Revolutionising customer service in pharmacies

February 2, 2022

GDM Medishelf ‘Park-it’ is a pharmacy finished script storage and pick-up system that has revolutionised the customer experience for both pharmacy staff and customers.

The challenge

COVID-19 has presented the pharmacy sector with an array of challenges over the last two years. One of the biggest is the sheer volume of prescriptions dispensed and the organisation of finished prescriptions to pick up and retrieve. Pharmacy staff are often under pressure to quickly find finished script packages for customers in different script storage areas and boxes, while also having to deal with a significant rise in uncollected prescriptions.

The substantial increase in finished script volume can often see packages end up falling out of overflowing boxes or shelves, while additional storage boxes are placed on the floor.

Finding finished scripts can often be a frustrating exercise for counter staff. Finished script packages can be hard to find! Small packages are often at the bottom of boxes, and staff often pull out each bag to scan the receipt for uncollected or new scripts.

A more efficient and space-saving solution has been found to store finished scripts and stop receipts detaching from script bags. Pharmacies can be  swamped with new and uncollected prescriptions. During Covid, this all occurs within the same space and location that pharmacies have always used.

The solution

A collaboration between Gary Parker (Unichem Waiuku, Pharmacist) and GDM Retail Systems was started to design and manufacture an efficient shelving system that resolved these issues. With a focus on the end user experience, the solution required a fast script retrieval system to give the pharmacist time for patient advice and front of house staff to focus more on over-the-counter product sales.

The solution is the GDM MEDISHELF “Park-it” system, a coded script pick-up system that incorporates alphanumeric coded shelf lanes for script rack storage, the lanes incorporated into the GDM MEDISHELF pull out shelf system. GDM MEDISHELF is a multi purpose, pull-out shelving system specifically designed for the dispensary medication area.

The Park-it index system uses coded alphanumeric labeled PVC sleeves, that sit empty in the corresponding shelf lane in the GDM MEDISHELF system. Each ‘Park-it’ shelf is split into 3 alphanumeric coded lanes. Each lane has thirty coded PVC sleeves matched to the specific lane code. Each sleeve holds a patient’s script receipt and notes. When a sleeve is in use, it will be in a monthly coded box located at the front service counter. The box is further indexed by surname so sleeves can be quickly retrieved by staff when customers return for pick-up.

The staff member can now quickly find the script package under the corresponding lane code. The system also manages controlled medicines and fridge items.
When deferring prescriptions from a claim, the staff can quickly flick through the barcoded receipts in the PVC sleeves sitting in the boxes and scan them.

The person who places the finished script can choose any spare space in a coded lane on the shelves, the flexibility to utilise all available shelf space in each of the bays solves the key issue of space management. Smaller script packages sit in the top shelves in each bay, the larger heavier packages sit in the mid-lower shelves. Most slots have a 41mm pitch so shelves can be tightly stacked providing full space utilisation. A specialised shelf bracket allows shelves to sit flat or angled.

The benefits

Gary Parker’s feedback on the GDM MEDISHELF Park-it System:

  • We can utilise every area of space on the shelves. No more dead space in alphabetical boxes with uncommon letters for last names.
  • Can fit up to 180 small to medium finished Prescriptions on one pull out sliding shelf
  • Our retail staff look more professional and are more organised now they are confident about where prescriptions are along with any notes pertaining to that patient or medication.
  • Customers benefit from a more efficient, streamlined experience when collecting prescriptions
  • The speed at which we find prescriptions has now helped us serve more people, sell more over-the-counter products and enjoy solving any other needs they have.
  • Time to defer scripts has halved, saving us a lot of time and money.

“Medishelf Park-it has revolutionised our dispensary and we are very pleased with the efficiencies gained from it.”

Gary Parker – Pharmacist, Unichem Waiuku

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