Pharmacist Kees Steenbeek: With Easy Filling, we deliver our prescription ontime every day

Since April 2020, pharmacist Kees Steenbeek from Hessen Apotheek in De Bilt has been using Easy Filling, a sorting solution for local filling provided by Farma Sort. He is very satisfied with it. “The system is straightforward to use, saves a lot of time, and Farma Sort is a customer-oriented company.

It’s great to hear that all three branches of your pharmacy have transitioned to using Easy Filling for local filling. Steenbeek explains the process, stating that with Easy Filling, the medications ordered from the wholesale supplier arrive in crates, and the sorting and labeling take place in the pharmacy.

Before adopting a sorting solution from Farma Sort, Steenbeek’s pharmacy team followed the traditional method. “In the morning, the orders were unpacked from the crates and placed in alphabetical order in the cabinet. Prescriptions were written and prepared for the patients. We deliberately chose not to use central filling due to costs, and we wanted to be able to provide medications directly to the patient when they visit the pharmacy. However, the fully manual prescription processing became a logistical challenge. We wanted to free up more time for medication counseling and conversations at the counter. Therefore, we decided to switch to Farma Sort’s Easy Filling.

Without errors

Switching from the old prescription processing system to Easy Filling was indeed a challenge, but Steenbeek has not regretted it for a second, he says. “While there were some manuals for the sorting solution, they were not tailored to the personnel operating the system, such as pharmaceutical assistants and technicians. So, we took it upon ourselves to write a manual, which now enables everyone to work with the system flawlessly. The sorting solution does exactly what you expect, and it operates without errors. I believe it may be easier to transition from central filling to Farma Sort’s sorting solution than from the old manual prescription processing system. An advantage of Easy Filling is that it saves a lot of time and is less costly than central filling.”

The Farma Sort sorting solution significantly speeds up the logistics process, Steenbeek explains. This allows for manual local filling. “Every morning before 11:00 am, we write the bulk of electronic prescriptions. Then, the pharmacy system orders the required medication packages from the wholesale supplier. The next day, they are delivered in unordered crates. Subsequently, the packages are scanned, and the Easy Filling indicates in which compartment each medication package should be placed. The Easy Filling also automatically prints the correct label. This way, the medications are placed per patient in their respective compartments. For example, if you have ten prescriptions, each with three lines, you would occupy ten compartments in the sorting solution, each with three medication packages. So, with a crate of thirty packages, all mixed up, when scanned, the Easy Filling assigns a number to each package to ensure it is correctly placed in the compartment for the respective patient. The Easy Filler has 24 compartments, so you can prepare medications for 24 patients simultaneously. With some clever tricks in this system, it is possible to sort prescriptions for even more than 24 patients at once.”

With Easy Filling, the large bulk of repeat prescriptions disappears every day. “Writing prescriptions now takes much less time. Patients can pick up their orders the next day. We send people an email notification when their medication is ready. Of course, there is still the option for patients to pick up medications directly based on a prescription. For that, we have a stock of medications in the pharmacy. If a medication is not in stock, we also order it via Easy Filling. In the ordering system, we can quickly see if the medication is available at the wholesale supplier. If not, and we have to choose an alternative, we still have enough time, as the medication will be delivered the next day, to inform the patient about the alternative. First dispensing of medications is done from the stock in the cabinet.

Less Stress

Using Easy Filling for local filling has significantly reduced the pharmacy’s inventory. Steenbeek explains, “Previously, we had twelve sets of cabinets in the pharmacy, but now we only have five. You spend much less time managing the inventory, recording expiration dates, and parameters.”

The need for rows of reorders has also become a thing of the past. “Previously, we required about four to five meters of shelf space for all the prescriptions that required reordering. Now, there are only about 6-7 products that need to be reordered.”

Furthermore, the workload on the staff has decreased. “By using Easy Filling, we stay up-to-date with prescription processing every day. In the past, the assistants had to work very hard, and at the end of the day, the work was still not finished. Now, we have extra time that we can dedicate to medication counseling and counter duties. Before we switched to Easy Filling, we had to say goodbye to some employees in our three pharmacies because we couldn’t extend their temporary contracts. As a result, we had to manage the workload with fewer staff across the three pharmacies. However, thanks to the introduction of Easy Filling, we have experienced a reduction in workload.

Efficiency in the Pharmacy

The pharmacy team is very pleased with Farma Sort’s sorting solution. Steenbeek shares, “It is very easy to use. The feedback I received from the team is that their work has become much simpler. Some assistants do miss the logistical puzzles they used to have. They enjoyed figuring out where, for example, an order had gone. But now, that is no longer necessary.”

Moreover, there is much more peace and organization within the pharmacy now. “Patients can pick up their ordered medications immediately. In the past, an assistant would spend five minutes writing, preparing, labeling, and handing out a prescription, and the patient had to wait all that time. Now, it only takes one minute, and the remaining four minutes can be used, for example, for medication counseling.”

Steenbeek expresses great satisfaction with Farma Sort’s service. “The company is easily approachable, and when you call, you speak to people who know their business. It is a small-scale and customer-oriented company. I can only recommend this company and their sorting solutions. In fact, I have done so multiple times. Several colleagues have visited my pharmacy and have since acquired sorting solutions from Farma Sort as well.

Voorbeeld blok 1

Of de Speed Filler kostenbesparend zal zijn, kan Steenvoorden nog niet zeggen, maar ze verwacht van wel. “We werken er nog maar kort mee. Maar werken met Speed Filling geeft een hoge mate van efficiency in de apotheek en het is zeker goedkoper dan central filling bij een externe partij. Een voordeel van het lokaal uitvullen van recepten in de apotheek is dat je de receptverwerking meer in eigen hand hebt.

Voorbeeld blok 2

Zodra een recept compleet is, gaat de verlichting van de verzamel locatie groen branden. Met behulp van de draadloze scanner wordt de barcode van de desbetreffende verzamellocatie gescand en komt er een adresetiket uit de printer. De inhoud van het vak kan nu worden uitgenomen en verpakt.

“Marges worden ook in de farmacie alsmaar dunner” We moeten daarom steeds efficiënter gaan werken.”

– Voorbeeld blok 3