Guardian Pharmacy Mid-South was highlighted in the Memphis Business Journal in June 2017.
In the article, Guardian Mid-South President Curt Bicknell discusses the growth of the pharmacy and how the increase in demand has led to more automation.
The article reads:
Guardian’s tech rockets pharmacy into future
By Elle Perry
In the five years Guardian Pharmacy has been open, every year has been different, according to president Curt Bicknell. The past year has meant increased automation, a new buildout and an IV room.
With offices located near Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett, Guardian Pharmacy specializes in individual and compliance packaging for assisted living communities, skilled nursing homes and behavioral health facilities.
The company has 50 employees, including a full-time nurse educator.
“Right now, we’re filling 103,000 prescriptions per month,” Bicknell said.
The company expects to serve 3,500 residents this summer via about 50 facilities in West Tennessee and North Mississippi.
The increase in demand has led to the company’s additional use of automation; about 80 percent of the current prescriptions at Guardian Pharmacy are filled using a packaging machine that dispenses medicine in seven-day intervals. Each individual package, which can contain up to five pills, includes the time and date the medicine should be taken.
As part of the packaging process, another machine takes a photo of each pill to verify the medication is correct based on its color and size. The machine flags medications that it deems incorrect or if the pill is broken. Afterwards, a Guardian employee will run a report and fix any errors.
The company also plans to add another packaging machine in the fall, but humans are still a key part of the packaging process, Bicknell said.
For its health care facility clients, the individual packages reduce the burdens on nurses and staff members, allowing them to spend more time with patients.
In the future, the company will produce pill packaging cycles shorter than seven days and give patients 30-day supplies of medicine when they are discharged, said Rhett Barker, the company’s director of operations.
The additional medication will also work to increase compliance and reduce re-admission.
“We want to make the transition home as easy as possible,” Bicknell said, “and subsequently help nursing homes at the same time.”