With an ever-aging population and rising co-morbidities, prescription volume is increasing year on year. Pharmacies need to evolve and automation in the dispensing process will become inevitable.


Whilst high-end automation and robotics are particularly useful for high-volume pharmacy chains, what could this technology mean for the rest of community pharmacy?


Whether managing MDS trays or dispensing repeat prescription calendar packs, automation offers pharmacies complete control over the process, ensuring compliance and peace of mind. The potential to generate increased output and deliver greater efficiency is without question.


Smart business owners will also spot the opportunity to re-deploy dispensing staff into a customer engagement role that will enhance patient experience, improve health outcomes and deliver a tangible return on investment for the pharmacy.


Positive Solutions has the capability to support spoke and hub distribution, enabling pharmacy groups to explore new operating models. With its Analyst Automation, the specialist pharmacy IT Company has developed an interface to manage both centralised spoke and hub automation and individual robot capabilities. By ensuring a seamless connection between Analyst PMR or Analyst Central Fill and a range of leading pharmacy robots manufacturers, Analyst Automation enables pharmacies to streamline their dispensing process and embrace future technology with minimal upheaval. Integration with this type of technology can significantly improve dispensing efficiency and deliver considerable long-term cost saving benefits.


Positive Solutions Head of Sales and Marketing, Stephen McGee says “Our technology has the potential to handle high volumes of dispensing in community pharmacies and free up the pharmacist to develop and deliver patient-centred services. At Positive Solutions, we’re continually looking to define and refine our automation strategy so we’re very happy to engage with automation manufacturers in order to identify new opportunities for efficiencies in workflow and stock value. Similarly, we’re keen to engage with any pharmacy interested in automation”.


In addition to giving pharmacy more time for greater service implementation, automation also generates efficiency of space with the movement of stock to a single central location. Stock is then liquidated in a short period of time with considerable financial savings and this can contribute to offsetting the cost of the robot within a few years of business.


As newer, smaller and more efficient machines become available, robot use in all sectors of pharmacy is likely to increase. Pharmacy robots have been shown to reduce the incidence of dispensing errors, improve the speed and efficiency of the dispensing process, and optimise use of pharmacy space.


How pharmacies merchandise product is a key part of differentiating from the competition and maximising revenue opportunities. Similarly, automated dispensing machines such as the MethaMeasure system partnered with Positive Solutions, is the most commonly used computerized system for methadone dispensing. It can help speed up pharmacy process without compromising accuracy and safety.

Positive Solutions are constantly identifying next-generation technology solutions to benefit both pharmacist and patient. Pharmaself24, a self-dispensing robot, is the latest partnership solution, designed to free up valuable staff resources and deliver increased convenience to patients. Pharmaself24 is a state-of-the-art prescription dispensing system that eliminates the need to wait for prescriptions. It sets up an automated 24-hour prescription collection point that conveniently notifies the patient to pick up their medicines and online orders and has the capability to accept any payments that may be due. Meanwhile, the pharmacy team is freed to focus on delivering more patient care and health services.


Automation and digital technology gives pharmacy the bandwidth to deliver a more service-oriented offering to the public it serves. “We want to use technology to the advantage of everyone – greater accuracy can be achieved, valuable clinician time is freed up, customer service is improved and patient healthcare gets better”, says Stephen McGee.


Scotland as a market place is very important to Positive Solutions. The Lancashire-based IT provider has formed a long and trusted relationship with the majority of the Scottish pharmacy groups. This professional commitment is underlined by the Company’s continued sponsorship of the Scottish Pharmacy Awards this year. By lending its support to this important event in the Scottish pharmacy calendar, Positive Solutions is recognising the quality and value being delivered every day by this healthcare sector, often with the help of the Company’s specialist IT products and solutions.


The Analyst PMR and Central Fill solutions offers integration to full pack and tray packing robots in partnership with leading robot manufacturers including Willach, BD Rowa, RoboPharma, SynMed, Pharmaself 24, HD Medi, OmniCell, VMI Care and Robotik.


In summarising the Company’s commitment, the Stephen McGee added “this is a great opportunity for us to show Scottish pharmacy just how valuable they are to us and for us to be able to give something back. As a strategic PMR vendor we are very confident about this market and the quality they are delivering to the patients of community pharmacies in Scotland”.


Call 01257 235910 or email solutions@positive-solutions.co.uk to discuss the opportunity of a business process review for your pharmacy and identify opportunities to safeguard the future of your business.