Written by 12:21 pm Pharmacy Operations

Retail Pharmacy Workflow Basics


Pickup is almost the last step in the workflow process.  This is where patients come to obtain their prescription order and pay for it.  This area will have the cash register and bagging supplies and sufficient counter space for other purchases.  This area also needs to be clearly marked with a hanging sign.  Ideally it should be obvious where the line should form and where the next person in line should wait.

The pickup station is also where the prepared prescription orders are organized.  Most systems utilize a simple alphabetical structure, filing patients by last name.  But I’ve seen some rather creative systems too, like ones that organize patient orders into numbered bags which are filed by the day they were filled on.  It can get a bit ridiculous.  Trust me, stick with alphabetical.

The pickup station needs to allow the cashier to check important patient identifying information, though this is generally handled by the software.

Important, in my opinion, is that the pickup area be sufficiently distanced from the drop off area.  Sometimes customers at pickup remember that they want another prescription.  The best practice is to either complete their purchase and then send them over to “drop off” or cancel their purchase and send them to drop off.  But if the patient can stand right there and place another order it tends to disrupt the continuity of the pickup process for others.

Finally, the pickup area needs to have sufficient room to store all the supplies needed here as well including variously sized bags, register receipt tape, staplers, pens, etc.

Last modified: April 17, 2023

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