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Aug. 27, 2011

Automated systems can help companies in the mail order, central fill and pharmaceutical markets gain efficiencies and reduce costs. Tension Packaging & Automation recommends keeping the following five factors in mind when considering an automation partner.

Scalability and Modularity – In an ever-changing industry, automated systems require modularity and scalability in order to withstand the test of time. Whether it’s a change in your formulary, footprint or customer mix, your system should have the capability to flex up and down to meet your evolving needs. Look for modular designs that enable your organization to scale from low volume to high output with common equipment, parts and training for pharmacy staff. Designs that allow for easy expansion through additional automated stations are also key.

Output and capacity – High-volume automation, automated dispensing, labeling and verification, print-on-demand patient documents and medication guides, and automated order packaging can all help increase output and capacity by reducing the time and staff needed to fulfill prescriptions. In addition, implementing an automated system can augment or replace multiple pharmacies filling thousands of prescriptions per day with a single centralized facility capable of dispensing a larger number of prescriptions per day in one location.

Accuracy – Increased output at the sake of accuracy is not an option in the pharmaceutical industry. You need an automated system that will dispense, label and verify prescriptions without error. When talking with automation partners, ask for case studies and testimonials addressing accuracy.

Cost – When it comes to cost, ROI is a major factor. Consider short- and long-term ROI for your automated pharmacy system. The right system can reduce the cost of fulfilling prescriptions by several dollars each through process efficiencies and reduced labor costs. Both short- and long-term, this can lead to big savings for your business.

Support and Service – From the initial consultation through system creation and maintenance, it is important to find a true automation partner. Look for a company that will provide ongoing technical support, service and a staff dedicated to addressing your needs over the life of the system. By finding an expert partner dedicated to continual research and development, you’ll stay on the leading edge of pharmacy automation ensuring you continue to maximize the value of your investment.

About Tension Corporation
Founded in 1886, Tension Corporation is a family-owned-and-operated company. A global leader in envelope products, packaging and automation solutions, and international services, Tension is known for its quality, innovation and customer experience. Tension serves a variety of industries including financial, pharmaceutical, insurance, direct marketing, photofinishing, utility, and retail. Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., the company has regional plants and offices throughout the country with international operations in China, Taiwan, and Australia. For more information, visit www.tension.com.