If you applied for a job prior to the early 2000's, it's quite likely that "Effective at Multitasking" was one the attributes you put on your resume. Today, we know that multitasking isn't really something we can do. At least not in the way we used to think of it. Studies conducted in 2009 showed that humans can't really focus on more than one thing at a time. Instead, we switch between tasks, with varying amounts of efficiency and success.
In most cases, technology only makes the temptation to attempt to "multi-task" more prevalent. That cell phone sounding alerts, or that email in-box up in the other screen only pull our attention away from whatever task we are trying to focus on. (Seriously, if I'd closed out my email before I started writing this article, I'd probably have finished already.) But when it comes to pharmacy point-of-sale, you get one of those "exception that proves the rule" kind of things. This is an instance where technology can actually help improve your focus.
When daily processes and procedures are automated, and there's a streamlined, easy, and correct way of processing pretty much every transaction, the guesswork goes away. And along with that guesswork, distraction and the misguided attempt to multitask also disappear. Your staff can then focus on the thing that's truly important, the customer they are serving.
Here are 3 questions to answer that can help you determine if your pharmacy employees have the right tools to eliminate distraction.
Does the transaction workflow make sense? Most transactions should be simple, smooth and crazy-easy. A clear and sensible transaction workflow that's easy to understand and follow makes it feasible for staff to ring a transaction while still providing a personal customer service experience.
Are there clear indicators for permitted and non-permitted activities? Nothing distracts like the unknown. Having to constantly question every task to see if you're making the right decision is very inefficient. Your POS system should allow you to set restrictions and override policies so staff knows if they aren't supposed to conduct a specific transaction activity without supervisor approval. You won't have to worry about monitoring staff so closely and they don't have to worry about making mistakes. That means more time spent building the customer relationship.
Do employees receive prompts for key activities? If employees are focusing on the customer, it can be easy to forget things that directly impact the customer experience. Having a system with built-in prompts for key activities like additional prescriptions for pickup, or adding the customer loyalty account details to the transaction, alleviates this problem.
Having all of these key factors lined up will greatly improve the performance of your pharmacy staff. Before we wrap up, I'll offer one final tip. Working with a vendor that's focused on your pharmacy can be equally impactful. At RMS, pharmacies are our sole focus. When you talk to one of our technicians, they didn't just hang up with a bike shop or a boutique. Their last call was with a pharmacy and their next call will be with a pharmacy. Expertise in pharmacy means a better product and better service for your business.