3 Reasons Why Pharmacists Won't Be Replaced by Robots

Although robots have been employed to help with dispensing duties, they won't replace pharmacists.

A recent article suggests that if pharmacists don’t start proving their value, they’ll soon be replaced by robots and apps.

However, the author fails to consider the roles pharmacists currently play outside of dispensing, including:

1. Inpatient Care

The role of the health-system pharmacist is expanding rapidly. Hospitals are recognizing the key ways pharmacists contribute to the health care team, working in coordination with hospitalists and other practitioners on goals like antimicrobial stewardship. As a result, pharmacists are becoming a more accepted and requested resource to help improve inpatient care outcomes.

2. ACOs

As accountable care organizations (ACOs) become a larger part of health care, pharmacists will become a more recognized member of the team, helping to reduce hospital admissions related to medications and improving outcomes. Pharmacists can help cement this role by branching out and making connections with practitioners who recognize the value provided.

3. MTM

Medication therapy management (MTM) is a growing area where pharmacists can use their training to provide value directly to patients. Through comprehensive medication reviews, pharmacists identify medication-related problems like polypharmacy and adverse drug events that could potentially result in a hospital admission.

Robots and apps are helpful in that they can free up time for pharmacists to provide more value through both inpatient and outpatient services. When provider status is finally recognized, pharmacists will be poised to expand their services even further.

Reference

Street CW. Your pharmacist will soon be a robot. Breibart. breitbart.com/california/2016/05/02/pharmacist-will-soon-app-robot. Published May 2, 2016. Accessed May 10, 2016.