The future of Independent Pharmacy is increasingly reliant on the adoption of new technological innovations that are emerging in the pharmaceutical field today. Pharmacies also have a long history of being slow to warm up to technology. This reluctance can block the constantly evolving, rich and vibrant path to growth that technology can deliver. But what if it’s possible to leverage that slow warm-up into an advantage instead of a disadvantage?
The 21st Century Pharmacy Series: Part 2 - Tap Into Technology
Welcome to the second installment of The 21st Century Pharmacy series. In this installment, we’ll examine some of the more popular technologies that are easy-to-use, lower-cost, and have a high positive experience rate among pharmacists and customers, alike. Find out why, when you step outside traditional lines that stall growth and take advantage of user-friendly technology, your pharmacy can significantly capitalize on being an innovative, vibrant, and knowledgeable leader your community.
It’s All About the Tech
Even though many pharmacies don’t take advantage of the tech-based tools and advancements that have exploded onto the scene, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that this same technology has the ability to strengthen efficiency, provide first-rate customer service, and greatly improve patient outcomes. Everything from mobile applications and data analytics to automation of refills can produce significant returns. With a little research, you can find a form of technology that fits every level of your day-to-day business functions.
Possibly the biggest area to feel the techno-curve is the administrative side of running a pharmacy. Pharmacy management software solutions are available that can help independent pharmacies not only manage their day-to-day business, but also offer features that can increase positive patient outcomes. These features include:
- Integrated medication synchronization
- Patient risk analytics
- Patient adherence tracking
- Medication Therapy Management
- Predictive analytics
- CMS Five-Star reporting
- Medication synchronization calendars
- Auto Refills
- Integrated workflows
- Document management
- Third Party Reconciliations
- Inventory tracking
- Customizable reporting and
- Employee Time Tracking
These are just a few of the dozens of different features a 21st century pharmacy management software can bring to the table. Some resulting benefits of implementing a pharmacy management software include:
- Improved patient outcomes
- Stronger customer relationships
- Streamlined administrative tasks and
- Increased productivity
When an independent pharmacy can arm itself with relevant and actionable data, it can transform its role from just ‘another pharmacy’ to true partners in the overall healthcare of community members.
There are many patient-focused technologies that are covered in the administrative end of pharmacy management. Technologies such as:
- Medication adherence
- Medication synchronization and
- Auto Refills
But the reality of it is: patients are more involved in their healthcare today than ever before, and it’s getting harder and harder to find folks who haven’t, in one way or another, interacted with information online, through social media, or even within their own community groups and associations.
In addition to these behind-the-scenes technologies, there are several hands-on options available that can satisfy your patients’ desires to play a more active role in their healthcare. One of these ways are to offer individualized patient interaction through the use of a mobile applications.
Pharmacists willing to step out into the digital world can uncover numerous ways to improve medication adherence and patient engagement through the use of mobile applications that:
- Alert patients with refill reminders
- Automatically send refills to pharmacies
- Remind patients to take medications at timed intervals, and
- Provide access to community health news, ongoing sales and promotions, and coupons
Mobile applications have evolved exponentially over the past few years. There’s no longer a need to hire expensive developers and coders to build a functional, user-friendly mobile app –– now the process is as easy as scanning your website or dragging and dropping functions into pre-made widgets. For example:
AppMachine is an app building platform that allows users to scan a website and use the information they find as a jumping point. Users can also utilize one of over thirty-five pre-coded building blocks that “snap” together as desired, to create unique mobile applications.
DropSource is another platform that takes app building to a whole new level of ease with vibrant, powerful, data-driven apps created through a simple drag-n-drop option.
The point here is that patients are no longer as hesitant to use technology as when compared to ten years ago. So, while updating your administrative technology is an important step forward, it’s just as important to remember your customers’ growing need to be included (and prioritized) in their personal healthcare management.
Technology isn’t going anywhere but forward. Large chain pharmacies are beginning to recognize the importance of this asset to their businesses and are incorporating technology into their every-day processes more frequently. Independent pharmacies don’t have to be left behind in this growth.
Whether you implement behind the scenes technology that enables your business to process prescriptions quicker and with fewer errors, track inventory to reduce unnecessary overstock, or provide your customers with more powerful tools that increase their engagement in their own healthcare journeys, pharmacists who keep an open and inquisitive mind with regard to technology will keep or outpace their slower-on-the-uptake competitors.
Has your pharmacy made any technology-based improvements? Has it helped your pharmacy grow? How has the technology impacted –– positively or negatively –– your standing in the community? We’d love to know and may even share those experiences in future blog posts, white papers, and e-books. If you’d like to add your experience, please contact BB Drake.
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