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Top 5 Ways to reduce employee theft in your pharmacy


rms pos employee theft Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems pharmacies face is employee theft.  In 2011, employee retail theft accounted for 1.41% of sales.  When considering overall store theft (employee and shoplifting), employee theft attributed to 44% of the total.  The average employee theft case totals $996, compared to shoplifting cases averaging $337. This is significant, and left unchecked, can greatly hurt a pharmacy’s bottom-line.  With shrinking margins, this one issue can take a profitable store and make them unprofitable.  Sadly, you will never be able to stop employee theft, but there are several ways to mitigate it.

Having the right technology in a pharmacy can greatly help you manage your business, and in many ways you may never have considered.  Running a pharmacy is tough.  You have to manage the store, the customers/patients, fill scripts, manage employees, etc.  We frequently hear that store owners have the best, most trustworthy staff in the world, but it’s this kind of thinking that can turn your bottom-line negative.

One of the best technologies you can invest in to help you run your pharmacy is a good point-of-sale (POS) solution.  There are many to choose from, but the best solutions are the ones that are designed for pharmacies.  Not only will they offer insights into how the store is performing, but these systems will improve customer service, enhance workflow, increase the speed of customer check-out, AND give you a level of employee management that you may not have today.

Here are 5 ways POS can help reduce employee theft:

rms pos fingerprint sensor1)      Biometric fingerprint login – all POS systems today require employee log-in to access the system and to run the register.  The reason for this is that any software that uses credit cards has to be secure and follow payment card industry security.  Beyond this is having the ability to report and audit the activity that happens at the register.  To make logging in easier, fingerprint sensors should be a must-have so that employees aren’t sharing or stealing each other’s passwords.

2)      Locking out items that shouldn’t be discounted – a good POS solution should give you the ability to deny discounting certain items, whether they are prescriptions or loss-leaders.  A robust POS system can also limit the amount of a discount that a cashier can give at the register so that the cashier does not exceed permissible discounts for friends or relatives.

3)      Cash management – a full-featured POS solution should give you the tools necessary to manage your cashiers to ensure they are ringing sales correctly, giving correct change, and not “tapping the till” to their own benefit.  You should also have the option of “dual-drawers” where depending on who is logging into the till will determine which cash drawer pops.  This allows you an additional level of employee auditing and holds the employee responsible for exclusively what is in their own cash drawer.

4)      Reporting – any well designed POS solution should be able to give you daily, weekly, and monthly reports to help you understand the business so that you can make adjustments.  Most store owners have no idea what kind of activity is going on at the register, like how many voids, no sales, drawer pops, returns, and item deletions any one cashier is doing on a daily basis.  The crafty, dishonest employee recognizes this and takes advantage when you’re not looking.

5)      Automatic discounting – many cashiers struggle to give correct change, so there’s no reason you should put discounting decisions in their hands.  POS technology should give you the ability to pre-program discounts to certain groups of customers (i.e. employees, senior citizens, hospital staff etc.) so that the cashier doesn’t have to decide whether the customer is due a discount.

These are just some of the ways a good POS solution will help you manage your employees to ensure they are doing right by you.  To learn more about what pharmacy POS solutions can do, visit our website at or call us at 877-767-1060.


You hit the nail right on the head! Biometrics at the register would make employees more accountable and would be easier than passwords that they can get around the system-which is done because password systems are usually more time consuming and inefficient for quick service. The other type of theft is medication theft which can be quite costly, too. A system that immediately receives the order and tracks the inventory would be more accurate and make theft less likely.
Posted @ Saturday, January 05, 2013 10:28 AM by Mary Kaye Garcia
Wheeling Hospital has 4 retail stores. We use biometric ID to access our automated dispensing cabinetry, however we have not used it in the retail pharmacies. This is a great suggestion. Can biometrics be added to an existing POS system?
Posted @ Saturday, January 12, 2013 10:14 AM by Lisa Schatz
Thanks Lisa for your comments. For several years our customers have enjoyed the ease-of-use and peace-of-mind that fingerprint sensors provide. I recommend you check with your current POS provider to see if this is an option. If we can be of assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out to us.  
-Mike Gross, VP Sales and Marketing, RMS
Posted @ Saturday, January 12, 2013 1:54 PM by Mike Gross
Wouldn't you agree that a full-featured POS system would have an accurate will call reconciliation to make sure that all prescriptions leaving the pharmacy have been rung up at the POS. This is potentially a greater loss because you would also not be recording the patient's signature.
Posted @ Monday, February 11, 2013 10:56 AM by Lynn Naden
I think you make a great point Lynn. A full-featured POS solution that offers integration with a pharmacy's pharmacy management system should give you will-call and workflow completion management features. And with this integration, you should be able to keep track of all Rx's in will-call to ensure that all Rx's are accountable for. At RMS, we currently interface to over 25 different pharmacy management systems to give pharmacies the ability to audit their will-call to again, make sure all Rx's are accounted for. Thanks for your comment!
Posted @ Monday, February 11, 2013 11:10 AM by Mike Gross
I think if you check with your developers, Mike, you will find the "interface" only goes one way. If a prescription is not picked up and returned to stock it is not removed from the POS. Consequently, when that customer comes in the next time up pops that prescription they didn't pick up and the information is worthless, the report is worthless which makes trying to track Rxs to see if they have been paid for a time consuming activity.
Posted @ Tuesday, February 12, 2013 12:23 AM by Lynn Naden
Lynn - Thanks again for the feedback. I have instructed our support team to reach out to you to investigate this issue for you. I'm confident we'll be able to find out why the 2 way interface is not working for you, and will work with your Rx system support staff for you to find a resolution. Best regards.
Posted @ Wednesday, February 13, 2013 9:52 AM by Mike Gross
This problem is a main issue in every firm and to reduce employees theft rate companies and firms should adopt modern security equipments such as detection systems, secure electronic displays, retractors, alarmed products, security mirrors
Posted @ Tuesday, February 26, 2013 12:07 AM by Mclean_retail security solutions
Whether it is a large organization or a small retail shop, every business owner should consider the fact that theft and robberies can occur at any time. It has been reported that most of the cases of robberies include retail theft and commercial burglaries. Large businesses often become the target of robbers. For better security of these businesses, it is essential to install security surveillance cameras and alarm monitoring devices. Along with these devices, a trained security guard can also be a great deterrent for unwanted criminal activities.
Posted @ Monday, September 30, 2013 1:28 AM by Mellisa Roberts
Some really useful slides here. I've been looking for something like this to help with a research piece I've been working on..
Posted @ Wednesday, August 20, 2014 12:06 PM by Webcreation - Web Design Company Singapore
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