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The Complete Guide to Independent Pharmacy Technology

The Complete Guide to Independent Pharmacy Technology by Elements magazine | pbahealth.com


June 6, 2018


Inside: Technology will drive your pharmacy into the future. Discover everything your independent pharmacy needs to know about pharmacy technology.

Technology is constantly transforming our world.

It increases efficiency and productivity. It helps businesses boost the bottom line. And, it allows healthcare organizations to improve patient care.

As technology rapidly develops, independent pharmacies will have to keep up or fall behind.

But with the day-to-day tasks of operating a business, pharmacy owners and managers may have trouble keeping up with the ever-changing landscape of pharmacy technology.

So, we’ve boiled down the major pharmacy technology you need to know about. These are the products, services, and solutions to keep your pharmacy on the cutting edge and your competition in the dust.


 

Automation and Robots

Automation technology in pharmacy refers to machines that perform functions autonomously. These include measuring, filling, labeling, and dispensing medications.

What are the benefits of automation and robots?

 

Along with the big benefits of automation comes a big investment. Robots can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. So, you want to forecast your return-on-investment before going all in on one of the machines.

Invest in automation and robots if you:

 

Where to get it:

ScriptPro
One of the best-known automation companies in the industry, ScriptPro offers four different automated dispensing robots that can fill, measure, dispense, and label prescription medications. It also provides a comprehensive line of more than 200 pharmacy automation and management system products for independent pharmacies.

Synergy Medical
Synergy Medical provides an automated adherence packaging system for solid oral medications in multi-dose and single-dose blister cards.


 

Adherence and Packaging

Adherence pharmacy technology encompasses a whole spectrum of services to increase patient adherence.

Many automation systems compile and dispense blister packs perfect for medication synchronization programs.

Other adherence technology includes:

 

What are the benefits of adherence and packaging?

 

Invest in adherence and packaging if:

 

Where to get it:

Medicine-On-Time
Medicine-On-Time is a complete adherence system for independent pharmacies. It includes a workstation, software, compliance packaging, and a network of support mechanisms.

Amplicare
Amplicare (formerly iMedicare) offers multiple adherence solutions. Its Amplicare Connect product is an automated phone call campaign tool that allows you to record messages in your own voice. It also offers a system that identifies patients who are at risk of non-adherence and prompts you with an opportunity to care for them.

AdhereTech
These smart wireless pill bottles from AdhereTech include sensors and wifi that alert patients when they’ve missed a dose.


 

Digital Prescriptions and Refills

Digital prescription technology allows patients to order their prescriptions through an electronic medium like their phone or computer and receive reminders through text messages or email.

What are the benefits of digital prescriptions and refills?

Digital prescriptions improve patient satisfaction, adherence, and perception of care, according to a study published in Perspectives in Health Information Management.

The study showed:

 

And, in a CVS Health poll, 35 percent of patients said they’d fill their prescription more often if they received automatic reminders on their mobile phone.

Besides the patient benefits, digital prescriptions provide greater convenience to your pharmacy staff. They reduce paper trails, minimize phone and fax time, and easily connect to your pharmacy management system.

Digital prescriptions and refills also boost your profit by increasing your prescription volume.

Invest in digital prescriptions and refills if:

With a low level of investment required, every pharmacy can offer some level of digital prescriptions and refill reminders.

Where to get it:

Digital Pharmacist
Digital Pharmacist provides digital solutions for independent pharmacies including a branded app, digital refills, communications, and engagement tools.

Surescripts
Surescripts supports standard electronic prescription transactions to allow pharmacists to securely e-prescribe within their existing workflow.


 

Pharmacy Management Software

Pharmacy management software refers to programs for your computer that help you run your pharmacy business. They help you manage processing and billing, workflow, accounts receivables, patient profiles, and inventory.

Every system offers a wide range of functions and works a bit differently.

In general, pharmacy management software offers:

 

What are the benefits of pharmacy management software?

Pharmacy management software makes running your business easier, more effective, and more efficient. The more pharmacy functions the software incorporates into one system, the easier it is for you keep track of everything—and to manage it. Your management will become more streamlined.

Invest in pharmacy management software if:

Every pharmacy should invest in pharmacy management software today. Which software and which features you invest in will depend on your particular pharmacy’s needs. A single pharmacy filling a few hundred scripts per day may need different software than a regional chain pharmacy managing multiple locations and thousands of prescriptions.

Where to get it:

Computer-Rx, Speed Script, and Pioneer Rx provide pharmacy management software for every size pharmacy.


 

Point-of-Sale

Point-of-sale (POS) technology encompasses the software and systems used to process payments from patients. A POS system is basically a digital cash register with extra perks.

POS systems range from a small-footprint credit card processor attached to a cash register to complete digital systems embedded with business and customer engagement tools.

What are the benefits of POS systems?

Beyond processing payments, different POS systems provide different benefits including inventory management, sales reporting, and customer engagement.

They enable you to start and optimize a customer loyalty program through engagement tools like discounts and email marketing.

A sophisticated POS system can integrate with your inventory management to improve inventory control.

And funds processed through POS are routed straight to your bank account.

Cash registers record sales but don’t typically break down the data any further. But a POS system can provide granular data essential for improving sales. For example, it can pinpoint your best-selling items or what times of the day and week you’re busiest.

Invest in a high-quality, digital POS if you want to:

 

POS systems come with recurrent costs as well as an initial investment. Processing costs and other fees will accrue for as long as you use the system. If you decide to go with a POS system, make sure it integrates with your pharmacy management system.

Where to get it:

Many pharmacy management software systems come with their own POS system. Using the POS from your pharmacy management software ensures the most seamless and cooperative integration to maximize your sales and inventory. But you also have additional options.

CashierLive
This POS company for retail created a POS system specifically for independent pharmacies. CashierLive integrates with pharmacy management systems, accepts chip and FSA cards, and sends purchase orders electronically. It’s also integrated with every major wholesaler (and many regional and specialty ones too) to import products and pricing and can send the purchase orders electronically via EDI directly into the wholesaler’s ordering system.

Retail Management Solutions
Retail Management Solutions specializes in POS technology for independent pharmacies. It offers various systems pharmacies can choose from depending on their needs. Its software incorporates inventory management, automated purchasing orders, universal product list imports, and Excel data reports.


 

Telepharmacy

Telepharmacy technology allows pharmacists to interact with patients and pharmacy technicians remotely through a video call for counseling or digital photos for prescription verification.

What are the benefits of telepharmacy?

Telepharmacy allows pharmacies to extend their reach and to expand access to patients, particularly in rural and medically underserved areas.

Telepharmacy is an effective way for a pharmacy to expand into a new area or extend hours without adding a pharmacist to the staff. If you have multiple pharmacy locations, one pharmacist can be present at each of them remotely through telepharmacy technology. A pharmacy technician handles the hands-on work and the pharmacist connects through video or views photos of the prescription information before dispensing. The pharmacist then approves or disapproves the transaction and provides any necessary consultation.

Telepharmacy also works with automated dispensing kiosks. Patients who go to the self-serve kiosks will speak to a pharmacist over a video chat before the machine dispenses their medication.

Invest in telepharmacy if you:

 

Where to get it:

TelePharm, a Cardinal Health company, provides telepharmacy software that enables remote prescription verification and live-video counseling with patients.

In addition to automation, ScriptPro provides its own telepharmacy technology.


 

Wholesaler Contract Management

Pharmacy wholesaler contract management technology analyzes the pharmacy’s purchasing history to optimize it based on the primary wholesaler contract.

This contract management pharmacy technology analyzes all purchasing data and provides line-by-line money-saving recommendations. It evaluates generic and brand purchases in light of your compliance rates and suggests how to maximize rebates and discounts.

It also compares how adjusting factors like manufacturer and package size on specific line items can save you money overall.

What are the benefits of contract management solutions?

This technology provides thousands of dollars of savings per year and dramatically improves your pharmacy’s bottom line.

With prescription medication making up around 90 percent of your business, optimizing your prescription purchasing is the most effective and significant way to boost your bottom line.

If you’re purchasing drugs from a primary wholesaler but aren’t using data and analytics to optimize your rebates and your discounts, you’re missing out on a lot of profit.

Invest in wholesaler contract management technology if you want to:

 

Where to get it:

The best proprietary wholesaler contract management technology that maximizes rebates and purchasing on pharmacy orders is ProfitGuard, a contract negotiation and management service from PBA Health.

The data and analytics tools come free for ProfitGuard members. And, a team of experts will assist you with focusing your purchases to maximize the value of your economic arrangement. Learn more about joining ProfitGuard.

With the best pharmacy technology at your fingertips, take your business to the cutting edge and leave your competition behind.


 

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