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The Pharmacy Triangle Theory

A simple but powerful dispensary business and work model
by

Maja Grosspietsch

on 31 August 2013

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Transcript of The Pharmacy Triangle Theory

The Pharmacy Triangle
This theory has been developed by
Maja Grosspietsch from Willach,
Marta Stybowski, BPharm MBA,
Jay Calder, BPharm.
Try
Let's start!
A simple but powerful dispensary workflow and design model.
The Pharmacy Triangle work model is designed to be used as a practical tool to aid pharmacists in organising the dispensing structure and workflow around them, so that they are more empowered to take on the growing responsibilities of their profession.
A simple but powerful dispensary workflow model.
Ready to transform your pharmacy business?
The Pharmacy Triangle work model is designed to be used as a practical tool to aid pharmacists in organising the dispensing structure and workflow around them, so that they are more empowered to take on the growing responsibilities of their profession.
The drawbacks of the traditional dispensing chain
The macro and micro environmental factors which are currently influencing pharmacy are also driving key changes to the dispensary set up.
We are all familiar with the traditional dispensing model which is predominantly seen in Australian pharmacies.
The layout generally sees the pharmacist situated at the back of the dispensary, positioned between shelving and working through a pile of prescriptions, while the dispensing technician is busy walking around the maze of cluttered timber shelves dispensing medication boxes.
In this set up, not only are dispensing errors more likely to occur but significant time and money is also lost in inefficiencies resulting from this way of working.
In this model, the shop assistant is usually the point of contact for customers, advising on complementary sales and generics when they are actually less qualified to do so.

Plus, in the chain of “Chinese whispers” between customer >> shop assistant and >> pharmacist, information deemed important by the pharmacist can potentially get lost.
A new approach and progressive workflow model
This model is also not conducive to industry developments and current external and internal threats and opportunities.

Dispensing fee incentive cutbacks and increases to service incentives under the 5CPA are just two local examples of this. What’s more, pharmacists are increasingly required to provide higher levels of care and customer service to sustain their role and business.
Successful businesses have always recognised the value of customer service and building strong professional relationships with their customers. It is much easier (and approximately seven times less costly) to keep current customers than to cultivate new ones.

Therefore pharmacists should ensure their dispensary set up is conductive to customer interaction.
However, simply positioning the pharmacist at the forefront of the dispensary without a structured frame work of support isn’t very practical, especially during peak hours. Many pharmacists are already time-poor filling hundreds of prescriptions per day.
Australian pharmacists are devoted to spend more time counselling patients but the increasing admin work puts a lot of constraints on the profession.
So whilst everone is talking about shifting to a professional service model, pharmacists struggle to actually offer it to their customers.
The Pharmacy Triangle work model is designed to be used as a practical tool to aid pharmacists in organising the dispensing structure and workflow around them, so that they are more empowered to take on the growing responsibilities of their profession.
High workload demands are widespread throughout many pharmacies due to the low margins gained by a single prescription fill, and the higher the volume the less time a pharmacist has to process a script.
The idea was to find a model that will support pharmacists at the front line with their customers whilst warranting high levels of operational productivity and patient safety along the process.
These resources and functions are unique and exclusive to pharmacy as they can not be provided by any other retailer in the market place. They are at the heart of the pharmacy business.

They are positioned in the dispensary and together form the unique selling point and competitive advantage of the industry.


Maximum productivity in the chain of medication
supply and services.

Result: Minimum wastage of time and
space, lower costs.

We found that aligning these key
resources in a WORK TRIANGLE ,
will achieve maximum efficiencies
in the chain of medication dispense.

This will also support the pharmacist
in the best possible way:
The Pharmacy Triangle work model
The pharmacist will be best supported in his transition to work as a holistic health professional at the Point of Sale.

Result: improved customer relationship
management (CRM), customer loyalty
and referrals, higher levels of compliance
and patient care

The position of the pharmacist will cater for greater income opportunities from products and services that only pharmacists are qualified to provide.

Result: Increased sales, higher profitability
and competitive edge.
Structured flow of information and goods between
key resources.

Result: Lower levels of staff stress,
greater job satisfaction, higher levels
of patient safety (best practise).
The model supports both the pharmacist and dispensing technician by integrating superior medication storage equipment, specifically designed for the flexible demands of pharmacy.
The triad work model positions the pharmacist at the forefront, where they are of most value to the business and best accessible to the customer; providing a complete health solution while building a profitable continuing relationship with the customer that drives qualified advice, expert sales, compliance and professional services.
The model supports the pharmacist by effectively utilising the dispensing technician as a key resource to streamline the selection, dispensing and labelling of prescription medication (bulk).
Benefits of the work triangle
The close proximity and direct access of these three key resources to one another, without physical barriers between them, allows the process to occur seamlessly, without any double handling and unnecessary movements.

The optimal distances between the three points will vary due to differences in dispensary set up, shape and size. As a guideline however, they should
not be positioned too close or too far from one another
in order to avoid excessive walking, hinder direct communication, or allow for bottlenecks to form.
Traffic flow through the centre of the triangle should be avoided at all times to ensure that goods and information can
flow unimpeded.
The usage of specialised pharmacy equipment to store medication boxes helps minimise restocking and dispensing turnaround times. Stock is organised in a compact and ordered method reducing the likelihood of selection errors.

The triad model is applicable to every pharmacy setting. In pharmacies with higher prescription volumes that operate with several pharmacists and technicians, multiple triangles can be formed. In these settings the integration of automatic dispensing technology can aid to further speed up medication selection and dispense.
Realizing the need for a more organized way of working we have developed a dispensary workflow, design and service model that is set out to bring more structure to the chain of medication supply.
To do that, first we had identify the key RESOURCES and FUNCTIONS in the dispense chain?
Traditional service model

In summary
On a larger scale, this transformation will increase the quality of service, care and safety that is provided by pharmacies to patients in Australia.

It will transform your pharmacy into a more productive and more profitable health destination, driving customer service, experience and loyalty to your business.
The traditional service model
The professional service model

The pharmacy triangle supports pharmacists in the transition from the traditional service model to a professional service model.
This facilitates a space and time efficient, organised and safer dispensing method of Rx (prescription) medication.

For e.g. sloping shelves,
pharmacy drawers,
round shelves
or robotics.
In this set up, the pharmacist decides if a script is to be directly dispensed or if it should be passed on to the technician
.
keep other staff
outside the triad
avoid traffic
Obstructions such as walls, pillars and cabinets, which intersect the triangle’s legs, should be removed whenever possible.
This design will also best serve the patient at
the input and output stage of the process.
Shop assistants and other staff should work outside the triad so that pharmacist and technician can work uninterrupted in their functions.
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