As an entity whose primary focus is providing quality care and services to the community, organisation is an important aspect for a community pharmacy. Although a major part of being organised involves eliminating clutter and keeping things in an orderly manner, it also involves other intangible aspects, such as planning and consistency.

Not only does a well-organised community pharmacy create a good impression to patients and visitors, but the possibilities of errors during day-to-day operations can also be reduced significantly. In addition, organisation promotes efficient workflow and has a positive influence towards employee morale.

Here we will look at a few measures that community pharmacies can put into practice to keep them well-organised as well as to enhance efficiency and productivity.

1. Spatial organisation

Efficient use of space constitutes an important part of organisation within the pharmacy. The consultation area is one of the most important spaces that should be focused on.

This area has to be well-organised to ensure comfortable, uninterrupted communication between the pharmacist and patients. It includes avoiding clutter by not placing unnecessary items, documents and stationery on the table or counter as they can be a distraction and would not reflect a positive image of the pharmacy. In addition, proper allocation of storage and inventory space, including for medications, should be maintained at all times.

2. Established guidelines

Pharmacy owners and managers should ensure that employees are on the same page with regards to priorities as well as adhere to the established guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of the pharmacy. These include procedures ranging from receiving inventory to dispensing medication to patients.

Being consistent in this matter is crucial, as there may be a number of factors that can cause employees to slack in adhering to the established SOPs. In addition, employees have to be aware and well-informed about any contingency plans in order for them to always be prepared for unforeseen events and situations.

3. Digitising records and paperwork

Using digital records instead of physical documents to store and manage information has many advantages. One major benefit is that less paper files means more storage space.

Another advantage is that digitising records allows better visibility and faster, easier access to information. This in turn would reduce waiting time and therefore contributes in the overall efficiency of pharmacy operations.

In addition, a digital recordkeeping system provides better safety and security of documents. Once documents are digitised, backup copies can be created and stored off-site, and this is very useful when disasters happen. Digital document solution also gives more control over who can access certain documents at all times.

4. Proper scheduling

One aspect that is often overlooked regarding organisation is the importance of proper calendaring and scheduling. A common problem with using the traditional spreadsheet method is that it can get increasingly complex and difficult to manage.

To overcome this problem, community pharmacies can switch to using various tools and software to manage their calendar and schedules in a more systematic way. Typical features of these digital tools include the ability to document deadlines, milestones, as well as create employee shift plans and lists of tasks.

They can also alert you when there are conflicts in the schedule, therefore reducing errors and improving efficiency. Investing in such tools has numerous advantages and therefore is something that a community pharmacy should consider. MIMS

Read more:
An environmental checklist for community pharmacies
5 indicators that your community pharmacy needs a transformation
How community pharmacies can stay on top of inventory management