Pharmacy Scheduling Challenges Amid Current Expectations

August 19, 2020

Allowing patients to make a quick stop to the pharmacy versus going to the doctor’s office is a perfect example of public safety and convenience.

Pharmacy tech standing in front of pharmacy shelves.

With the hopes of a vaccine for COVID-19 on the horizon, pharmacies are thinking ahead operationally as they prepare to administer the vaccine and all other vaccines for:

· Workflow

· Employee Scheduling

· Convenience

· Patient and Employee Safety

New roles for registered pharmacists in health care include the ability to administer vaccines. Pharmacist-administered vaccinations have increased 80+% at pharmacies and flu clinics since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic. COVID-19 testing is also largely being performed at pharmacies instead of at doctor’s offices largely due to the convenience factor for patients.

These new and convenient services require pharmacies to rethink their staffing models to ensure adequate staff to balance traditional script filling along with absorbing additional pharmacist tasks like Medication Therapy Management (MTM) and other clinical services.

Pharmacy Scheduling Software by Schedule360 offers many features that are beneficial to this type of scheduling:

learn more about the features of schedule360's pharmacy scheduling software

Optimize Float/Part Time Staff Hours

Prior to Schedule360 deployment, clients often found that their float staff were being under-utilized from a failure to routinely schedule the float to their salaried requirements.

Clients often missed hours for floats due to the constantly ever-changing nature of their schedules, which is an especially accurate portrayal during times of a pandemic.

Pharmacy scheduling software utilizes real-time tracking with color coding to track every single hour worked, as well as future hours scheduled within a client’s designated payroll period.

Pharmacy Tech Optimization

Schedule360 provides transparent, easy-to-read reporting for pharmacy management that includes weekly schedules with employee target hours. This reporting allows pharmacy managers the ability to quickly see which pharmacy techs are optimized and fill-in available shifts with non-optimized tech staff before creating possible overtime for staff who have already met their targeted hours.

Urgent Hot Shift Scheduling

Filling urgent, last-minute shift openings can be stressful, but by establishing your own parameters with your store team, you can quickly communicate any urgent, critical shift openings with your staff within set parameters, such as 12, 24, 48 hours in advance, by email or text to your available tech staff for that opening.

Rules-Based Scheduling

Schedule360 helps to ensure that only those pharmacists and pharmacy techs with the proper credentials are scheduled into provider slots with scheduling software. This matching process quickly simplifies the entire scheduling process, saves time, and eliminates unneeded stress on management for completing the schedule.

Messaging Features

Being able to quickly communicate with your staff 24/7 is critical. Schedule360’s pharmacy scheduling software includes all of the messaging features needed to contact staff through messages sent via text, email, and the message board. You can choose to message all employees, currently working employees, or only employees who are available to work.

COVID-19 has shed new light into the pharmacy profession by moving pharmacists from behind the counter to the front line of health care. Pharmacists have been faced with many difficult tasks from how to source and dispense urgent medications to how to deal with medication shortages, while still providing and administering much needed testing and counseling to patients.

For many pharmacists this includes operating at the top of their license or close to it. According to a recent survey on COVID-19 from the National Community Pharmacists Association, 56 percent of pharmacists predict that this coronavirus pandemic will result in them performing more health care related services in addition to their usual tasks, such as dispensing medication. For many pharmacists, this is a welcomed change.

In order to adapt to these recent changes and challenges, pharmacists will require new tools to reduce the administrative burden while still providing the highest level of care to patients.

If you’re wondering where to find these tools, Schedule360 can save you the search as we have everything you need and more. Contact us today to schedule a customized demo of our scheduling software solution.