It is tempting to lump all retail pharmacy dispensing robots into the same category. Pharmacy robots perform the same core function: they are a “tech in a box” and automatically fill a high percent of the pharmacy’s daily scripts. The benefits of pharmacy robotic filling technology have been well documented.
For Joshua Sheffield, PharmD and owner of Sheffield’s Prague Pharmacy (Prague, OK), there is one frequently overlooked differentiator: How does the robot vendor support you after the device is installed? In this blog, Mr. Sheffield describes his experience operating the Kirby Lester KL60 pharmacy automation.
“Our KL60 robot fills 50-60% of our total orders. We would be considered a very busy community pharmacy. I need this machine to stay up and keep filling.”
Automated Prescription Filling Machines Need Manual Updates
Any pharmacy robot – no matter what model you operate – will need fine-tuning. Something is going to need fixing whether it is mechanical or software. There will always be updates and upgrades as the technology advances. The big thing to me is how my provider responds when something needs fixing.
That is where I found the Kirby Lester to be most impressive:
- If a robot tech is needed at my pharmacy, they are here usually within a few hours.
- Only once we had to wait for a tech the next day, and that was because we reported the problem at 4pm.
- Only once Kirby Lester needed to order a part because the tech did not have it on him. They have been working with Kirby Lester robots for so long that they anticipate what could be needed.
- Seeing a tech is actually rare. 85% of the time things are handled through their remote software or on the phone. That has been consistent all the years we have owned the Kirby Lester.”
A positive uptime record is one of the many factors that Mr. Sheffield acknowledges makes his KL60 indispensable.
“We rely on electronics to make our life easier. Same thing in my pharmacy. This is a great example of making life easier and more productive. Our robot doesn’t need a lot of babysitting and hand-holding. It is like having an extra employee that does prescription filling for you.”
Pharmacy Automation Demands Streamlined Solutions
Mr. Sheffield is a strong proponent of technology to streamline his business. In fact, his pharmacy’s home page proudly states the intersection of human elements and scientific elements to elevate patient care. “Through technology, hard work, and a family atmosphere, we are redefining the expectations of community pharmacy by providing our customers with the most comprehensive and innovative prescription and wellness programs.”
Read more about Sheffield’s Prague Pharmacy in central Oklahoma at https://www.praguepharmacyrx.com/.