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Pharmacists think pharmacy has been slow to take up tech

A survey has revealed that 87 per cent of pharmacists in the UK think the pharmacy profession has been slow to take up new technologies compared with other sectors.

The study, commissioned by the pharmacy automation company Omnicell and involving 62 pharmacists, found the majority - 80 per cent - think automation can improve patient services and 73 per cent believe there should be more focus on the use of technology and automation within pharmacy.

Pharmacists also expressed concerns around work-based pressures and stress, with 90 per cent saying those were caused by the government’s funding cuts and 76 per cent suggesting the ratio of patients to pharmacy staff was “a key contributing factor with too few staff dealing with an increasingly high volume of patients.”

Another 88 per cent said introducing technology into the pharmacy could help pharmacists explore more patient services and new revenue streams, with 66 per cent saying it would allow them to pursue care home pharmacy contracts.

Seventy-seven per cent of pharmacists who took part in the survey, part of Omnicell’s campaign ‘We are Automation’ which is designed to raises awareness of technology, said automation had given them added confidence in terms of patient safety while 75 per cent said it had provided patients with increased face-to-face time with them.

“Technology plays a pivotal role in reducing medication errors and improving patient safety,” said Paul O’Hanlon, managing director of Omnicell UK & Ireland.

“Whilst the sector has been slow when compared to other industries in harnessing new technology solutions and recognising the benefits – it’s heartening to see that looking to the future there could be an increased focus on the issue, helping community pharmacies to survive in an ever-challenging market.”

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