Pharmacy Technician Turned Pharmacy Buyer Finds New Way to Manage Medication Inventory
October 18 – 24 is National Pharmacy Week. Throughout the week, CompleteRx celebrates frontline teams and individuals who go above and beyond in a series of blog posts.
In 2011, Laura Aylor, CPhT, began her pharmacy career as a Pharmacy Technician at Olean General Hospital in New York. She was happy, but something in her wanted more of a challenge. “I saw a few others come and go in the buyer position and decided it was something I wanted to try,” Laura remembers. Something about the buyer position kept calling to her. After a few conversations with her colleagues, an application, and a round of interviews, Laura accepted the position as Pharmacy Buyer for Olean General.
“When I was a tech, I wanted something more. I can’t explain it. I wanted a new goal and purpose,” Laura explains.
Shortly after Laura settled into her new role, she began to take notice of a few common complaints made by pharmacy technicians refilling automated dispensing cabinets (ADC). There never seemed to be enough room in the ADC for active orders, there were leftover and expired drugs in the units, and there was almost always, unnecessarily, duplicates of items. While regular end of the month inspections on each unit were completed, Laura knew there was a better way to manage the ADC inventory.
“Laura completely redesigned the way we look at medications in our Pyxis machines. She noticed drugs were being destroyed unnecessarily and created a system that not only reduced the waste, but found new places to put those drugs to use,” explains Paul Green, Pharm.D., MHA, DPLA, BCPS, System Director of Pharmacy for CompleteRx.
Laura and a team of technicians completed a thorough review of every ADC onsite and worked with the CompleteRx Informatics Team to develop and discover reports that would detail different aspects of the project. The project took place in phases to ensure a seamless transition.
“This new project definitely asked a lot more of our technicians than we had ever before. We created an incentive program in the first wave of phases to help encourage commitment. Without the support of our pharmacy leaders and hard work from our technician hands on the ground, I’m not sure it would have ended up as successful as it did,” Laura says.
Since launching the project back in 2014, the financial return has been rewarding, but it is the success of expanding the program to other locations that has seen the highest return. “We have had a chance to implement the same concept across other locations which is really great,” Laura says.
Laura continues to work with others across the CompleteRx organization to find new best practices for managing drug inventory. The impacts of this project continue to change the way CompleteRx looks for new ways to innovate and create new solutions for our clients and patients.
Cheers to Laura and the entire Pharmacy Team at Olean General Hospital for their innovation and dedication!