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CVS using technology to fill prescriptions remotely

CVS is using technology, including robotics, automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence, across more than 9,000 stores.

CVS is moving along with a plan it initiated in Arizona to help pharmacists fill prescriptions remotely, thereby reducing pharmacists' workload and allowing them to deliver medical services such as vaccinations and health screenings.

A CVS spokesperson shared with Drug Store News, "To help our pharmacists provide patients with trusted clinical care and additional pharmacy services, we’ve implemented several programs aimed at reducing the amount of time they spend on administrative tasks."

[Read more: CVS Health report highlights need for expanded role of retail pharmacists]

The spokesperson added, "We’re using technology, including robotics, automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence, as well as a new approach to dynamic workload sharing across our more than 9,000 stores – operating as one team and fleet, rather than managing workload at each store individually."

“With our new workshare model, certain parts of pharmacy workflow can be completed virtually and may be done by a team in a neighboring store (that has capacity) or centrally, varying by state. This multi-faceted approach to pharmacy workflow is key to how we’re building the pharmacy of the future to optimize our presence in local communities, so we can continue to serve patients where and when they need us most," the spokesperson added.

[Read more: CVS Health launches HERe, Healthier Happens Together]

The Wall Street Journal  reported on Sunday that the new system is intended to help pharmacists fill prescriptions remotely as the drugstore chain faces staff shortages and attempts to deliver additional medical services. Prem Shah, CVS’s chief pharmacy officer told the WSJ that a model for pharmacist-free drugstores is not the company’s goal. Instead, the company is testing if some pharmacies can operate at times without pharmacists on staff, the report said.

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