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Independent owner saves tech hours, lowers costs with new RxSafe


JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. — Innovation, the makers of PharmAssist automation solutions for pharmacies, on Friday announced that the Medicine Shoppe pharmacy located in Sherman, Texas, has successfully incorporated a RxSafe 1800 robotic storage and retrieval system. The company stated that the system will help the pharmacy optimize its prescription filling and inventory management. 


“We had been evaluating whether to invest in pharmacy automation to help us increase our efficiency, but we didn't want automation that handled only our top 200 and we didn't want to spend a fortune. The RxSafe stores 1800 medication containers, and when we realized it was actually going to cost us less to operate than a technician’s salary, it was an easy decision,” said Jana Bennett, R.Ph. and owner, Medicine Shoppe No. 0708.


According to Bennett, before the pharmacy installed the RxSafe, two technicians performed various manual filling tasks leading up to pharmacist verification. After installation, the tasks became a one-technician job. That one technician was able to fill approximately 80% of the pharmacy's daily prescription volume with RxSafe. This left the second technician free to focus on other tasks within the pharmacy. 


“In essence, we replaced 45 hours of technician work with the RxSafe for the price of 25 hours. So, it actually costs us less money to have the RxSafe than to not have it. That’s what I call a great return on investment,” Bennett said. 


Bennett also said that, in addition to saving on labor, RxSafe led to more accurate inventory and also served as an effective deterrent for diversion and theft. The RxSafe interface to Cardinal Health Inventory Manager enables the pharmacy to perform a nightly upload to CIM of its on-hand quantities stored in the RxSafe, as well as those items not stored, but still tracked in their inventory. The pharmacy then generates a CIM report to compare inventory and to identify discrepancies for the day.


“We had some trouble with diversion a few years back and it took us months to figure it out. Now, it would be so easy, and since I now have a tough time totally trusting anyone, it gives me a great peace of mind to know that I can track all activity on any given day.” Bennett added. “We have been broken into since installing RxSafe, and the burglars didn’t even bother to try and break into the machine. I think they must have been intimidated by it.”

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