Smart Labels. Smart Receipts. What’s Next?

Category: Pharmacy Advances Written by Dr. Charles Shively / November 6, 2014

Kudos! A New Pharmacy Workflow  Enhancement

Kudos to the Integral Solutions Group in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Their new ScriptChek® vial label and receipt is a long needed improvement to our traditional wrap around vial label and corresponding receipt. Does the label you currently print always seem to be too small to fit those deliciously complicated directions written by some practitioners? Would you agree? I like to think of this new design ScriptChek® label as “smart”.

How many different variations of dosing have you experienced in your pharmacy work lifetime for prednisone alone? My favorite challenge is the Sterapred 12-day, 48 count written with a different quantity of tablets, to be taken at different times daily, starting on Day 1 with directions that don’t taper or have other than whole tablets on subsequent days 2-12. What about those practitioners that write for a higher dose “push” mid-cycle…who dreams up these directions?

Of course at the other end of the spectrum is the different quantity of dosage units that won’t allow use of the 48 pre-carded packages that contain traditional written directions for use. Why is it so many prescriptions always say “Use as Directed” and don’t match the pre-carded printed directions.  Been there? Done that? I’m always nervous when I fill one of these prescriptions and even though I extend my counseling, are my patients/customers really compliant in taking the med…let alone with food?

Discoveries at the QS/1 Asheville Customer Conference

While at the recent QS/1 Customer Conference 2013 in Asheville, South Carolina at the stone spectacular Grove Park Inn/ Resort Conference Center I had an opportunity to talk with Dennis Trotter of the Integral Solutions Group. He actually introduced me to why this new ScriptChek® label is “smarter”. Imagine a traditional-sized elongated label (like the ones we currently use) that allows fitment (“fits”) of non-traditional complicated directions onto the label by automatically reducing the font size. The label generated automatically effects a proper fit. Yes, it’s now here.

Pharmacy management software systems can now “know” to adjust printed label copy when we choose those NDC’s with possible complicated directions and when the software  “sees” the complicated directions input at time of prescription entry. The result:  The label gets automatically adjusted.   Pretty clever…and pharmacy workflow valuable.

Dennis also clued me into several other unique aspects of the ScriptChek® patented label and receipt design: “The label that is printed contains additional “tabs” where yet other information is shown. The standard tear-off caution labels (take in food, don’t skip doses, dosage form shape and color description, etc.) are attached via a perforated addition to the “smart label” precluding the need to pull off and apply these necessary additional labels with another pharmacy workflow “slowing”. How long does it take to put four (4) or more additional caution labels on a prescription vial…yet along get them to fit with a quality appearance…on a 10 or 16 dram prescription vial?

Do you QR code?

Does your pharmacy have QR codes on your receipts? As you may know, QR codes are those square uniquely configured geometric “mazes” which allow customers to use their camera containing  computer “tablets” or cellphones to request refills. It’s similar…although more sophisticated…to the bar codes we use while selecting medications or verifying prescriptions for accuracy. The ScriptChek® receipt can display this “code” for those patient/customers who have added this scanning “app” to their cellphone or computer tablet. These QR mazes work with the I-Phone or any Android-based unit. The “smart” receipt will allow you to offer this service to your customers.

Receipt Contains Current Medications Being Taken

As a pharmacist, one feature I greatly value with this new ScriptChek® “smart” label and receipt technology is that the receipt also lists all current medications taken by the individual with last date filled. The pharmacy management software captures this information at time of prescription filling. At time of counseling the customer/patient, I can immediately see which meds they are taking and do a much more effective education/cautioning/recommendation about how this med can fit within their daily compliance…even though I filled it (one of the 400) yesterday during my 14-hour shift. What if this “smart label and receipt” was available when a new customer says “Could you transfer this prescription here to this store and fill it?” With a vial using the ScriptChek® information, not only do I know the other medications this individual is taking, it also teaches me the last time the requested transfer controlled med was filled. Hummm….

The Age of Smart

I assume you know we’re currently in the Age of Smart®. We have Smart Computers, Smart Technologies, Smart Phones, Smart Cars, Smart Automated Dispensing Systems and ScriptChek® Smart Labels and Receipts. What’s next?

My next article/blog will highlight some other unique and advanced pharmacy automation technologies I discovered at the QS/1 Customer Conference 2013 in Asheville. Plan to attend next year…it’s a valuable experience. Who knows…after attendance… you may be able to favorably respond with an “I do” to the question, “Do You Automate?

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pharmacy workflow
Thank for sharing!

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