Perkins Drugs benefits from new pick-to-light will call

This case study was written by Bruce Kneeland. Click here to view the original article, published in 2019.

Andrew Finney, PharmD., is doing some remarkable things in his pharmacy in Gallatin, TN. One being, he has taken one of the country’s longest continually operating pharmacies (opened in 1895) and transformed it into one of the newest, most modern and up to date pharmacies in the county.

Finney started working at Perkins Drugs in 2005 right out of pharmacy school. In 2009 he became a partner, then in 2012 he became the sole owner. In 2018 he opened a second location of the pharmacy in a brand-new 11,625 sq ft square foot building that he developed of which Perkins #2 occupies 2,550 ft. Today, Perkins is a beautiful, well organized and impressive pharmacy operating with some of the most modern technology and providing a variety of enhanced care services.

One of new pieces of technology is [InterLink AI]’s scripClip, pick-to-light will-call bin system. Finney says prior to opening the new location for business he attended the NCPA annual convention and saw scripClip on display. He says, “The moment I saw it I was intrigued. It just seemed to be a great way to improve customer safety and service.” And, he said, with his new store scheduled to open in a few months it seemed like a good idea.

Finney says scripClip provides his pharmacy with three benefits:

First, it saves time. When prescriptions are filled, they are scanned and then put into a clear plastics scripClip bag and then hung randomly on the will-call bin rods. When a patient comes in for their medication the clerk types their name or date of birth into the POS and the handle on the right bag lights up and will make an audible chirp if selected from the POS. The staff member retrieves the bag, scans it again for accuracy and completes the customer transaction. Finney says time lost looking for misplaced bags has been totally eliminated.

Accuracy, patient safety and peace of mind are the second benefit. With the pick-to-light system he knows that the right medication is being given to the right patient, every time.

Finally, the system can quickly identify items in the will-call bin that have not been picked up. He says they run a simple computer routine and every bag more than a specified number of days lights-up. He says because it is so easy to do this that they do it much more often now than they were able to the manual way in the past because it is so much quicker. Doing this, Finney says, improves refills as they can contact patients with a reminder call, and he says this has helped with his STAR ratings.

When asked, “If given the chance would you buy it again? He readily says, “yes!”