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How Custom Casework Enhances the Functionality of a Hospital Pharmacy
RC Smith
/ Categories: Casework, Pharmacy

How Custom Casework Enhances the Functionality of a Hospital Pharmacy

A hospital pharmacy is similar to a bustling nerve center, where every action and service provided must be precise, timely, and accurate, as it all plays a pivotal role in patient care. 

Close your eyes and try to picture the whirlwind of activity. Pharmacists and technicians are carefully navigating through the inherent challenges of medication order fulfillment, meticulously reviewing and filling medication orders, trying to remain focused in a bustling environment, and doing their absolute best to ensure each dose aligns with absolute precision in a timely manner. 

In the intricate realm of a hospital pharmacy, success hinges on seamless operations and meticulous organization. This demanding dance of efficiency and accuracy means optimizing space and functionality isn't just desirable – it's a requirement when the goal is to deliver the very best patient care possible. 

The Need for Optimal Functionality in Hospital Pharmacies 

There has been an intensified need for pharmacy efficiency and functionality in recent years due to many factors, from staffing shortages caused by worker burnout to high technician turnover to fewer students enrolling in pharmacy schools and a higher-than-expected retirement rate.

At the same time, pharmacists are expected to become more involved in direct and personalized patient care, and their workloads have increased at a time when the workload is already overloaded. On top of all this, escalating costs have amplified the importance of managing inventory and staff more proactively and effectively. 

Governed by stringent regulations from bodies like JCAHO, ASHP, USP, and state pharmacy boards, these pharmacies are pivotal in ensuring patient safety and effective treatments. The Director of Pharmacy oversees all operations, such as managing staff, ensuring compliance, and striving for improved patient outcomes. 

Some hospital pharmacies are centralized, while others follow a decentralized model where a primary “Main Pharmacy” area is supplemented by “Satellite Pharmacies” in acute care areas such as critical care, surgery, and oncology. 

These hospital pharmacies aren't merely storerooms for medications; They're complex departments with an array of work areas that review, control, prepare, and dispense crucial medication orders to both inpatients and outpatients.

The Solution: Specialized Modular Pharmacy Casework

This is where we introduce the transformative potential of modular pharmacy casework  – a specialized type of casework designed specifically to match the needs of today’s active pharmacy environment. 

Specialized pharmacy casework enhances functionality and revolutionizes the very heartbeat of these critical spaces. 

R.C. Smith has been the leader in pharmacy design and modular pharmacy casework for over 50 years and has more than 10,000 completed installations from which to draw experience. 

The R.C. Smith system is a hybrid of modular casework (which provides for reconfiguration) and millwork (which allows for customization and a built-in appearance). Additionally, the R.C. Smith system is designed and engineered specifically for the tasks unique to healthcare. This hybrid and specialized approach perfectly matches the needs of the user and the space, which increases productivity, comfort, and aesthetics.

Our design team works collaboratively with architects, pharmacy administrators, facilities departments, and general contractors to turn each customer’s dreams and requirements into a successful project. 

Our turn-key approach starts with a thoughtful space plan, utilizes functional modular pharmacy casework, and is supported by a professional installation.

Pharmacy Automation Doesn’t Solve All the Challenges

One way of addressing staffing challenges and improving efficiency in pharmacy is the selective addition of automation. Pharmacy automation can improve workflow and efficiency while simultaneously reducing medication errors. Data collected through automation can be utilized to facilitate better decision-making related to inventory management.

Automated Medication Dispensing (ADC) systems placed strategically across the hospital ensure rapid medication access near the point of care, enhancing efficiency and security. This makes it all the easier for doctors to prescribe the medication and allows nurses to access it quickly. ADC technology provides all the necessary security and tracking for such procedures. 

Incorporating the right shelving, storage, and cabinetry features into these environments can enhance the benefits of your new automation equipment and further optimize the functionality of day-to-day operations at any pharmacy, whether it’s a hospital, retail, central fill, or specialty pharmacy. Modular and freestanding casework will provide flexibility in the casework layout when automation changes over time.

Partner with R.C. Smith to maintain order and improve patient experience! Our custom pharmacy casework provides beneficial solutions to improve the pharmacy workflow.

How R.C. Smith Enhances Efficiency & Functionality in Pharmacy

At R.C. Smith, we specialize in custom medical shelving solutions, using the latest technology and advanced equipment to deliver detailed craftsmanship coupled with features that your staff will appreciate. The functionality of the pharmacy-specific casework enhances the efficiency of each step required in a pharmacy's process of serving patients. 

Our pharmacy casework orchestrates a symphony of efficiency in hospital pharmacies, unlocking a world of streamlined processes and optimized workflows. 

Thoughtful Design 

Pharmacies have unique requirements that must be addressed and satisfied in a form-meets-function manner to allow staff to perform their duties at the highest level possible. While pharmacy automation can be a powerful tool for improving efficiency, it needs to be incorporated into a thoughtful pharmacy workflow design to provide the most impactful outcome.

A well-planned pharmacy design will not only improve efficiency but also relieve stress, improve morale, and reduce medication errors while providing the best patient care experience possible.

Meaningful Features to Enhance Efficiency

For a functional pharmacy design to perform optimally, it must be supported by purposeful pharmacy casework that incorporates numerous critical design elements into its design and engineering DNA.

  • Modular Casework: This provides an ability to react to changing workspace requirements by being adaptable to change by means of easy reconfiguration, scalability, and supporting sustainable initiatives.

  • Freestanding Casework: This means that reinforced walls will not need to be built for support, and walls will not need to be torn down or patched for reconfiguration.

  • Pharmacy-Specific Casework: This matches the form of the design to the function very specifically for each task in the pharmacy. This form-meets-function approach improves efficiency, improves ergonomics, and provides a more enjoyable work environment for your staff to work within.

Clear & Concise Organization

When you’re attending to a large volume of prescription orders every day, your pharmacy needs specific interior design strategies that emphasize organization. One of the advantages of pharmacy-specific modular casework is that it maximizes storage capacity while simultaneously providing the format necessary for better organization.

If your pharmacy has a unique requirement, we have the ability to customize the configuration, size, finish, and format of the casework to match your expectations and requirements perfectly. 

Don’t let a unique architectural element like a curved wall throw you a curveball in your space design or functionality! R.C. Smith can build cabinets that follow the curve perfectly to make the most out of every last bit of available space.

Improved Ergonomic Functions

Ergonomics is a hot topic for a good reason. It is a science of making the workplace more comfortable, healthy, and safer, and this can be done directly through casework designs and features. Correct ergonomics foster a healthy culture within the company and help the staff remain attentive and focused on providing the best patient care possible. 

Incorporating pharmacy-specific casework that offers easily adjustable settings and design features provides more a more comfortable posture and enables repetitive motions that are more relaxed and less stressful for the staff.  Less stress on staff means less fatigue and improved efficiency. 

The primary objective is to minimize the amount of forceful turning, pinching, or repetitive movements while integrating electronics that offer automated or light touch options because both will directly enhance pharmacy workflow and your staff's efficiency.

Our Solutions Optimize the Functions of a Hospital Pharmacy

Pharmacy is a demanding environment for casework, and not all casework is built equally to meet the needs successfully. R.C. Smith modular pharmacy casework is engineered for long-term durability with high-quality materials, high-quality hardware, and industry-leading construction techniques like postformed cabinet bottoms and drawer/door sides that dramatically improve durability.

Our modular and pharmacy-specific solutions revolutionize every facet of a hospital pharmacy's operation, specifically regarding the following areas of protocol.

  • Order Review & Unit Dose Picking: Tailored casework optimizes space for meticulous review and streamlined unit dose picking, ensuring accuracy in medication dispensation.

  • Pre-Packaging, Outdated Drug Storage, Investigational Drug Storage & Narcotics Management: Customized casework solutions enhance the organization and security of pre-packaged medications and narcotics, complying with strict regulations.

  • Sterile & Non-Sterile Compounding: Specialized casework supports the stringent requirements of sterile and non-sterile compounding, ensuring adherence to regulations and safety protocols. Specialized materials like stainless steel are available where needed.

  • Surgery, Crash Cart, & EMT Filling: Casework solutions aid in efficiently stocking surgery trays, crash carts, and EMT supplies, ensuring immediate access during critical moments.

  • Outpatient Services & Clinical Workstations: Tailored casework streamlines outpatient filling and provides efficient workstations for clinical duties, optimizing patient care. 

R.C. Smith: Crafting Success for Hospital Pharmacies 

So, who can hospital pharmacies trust to implement the necessary casework solutions to optimize their workspaces and improve workplace efficiency? 

R.C. Smith: A beacon of expertise in pharmacy casework design! We’re armed with decades of experience, offering modular, freestanding casework engineered for active pharmacy environments. 

Get hospital pharmacy-specific solutions tailored to elevate functionality! We’ve overseen countless seamless installations and efficient, effective casework designs for over 10,000 pharmacy spaces. 

Start Your Pharmacy Casework Space Design Today

In the intricate tapestry of hospital pharmacy operations, modular pharmacy-specific casework emerges as the linchpin, weaving efficiency, organization, and compliance into every corner. 

The collaboration between hospital pharmacies and R.C. Smith's expertise in tailored casework solutions paves the way for elevated functionality, ensuring these critical spaces operate seamlessly, nurturing patient care and well-being at every turn. 

Are you ready to embrace the transformative power of modular pharmacy casework and unlock the potential for your optimized hospital pharmacy? Contact R.C. Smith today to start creating a more efficient, functional workspace that will serve your needs for many years to come! 

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