Independent Pharmacy Insights

Information Technology: Making Exceptional Customer Service Possible

  September 28, 2017  

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Technology has saturated nearly every corner of daily life – including our healthcare.  Most often, physicians are leaving traditional paper forms in the rearview as they move forward with more advanced alternatives in their day-to-day operations: alternatives such as digital and electronic services.

As Technology Moves Forward, Safety Increases

A recent American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) survey shows that technological advances, such as electronic health records (EHRs), barcode-assisted medication administration systems, and computerized prescriber-order-entry (CPOE) systems, can strongly improve patient medication use and safety when these options are implemented.  For example:

  • 93 percent of all hospitals in the United States utilize barcode medication administration systems
  • 99 percent of all hospitals in the United States use EHRs
  • 99 percent of all hospitals in the United States use CPOEs, up from 69% in 2003
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More efficient prescription fulfillment and the streamlined process of paperless healthcare has allowed pharmacists to increase medication safety and provide additional one-on-one support to their patients.

Safer Prescription Fulfillment = More Time to Counsel Patients

ASHP CEO, Paul W. Abramowitz, PharmaD, ScD, FASHP states, “In addition to improving medication safety, the increased use of information technology shows great potential for pharmacists to spend more and more time providing comprehensive medication therapy management in and across all settings of patient care.”

Accessing electronic records, e-prescriptions, and having information technology in place that transmits necessary information to and from insurance providers, physician’s offices, and pharmacies means less time being spent by the pharmacist securing this information manually, and more time spent educating their customers, answering their questions, and giving personal attention to the most important cog in the medication system: the patient.

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Historically, pharmacies have been slow to get on board with technological advances, but this is changing rapidly.  Independent pharmacies are increasingly working with information technology and adopting digital alternatives in their organizations.

Technology helps to streamline business operations – an important part of any successful venture.  Adopting technology also gives the independent pharmacy an edge over their retail-chain competitors by creating the opportunity to provide personalized customer attention. This personal attention is just one of the many reasons why independent pharmacies have endured and continue to play a vital role in accessible healthcare.

Closing Thoughts

Today’s streamlined pharmacy makes sense for most pharmacy owners, especially in an industry that battles enormous retail giants for survival. One-on-one customer interaction and quality, accessible care play key roles in an independent pharmacy’s ability to build exceptional customer service. Having strong information technology in place will make reaching that goal easier to achieve.

Has your pharmacy adopted technology into practice? How has it improved your patient experience and your business?

Share your story with us. We may profile your success story in a future edition.

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