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Learning Objectives

  1. List the benefits of workflow optimization.

  2. Identify ways to reduce waste and streamline workflow.

  3. Describe how to improve efficiency and quality of the pharmacy workflow to improve patient satisfaction and grow profits.

  4. Apply strategies to evaluate, organize, standardize, implement, and analyze pharmacy workflow for optimization.

Setting the Scene

The contents of this chapter can be utilized and applied in all community pharmacy practice settings. Whether your practice site dispenses products, provides services, or does a combination of both, the ability to maintain and grow profits is necessary to run a successful business. Pharmacy, like many health care settings, is a competitive and quickly changing marketplace. You need to be able to adapt in order to stay relevant and to meet the needs of your customers. In this chapter, we will discuss ways to cut costs, save money, improve quality and safety, and ultimately provide better service to your customers. Accomplishing this will also free up your time in order to focus on growing other areas of your business. We understand that it may not be possible for you to implement all of the changes you would like to make. You may experience financial barriers, lack needed resources, such as technology, or you may not be the final decision maker in your organization. We recommend that you start with what you can control and implement those changes in your practice setting. Build from there. Sometimes even the smallest changes can have big impacts.

Imagine yourself in the following scenario: You have recently started as pharmacy manager for a community pharmacy that you have not worked at previously, and have been told by your boss that this pharmacy has many opportunities. Recently, there have been many customer complaints, some staff have either quit or transferred out to other pharmacies, and the overall financials of the pharmacy are not where they need to be. Your job is to improve customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and profitability of this pharmacy.


Before you design or implement anything, you need to understand the Why, What, and How.

  • Why—Why are you doing this?

    • Must align with your core values and the purpose that drives your organization1

  • What—What are you promising?

    • Defines the goal that you are promising to deliver

  • How—How are you going to deliver?

    • States the processes and procedures of how you will deliver on your promise

Additional questions that you can ask to help you identify the Why, What, and How are as follows.


  1. Why are you considering this new change or process?

  2. Why do you need this new change or process?

  3. Does this new change or process align with your core values and/or mission statement?


  1. What ...

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