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"an invaluable tool for pharmacists"

Helen Murphy - at the forefront of innovation in Derry



There has been a Murphy behind the counter in Murphy’s Chemist on Spencer Road in Derry since 1951 – almost 65 years of unbroken service to the community through some of the hardest times in the life of the city. Despite this longevity, there is no evidence of a failure to engage with the future – quite the opposite. The pharmacy is home to one of the most high tech dispensing machines in Ireland, with overhead conveyor belts and seven chutes delivering medicines from the Consis machine to the pharmacy team. Helen Murphy explained why she made the significant investment in the Consis machinery. “I have always been interested in technology and finding new ways to do things more efficiently and faster. I previously had another robotic dispensing system but for a number of reasons decided to change.” “In 2014 I decided to completely refit the pharmacy, as increasing volumes of dispensing were putting pressure on the dispensary team and I wanted to rethink the way we worked. Arnd Mommers, the Sales Director for Willach Pharmacy Solutions, showed me the Consis in action in a number of different pharmacies in Germany, Holland and England, and I was very impressed with what I saw.” “The Consis machine was a perfect match for our dispensing profile – 85% of the items we dispense are dispensed from the machine from 15% of our stock.” The actual installation was painless, although the sheer weight of the machine meant that the floor had to be strengthened as part of the pharmacy refit, and the machine was up and running within days. “The Consis is manually loaded from the back and the process is safe and efficient – when a pack is scanned a laser indicates which chute it should be slotted in to, and everyone adapted to this new way of working very quickly.”


Helen added, “I am delighted with the service and support I get from Consis, which compares very favourably to my previous experience. And I came back to McLernons as my pharmacy IT partner and have been very pleased in the way in which all the systems work together. Keith McLernon explained why Helen had made the move back to McLernons, “We are the only pharmacy dispensing system provider in Northern Ireland to have an interface with the Consis technology. We are delighted with the relationship that we have forged with Willach and Arnd in particular, as we both have the same customer-focussed approach. People change software providers for a number of reasons, personal and political, but I would always hope that they would always feel that coming back to McLernons is always possible. I am delighted to be back working with Helen, helping her grow her business and look after her patients.” Helen continued, “I installed a Consis because I was looking for three key benefits for my business – accuracy, speed, and better stock control – and I have not been disappointed.” And in a fitting link between the past and the present, the machine was christened ‘Hank’ by one of the patients, an amalgam of Helen’s own name and that of her father, Frank. Arnd Mommers commented, ”It is great that in McLernons we have a PMR supplier who makes such an effort into creating the most efficient working interface between their technology and our systems. Helen’s installation of a Consis was a ‘win / win’ situation for all involved parties. Thank you all!”