“Ask anyone on staff – of anything in the pharmacy, they’ll say, ‘don’t get rid of scripClip!’” said Maggy Lawson, Pharm.D., pharmacy manager at Kubat HealthCare in Beatrice, Nebraska.
Kubat HealthCare, formerly known as Deines Pharmacy, has been a staple in Beatrice for many years – the last nine of which Lawson has helped manage.
A staff of two pharmacists, four technicians and one cashier on a typical day dispenses 2,000 prescriptions per week, on average.
The team, supported by an on-staff clinical nurse, operates with two drive-thru pickup windows and two in-store point-of-sale (POS) stations – plus a prescription verification station in the center. Up until 2019, they used a basic alphabetically organized hanging-bag system, in conjunction with printed receipts from their Computer-Rx pharmacy management system (PMS) and baskets where they’d combine multiple prescriptions for the same customer.
While some of their sister pharmacies do a large percentage of their volume in home delivery, over 95% of prescriptions at this location are picked up at the store. “It’s just three minutes from the doctor’s office to the pharmacy, and patients expect their prescriptions to be ready for pickup by the time they get here,” Lawson said.
Though the pharmacy staff felt they were working fairly efficiently, owner Mitch Deines returned from AmerisourceBergen’s annual conference a few years ago announcing their one pharma-tech investment for the year: the scripClip will-call automation system.
“I’ll be honest: We weren’t all sure we needed it,” Lawson admitted. (It’s not like they were pulling the wrong prescriptions for patients; will call and inventory management were just taking them longer than necessary.) In fact, employees continued printing packing slips from the PMS for a while because they were uneasy about changing processes.
But Deines’ scripClip system was up and running by the end of 2019 and, within months, even the most skeptical staff members couldn’t live without it.
They started with 300 scripClips, mostly large-sized hanging bags, and have added many bags and clip-ons for oversized packages over the years to accommodate more volume. The system worked well with their previous PMS and made the graceful switch with them to PioneerRx last year.
Two things about the scripClip interface caught Lawson and the team’s fancy right away: the Patient Search feature that simplifies customer lookup, and the color-coding for each POS station so there’s no confusion among flashing scripClips during busy pick-up times.
The scripClip system saves the Kubat HealthCare time in the dispensing, verification and bagging (‘check-in’) process, as well as retrieval and the point of sale. “Those minutes really add up,” Lawson said.
She went on to describe that those precious minutes were particularly valuable during COVID, when most pickups were going through the drive-thru and it was even more imperative to prevent a line of cars backing up into the street, or when they offered vaccine clinics that increased the number of people coming into the store on Thursdays.
Still, the biggest time and cost savings is in the return-to-stock (RTS) functionality. That very morning, it took just 20 minutes to pull 75-80 prescriptions from will call, when doing it manually would have taken multiple hours spread over several days and not been as thorough, because they’d only be seeing paperwork on the top of any given bag.
Lawson explained that they didn’t consistently manage RTS in the past, but “with it being this easy, there’s no excuse not to do it” – especially in conjunction with their medication synchronization program, in which they have roughly 650 enrolled patients.
Furthermore, she can have a cashier help pull orders for RTS, enabling everyone on staff to operate at the top of their license or ability.
Lawson describes operating like an owner in every decision she makes, from what inventory to buy, to how to manage the team. “How do I run my staff as lean as possible? If I can do more with half of a person’s time like scripClip enables, that creates a lot of opportunity for us.”
Even technicians who have worked at larger chains that are perceived to have the latest-and-greatest technology are in awe of how much time scripClip saves them in retrieval and return to stock – saying things like, “at this point, it’s hard to imagine working without it,” Lawson relayed.
Customers love it too. When they see it at the point of sale, they’ll exclaim, “Oh, that’s how you find it so fast. That’s so cool!”