How to Improve Your Workflow in the Pharmacy


by Kimberly Gabriel, CPhT

Everyone alive has some flow, or ritual, for how they do everything. Everyone knows that the easiest, most straightforward way is the most efficient way to do it.

No, that’s not true. Not everyone knows this, though; it is innate knowledge to me. I am always looking for new ways to do things. It all starts with a goal.

That can be implemented into the pharmacy too; you can’t run one without it!

As we all know, filling a prescription from start to finish has several steps, and how easily those steps flow together is crucial in preventing errors. Every workflow can be evaluated every year to make sure everything is going smoothly...Take a good hard look and observe your workflow.

What changes can you make that will improve efficiency? Here are a few things I found!


Automation is the new black!

Use visual and auditory aids to help, such as verifying a prescription or drug. Most pharmacy software can talk and tell you if it’s verified, and though this can be rather annoying, it can improve efficiency and prevent errors. Colored baskets according to patients waiting or not help to move things along as well, red for hurry and black for chill. Blue for nursing homes, etc.

This works wonders and gets the belligerent patients out of your hair too… Everyone knows these types of patients are the scariest!

Cross-training everyone at every station till they can do it with their eyes closed and hands chopped off. This ensures that people can jump from one thing to another without a hitch… Learn your stations. A great way to learn is also teaching others. Training new staff is a village effort.

Delegation of side tasks is very helpful. Every day, having a few side work tasks is a great way to ensure everything is done. Rotating those chores also acts as a backup to get the things someone busy may have missed last time (I call this borrowing the second set of eyes).

Oh, I almost forgot…

Pre-shift prep!! Like in a restaurant, prep whatever you can ahead of time. Stocking everything and organizing backups are crucial to a good workflow, and a huge helper for me was labeling the inventory A-Z! Use chalk labels or vis-a-vis markers so you can change things later if the category gets too full.


For a helpful website,

You all get out there and enjoy what you all do. I hope I’ve made it a bit easier for you! Have a good one!

For resources on how to better improve your workflow in the pharmacy when it comes to: