Dispensing Doctors and The Future…
Greg Bull discusses how technology should be embraced moving forward and what the short-term future of dispensing doctors really is.
Recently someone asked me what the next “big thing” was going to be in dispensing doctor land. Its something I have been asked many times over the past 25 years of working in this niche market, so it was not that much of a surprise.
But it got me thinking about what the short-term future of dispensing doctors really is.
And the simple answer is technology.
If there is one thing we have all come to embrace during this pandemic, it is the fact that we all must utilise technology more in our everyday lives. Whether it is online meetings, banking using your phone, ordering a pizza for dinner from your laptop or just getting the weekly shopping done via an online supermarket website.
Face to face is a thing of the past, or will be for some time still, and we have all discovered new ways of working; and this applies equally to healthcare provision. Look at the rapid growth in online GP appointments for example.
Now more than ever, organizations are looking to technology to provide the solution to the ongoing problems they face. A good example in dispensing doctor land is the slow but steady growth of the dispensing ATMs which allows a patient to pick up their prescription items when the dispensary is closed. Pharmacy is well up to speed in adopting this new technology, and dispensing doctors will have to catch up to compete.
And inside the dispensary is there now, more than ever, the opportunity to embrace technology? Dispensing robots have been with us for years, and smaller, more affordable units are coming onto the market. Dispensing robots do not have an annual salary, take time off for illness, or complain about their workload. Whilst they will never fully replace the human checker or pharmacist, they can certainly improve dispensary efficiency where they are financially viable. A dispensing robot also frees up the humans to do more meaningful tasks such as really engaging with the patient.
And finally, what about digital CD registers? Imagine recording all your banking transactions every day in a physical ledger, or your dispensary accounts? The old-fashioned CD registers are difficult enough to manage and are an archaic solution to a problem that digital, secure online registers do so much better.
So that is where I see the short-term progression in dispensing doctor dispensing, by embracing technology fully, they will continue to serve their rural patients and provide a vital role in the provision of rural healthcare.