Not all point of sale systems are created equally. Point of sale systems are commonly built specifically for an industry, which provides businesses with the tools necessary to effectively operate their type of business. A point of sale system used in a restaurant would likely not offer the features needed to run a pharmacy and vice versa. Retail independent pharmacy has specific needs; between submitting ID information for controlled substance prescription pickups, to tracking and managing pseudoephedrine sales, independent pharmacy requires very niche options in their POS. Here are the top 5 must haves in your pharmacy’s point of sale system.
1: Inventory Management
Arguably one of the most important features a point of sale can offer is a comprehensive inventory management system. For any retail store inventory can be your biggest overhead, and in a community pharmacy especially where you’re not only managing front-end inventory, but also drugs, it is so important to be in control of your OTC inventory. Datascan’s point of sale system keeps track of a physical perpetual inventory, allowing you to see the exact quantity of an item you have on hand. Our Point of Sale software also helps you to manage desired stock quantities by setting reorder points on all items. Included in our point of sale system is EDI—allowing full electronic ordering with your pharmacy wholesalers. This also helps to easily update inventory and costs when you receive an electronic response from the wholesaler on what is being shipped to you. Through POS you are able to print a variety of reports to better analyze your inventory as a whole, by department or category, or even for a specific item.
2: SIGIS Certification
Pharmacy point of sale systems are built with pharmacy needs in mind. Patients picking up prescriptions or purchasing over the counter items often want to use their flexible spending or health savings card to pay for their copayment or qualified items. In order to set your pharmacy up to accept FSA and HSA cards you must be registered with SIGIS and your point of sale software vendor must also be a SIGIS certified vendor. Retail point of sale systems are not registered with SIGIS and prevent pharmacies from being able to accept FSA and HSA cards at the point of sale.
3: Integrated pseudoephedrine tracking
Pharmacies are unique in their needs and ability to track and certify pseudoephedrine product sales. Pharmacies are required to validate sales on items containing pseudoephedrine and track the customer’s information as well. Your Datascan point of sale system is fully integrated to track pseudoephedrine sales in real time, validate the purchase, and inform cashiers if the patient is eligible to purchase the item. It also logs the sale and retains the customer information. This is an important feature for your pharmacy point of sale software to offer, and something a retail POS would not be able to manage. If your state requires reporting of PSE sales, Datascan’s point of sale also has full integration with NPLEX for automated electronic reporting.
4: Signature capture and workflow integration
When patients come to pick up their prescriptions and the cashier scans the barcode, there is a lot of “talk” between the point of sale software and the pharmacy system. Simply put, the point of sale software is not just reading an item code and spitting out a price, but communicating with your pharmacy system to ensure that the patient’s prescriptions are ready for pickup. In addition the point of sale’s integration with workflow will check to see if a patient or linked family member has other prescriptions waiting somewhere in the workflow. Patients are also able to sign for prescription pick up, HIPAA, and to accept or reject counseling, all of which are stored in both the point of sale and pharmacy software. Not only does this keep your pharmacy compliant with state laws, but also give you the ability to easily track and lookup if a patients RX was picked up, as well as track RX’s that have not been picked up for quick communication to those patients. Lowering re stock rates of prescriptions forgotten about from patients helps to build compliance, star ratings, reimbursements, and of course, overall sales.
5: AR Tracking and PCI compliant credit card storage
The ability to securely store credit card and billing information for customers and patients is typically on pharmacy owners POS wish lists. Creating customer house charge or AR accounts is a very common need in community pharmacy, and something not all retail systems can accommodate. Datascan’s point of sale system not only allows you to create AR accounts for customers, but even helps you to link family members to the account to easily track family member’s purchases on their monthly statement. For pharmacies servicing Long Term Care or Assisted Living Facilities, they can create AR accounts for facilities, while linking patients or customers to the account. Pharmacies can choose to print and mail statements or email them to customers instead. Datascan’s point of sale system will also allow the pharmacy to store PCI compliant encrypted credit card information. Stored credit cards can be used for individual sales at the point of sale or can be applied to end of month AR statements as well. Proper credit card encryption is important to ensure your pharmacy is in compliance with PCI standards. Datascan has even set the system up so you can automatically charge cards on file for monthly statements when they come due.
Regardless of what pharmacy management software you use, having a point of sale system that can ‘tie’ into it, share data, and not operate separate is key to running an efficient pharmacy.