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7 Unexpected Ways to Boost Pharmacy Productivity Immediately

7 Unexpected Ways to Boost Pharmacy Productivity Immediately by Elements magazine |

April 9, 2018

Inside: Learn some surprising tips to achieve the pharmacy productivity you’ve always strived for. Pharmacy owners, pharmacy managers, pharmacists in charge, and even pharmacy tech supervisors can benefit.

Productivity powers businesses.

Gains in productivity result in gains in revenue and profit. But productivity is difficult to achieve and harder to maintain.

It’s easier dreamed than done.

How many days have you woken up full of purpose only to lose it halfway through the day?

Distractions and obstacles confront you constantly. Without going into the day equipped with the right strategies, you’re doomed to falter.

These unexpected tips can help you finally reach the productivity goals you’ve always wanted for your independent community pharmacy.

Whether you’re the owner, pharmacy manager, or pharmacist in charge, get ready to improve pharmacy productivity like a pro.

1. Delegate more

Even if you can do every job in the pharmacy, that doesn’t mean you should.

True productivity isn’t about getting a lot of things done. It’s about getting the most important things done.

When you can’t let go of certain tasks, you sacrifice true productivity.

Let your employees handle more work so you can focus on other tasks.

2. Leave your phone behind

Today we say, “phone.” But it’s a misleading title for what’s really a computer. A handheld computer teeming with disrupting distractions you can pull up anytime, anywhere.

Especially when you’re trying to work. And especially when the work is tedious or menial.

Studies show that people look at their phone 80 times a day on average.

That constant “task-switching” comes with a huge cost. Some research estimates that it results in up to a 40 percent loss of productivity.

Make sure your most important contacts know your pharmacy’s phone number. Then ditch the phone until lunch and after work.

3. Take breaks

Breaks seem to contradict productivity. After all, the whole point of a break is to stop producing.

But rest rejuvenates and replenishes, giving you more energy and focus so you can operate at top capacity.

Create a pharmacy business that recognizes—and prioritizes—the health and wellness of its employees.

You know the idea that retail pharmacists don’t get a lunch break? Don’t make your pharmacy perpetuate that stereotype.

You (and your employees) can take a lunch break every day. It is possible.

“You set up some rules and regulations for your staff, hold yourself accountable for workflow methods, and once these are set in place, stick to them no matter what,” Joi Jones, Pharm.D., of the lifestyle and wellness blog Rx Fitness Lady, said in a blog post.

She offers helpful suggestions in her blog post including:


4. Create a to-do list

Studies show that people perform better when they create task lists. And a to-do list can work as well in the pharmacy as it does in your personal life.

“A critical planning tool is a good to-do list that consolidates all tasks, responsibilities, and commitments into one record. Once items are listed, they can then be prioritized in order of importance,” according to the book, “Pharmacy Management, Leadership, Marketing, and Finance” by Marie A. Chisholm-Burns, Allison M. Vaillancourt, and Marv Shepherd. “Although to-do lists are very simple, they are also extremely powerful, both for organizing yourself and for reducing stress.”

The book suggests creating a master to-do list of more time-consuming and long-term projects and a daily to-do list. Create the daily to-do list at the end of each workday.

“Taking 10 minutes to update these lists at the end of each day can help increase focus and reduce anxiety,” according to the book.

5. Prioritize tasks

Lack of productivity is a natural consequence of poor priorities.

Humans tend to default to working on the least difficult problems even when they’re the least important.

The most common form of procrastination isn’t doing a fun thing instead of a productive thing. It’s doing the less productive task instead of the most productive tasks.

Which is a pretty sneaky way the mind tricks itself into avoiding the difficult stuff.

When you get caught up performing low-level tasks, you neglect the more productive tasks, like employee training (so you can delegate more) and handling insurance problems.

Stick to your priorities to stay productive.

6. Practice gratitude

What’s gratitude have to do with productivity?

A lot, it turns out. Gratitude triggers positive emotions that trigger productive actions.

Gratitude creates enthusiasm, joy, and optimism. In other words, the more grateful you are, the happier you are.

And the happier you are, the more productive you’ll be. One study even quantified how much happiness increases productivity (12 percent).

Research psychologists from Yale suggest writing in a daily gratitude journal.

Gratitude journals are a simple way to acknowledge and dwell on things you’re thankful for.

Spending a few minutes a day writing is a small way to gain big productivity.

Who knew gratitude could lead to more pharmacy productivity?

7. Use efficient products and equipment

The technology and products you use at your pharmacy significantly affect pharmacy productivity.

Cumbersome labeling equipment stalls the prescription process.

Outdated point-of-sale systems slow the checkout experience.

Clunky and complicated ordering platforms make purchasing pharmaceuticals a drawn-out pain.

Make strategic upgrades in your pharmacy that help you work faster, easier, and more efficiently.

Maybe that means investing in automation. Or, maybe that means upgrading your computers.

Or, perhaps it looks like buying pharmaceuticals through a faster and more reliable platform. For example, BuyLine from PBA Health makes ordering pharmaceuticals simple and straightforward for pharmacies. And unlike the other upgrades your pharmacy might need, BuyLine doesn’t cost you anything extra. It gets rid of all the hassles, so you can quickly and easily order what you need when you need it.

Every change you make in your pharmacy to improve efficiency will boost your productivity.

When you follow these straightforward tips, you’ll see immediate gains in pharmacy productivity.


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