay in payments, and distorted recording to the accounts payable is also seen

    The manual recording and discharging of accounts payable result in discrepancies with the supplier’s and vendors’ portfolios, delays in payments, and lower early-payment discount benefits.

    Current Scenario

    While the front-runners can reap the maximum benefits of the AP automation, the followers avail lesser benefits and aren’t as efficient as the firms which have completely automated the process of AP management. The beginners are yet to start benefiting from the automation technology and are still struggling with the drawbacks of manual AP management processes.

    Recent market analysis shows that 42 % of the SMEs are still at the Beginner’s level in terms of AP automation while less than 10% makes it to the Front-Runner’s level. It has been observed, the overall cost of managing the accounts payable reduces concerning the increase in the automation levels of its management. (Figure 1)

    Figure 1. Shows the statistical difference between beginners, followers, and front runners.

    How to make a high-rewarding investment in AP automation?

    The investment in automation technology, like any other, is made post-measuring a bankable ROI. It involves strategic-level decision making. An assured high-percentage return on investment is crucial for Small and Medium-sized businesses as they have fewer resources and small-irregular inflows of investment. It becomes a key issue for SMEs to analyze and invest in the most rewarding automation technology avenues.

    Here is a detailed check-list for SMEs on what to look, while investing in an AP automation system :

    Compatibility with the existing ERP

    The operations and administrations of SMEs are mostly inter-woven in a well-developed Enterprise Resource Planning System. AP management is also an integrated part of this system. The new AP automation technology should be compatible with the existing EPR system and should complement its working. A complete revamping and re-organizing of existing workflow would disrupt the financial and functional soundness of the SMEs. Hence, while evaluating various alternatives, an SME should look for EPR compatibility and integrating features of the AP automation technology.

    Establishing an analyzed business case for the adoption of AP automation

    Before adopting the AP automation management system, the firm should assess the current position of their payable levels. the current cost incurred in the entire AP management process, and the time consumed should also be considered. This helps SMEs in deciding the end objective of adopting AP automation. Increased visibility, reduced back-office costs, and elimination of manual errors are some of the benefits of AP automation that make a strong case for its adoption.

    A ‘firm-friendly’ solution provider

    The SMEs investing in AP automation solutions should be cautious while choosing a solution provider. Many solution providers offer AP automation services. A firm should go for a solution provider who ensures a tailor-made option. It should be customized to fulfill the requirements of the firm and takes into account all its limitations. Few of them are size, space, turnover, existing technical infrastructure, and feasibility. SMEs should look for service providers who provide ‘firm-friendly’ automation solutions after assessing the internal and external environment in which the firm operates.

    For the efficient and smooth running of the businesses, automation of repetitive and regular tasks is a must. This helps firms to reduce huge costs in terms of resources, monetary, human, and time. Hence, a necessity to survive the competition. Management of Accounts Payable is one such task, making it’s automation highly recommended.

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    Work from Home-Adjusting to the new normal


    Productivity is one of the most trending topics these days. People who work from home continually are dealing with change in workplace settings as well as a lot of anxiety related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. There are couple of things an organization can do to ensure employees remain engaged and productive in this new context.


    Considering the amount of confusion and rising fear due to corona virus, workers will be on-edge more than normal. From anxiety to apathy, a wide variety of emotions are on display. Let them know it is okay. Explain the company plan, let them have a mental break from everything if they need to, be open about the current state of the company and what the coming months will look like. When you are aware of what may happen, you can plan for it. As a leader, a voice of reason and composure would better reassure the team. The more empathy, gratitude, and understanding, you can show the more opportunity you will have to calm you team down and the better they can do their job.

    Set and work towards practical goals

    The lack of control over the ongoing situation brings stress to your employees who may eventually fall in a state of learned helplessness, meaning the belief that, they can do nothing because everything is out of their hands. Operating with clear goals not only brings productivity, can be a helpful distraction from nervous thinking and builds a sense of self-efficacy — the idea you can achieve your goals.

    Touchbase with your team daily

    Schedule formal, daily virtual meetings with your team to check-in and check-out every day and make sure everyone is aligned and on target.  On a less formal basis, one can send messages to the team member asking about their well being and if there is any place where help is required. These touch points make sure everyone is connected and ready to function.

    Promote self-care

    Encourage team members to take time out to relax, exercise, and generally indulge in something that calms and rejuvenates their heart, mind, body, and spirit. Such exercises keep everyone balanced.

    Augment your workforce

    During this transition from workplaces to home offices, there will be a drop in efficiency. With so much going on around us, keeping up with boring, mundane activities is harder, people will make mistakes and get distracted easily.

    Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tools can mimic the interactions of humans with computer to perform daily office tasks like extracting information from invoices or contracts and entering data into spreadsheets or CRM system such as Salesforce, freeing employees to perform more exciting cognitive tasks. Productivity goes up and costs come down.

    Want to learn more about exciting opportunities RPA can bring? Let’s get in touch!

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