A Guide To Turning Your Pharmacy Count Into An Opportunity For Savings
Pharmacies have the ability to use their inventory data to produce much more than a list of quantities and values. Whether they’re independent or part of a hospital, most pharmacies could be experiencing massive savings, but most don’t realize they already have all the resources necessary.
Choose Ease And Accuracy
Those are the two poles that any business swings between: doing things the easy way VS the right way. The former costs less in time, effort, and actual budget, but the latter costs less in headache down the road.
Pharmacy inventory counts have traditionally inhabited this gray space between the two options. No matter whether you outsource the labor to save yourself the effort or count every pill meticulously by hand, the exercise has to be completed on a regular basis. It’s a necessary evil.
We’d like to propose a third option. You have the ability to get more out of your count than a final tally.
You could be uncovering savings opportunities.
Get More From Expiration
When you count your pharmacy inventory, do you record expiration dates for every item? If you wanted to, could you?
You should make this a priority for a couple of reasons. First: knowing exactly when your medications and other pharmacy supplies are going to expire will help you plan ahead. You’ll have plenty of time to reorder the expiring product and avoid shortages.
Second (and more valuable): you can return expired medication for credit. Pharmacies don’t face the problem of most other links in the healthcare supply chain; your inventory still has some value after the expiration date passes. But the sooner you get that expired inventory back to the manufacturer or distributor, the better.
If you’re not tracking expiration, you can’t prepare for it, and you can’t take advantage of it when it comes.
And you’re missing out on the other ways you can arm yourself with the data you already have to capture.
Optimize Your Inventory
You’ve got all your pharmacy inventory data. You’ve even got information about when your product is going to expire. Great. Now what?
Check for what your inventory level should be, rather than what it always has been. Use AI-backed analytics to model how much product you’ll need to right-size your on-hand inventory. Then do the same thing with other locations - other shelves in the same pharmacy, other pharmacies in the same building, or other buildings completely - so you can see if what you don’t need is exactly what they are about to order.
Okay, fine. Saying it might be slightly easier than doing it.
So you probably want to find a partner who’s already built that technology and used it to achieve savings.
That technology partner should also be able to provide you all the resources that you need to move your unneeded pharmacy supplies – including extremely detailed location information about where your product is now and where it needs to go.
Improve Your Efficiency
At the most basic level, your count should be as minimally disruptive as possible.
If you’ve hired a team to come in and record the data for you, they should be scheduled when it’s least likely to impact regular pharmacy operations. If your staff is going through every bottle themselves, they should have tools that make the process as quick as possible.
Using some kind of barcode scanning device or app is good. Using one that allows you to edit quantities and product info right in the device is better. Using one that allows you to input missing product info and matches your data against an industrywide database is best. And using one that automatically checks the accuracy of your counts and flags suspicious data is… even more best.
Start Saving Now
The inconvenient reality is that you’re going to have to count what’s on your pharmacy shelves, and you or somebody else is probably going to have to keep doing it forever. (Yes, the end of the world has seemed closer than usual lately, but we should probably keep planning on helping people stay healthy till we can’t anymore, right?)
That’s why Z5 Inventory is making all the advanced features of its award-winning app available to pharmacies of every size. Point and scan your product barcodes. Count your quantities using any method you want. Analyze your data automatically for potential errors and savings opportunities.
And do it as often as you want. Annual valuations can be just as easy as monthly expiration sweeps, and both should be able to yield you usable savings results.
Improve your count today.