You probably never knew there was a robot at Swope Health Services.
It doesn’t look like C3PO or the droids of Hollywood movies, but it’s just as useful. Our robot works in the pharmacy and handles the fulfillment of nearly 200 of the most commonly prescribed drugs.
That’s just one of the patient-focused services you’ll find at the SHS Pharmacy, notes Mike Hattaway, Chief Pharmacist.
The robot is one piece of an upgraded pharmacy management system, newly installed at SHS. The new system provides for an improved workflow, automated functions and better inventory control, Mike said.
“It helps us operate more efficiently,” he said, “and it helps with patient satisfaction.”
For example, the system performs a daily inventory and automatically orders replacement pharmaceuticals to keep the pharmacy always stocked. This means there’s much less chance that patients are inconvenienced by an out-of-stock drug.
The full-service pharmacy also sends text messages to patients who sign up for automatic refills. You don’t have to call for a refill. Instead, you’ll get a text telling you when it’s ready for pickup.
In addition to these technology-based services, the pharmacy team offers lots of personal assistance to patients, helping with low-cost options for medications and answering questions about how medications affect you.
SHS participates in programs to assist patients in getting the medications they need, Mike said. SHS provides prescriptions at reduced rates under the federal 340B Drug Discount Program.
“The cost of some medications can drop from hundreds of dollars to pennies,” he said. “It makes a lot of products more affordable.”
The pharmacy team also helps patients sign up for pharmaceutical assistance programs, for free or reduced-fee medications for chronic issues.
Mike and his team want to make sure your medications are right for you. He always reminds patients to bring medications when visiting a provider. Having the bottles, a list or even a cellphone picture of your medications can help providers make sure you’re taking the right medications.
“We ask every patient if they have questions about their medications,” he said. “We always encourage patients to ask their provider or a pharmacist about their medications.”
He continues: “A lot of the time, people don’t know why they are taking a medication or what it’s for. If you know what it’s prescribed for and why it’s important to you, you’ll be more apt to stay compliant with the therapy.”
Do you have questions about your medications? Visit the SHS pharmacy or talk with your provider. You can reach us at 816-923-5800 for an appointment.