Are you a Creature of Habit with Running Your Independent Pharmacy?
Running a successful Independent Pharmacy used to be much simpler—contract with vendors for great pricing, fill prescriptions for your patients, reimbursements were high and everyone was profitable. Unfortunately there has been nothing simple for pharmacists over the past few years. PBM (Pharmacy Benefit Managers) monopolistic practices and shifts in the pharmacy industry have resulted in lower reimbursements as well as overworked and frustrated pharmacists in thousands of independent pharmacies across the nation. With industry changes come a need to revamp your existing business, no matter what business you are in. Running an independent pharmacy the way you may have even up until 5 years ago or so will no longer result in a successful business. We must reevaluate what we’re doing and look to find new profit centers, or we run the risk of becoming obsolete.
There are so many basic day-to-day and operational changes that could help cultivate success in your independent pharmacy. Have you considered changing your store’s workflow? Datascan Pharmacy Software offers five different types of customizable workflow settings for free within their pharmacy software system. Integrating a multistage workflow helps organize prescriptions into queues, allows you to help staff better manage their time, and most importantly, increases efficiency. Better employee management also frees up owners and pharmacists time to run their business, counsel patients, and focus on building profitability elsewhere outside of prescriptions.
Have you thought about the products currently sitting on your pharmacy shelves collecting dust? Inventory is by far your biggest overhead, and slow moving items take up space and money. Both Winpharm and Datascan POS offer a tremendous amount of value by providing inventory-based reporting to help you keep track of item performance and guide you towards smarter purchase decisions. Datascan’s perpetual inventory in both systems provides you with up-to-date information on in-stock quantities and also helps ensure you’re not seeing swells in inventory. Using our free EDI and automated inventory options not only frees up your time, but helps maintain accuracy. Shopping for the best price while purchasing inventory for your pharmacy is clearly important, and our systems can help shop across multiple vendors. Watching trends in historical use of drugs can also help better determine what to stock on your shelves during different times of the year by looking at your historic usage rates. Saving money on purchasing as well as minimizing wasteful spending on both OTC and pharmacy drug inventory can help free up your cash for better use elsewhere in your business.
Are your patients still having to call in or physically come to your pharmacy for their refills? Why aren’t you offering the conveniences that your competitors are? From mobile refills applications, to online refills on your pharmacy website, or even better, auto refill for those maintenance medications are a must to build your RX volume, patient adherence, and ultimately your star ratings to help lower your ridiculous DIR fees.
What about your employees? How many do you have and what manual tasks are they handling on a daily or weekly basis that potentially could be automated in the pharmacy software you use? If you still find yourself using plastic bins filled with prescriptions to track different statuses of your RX’s, you’re wasting a lot of time. How are you managing prescriptions that are too soon to fill? Those that need a PA after the request has gone out? How are you getting your patients new prescriptions in time for maintenance medications prior to running out of refills? These are just some of the many tasks that take up your employee’s time, but could be automated within Datascan’s Pharmacy Management Software.
Statistically, large pharmacy chains have shown that in-store rewards programs have increased their front end sales drastically. Do you have and promote a rewards program in your pharmacy? Do you use modern technology to give targeted coupons at the point of sale to your customers for items they have historically bought? Offering them a discount or coupon for their birthday and building better relationships with them? What about all that real estate you pay for, but the items on the shelves may not be moving–reports can help to identify these things. Speaking with your customers and getting feedback, as well as changing the front end around to include boutique and unique items will help build profit centers elsewhere–we have seen many clients do this and these days they aren’t so worried about their prescription count or reimbursements as much as they used to.
Think about the “old school” methods you’re using every day. There are so many ways of implementing Datascan’s technology into your business that can help streamline those outdated routines, produce bigger profits and better store-wide performance. So many manually managed tasks and utilities within the system are able to be automated, allowing you and your staff the time to work with patients and focus on your pharmacy. Embrace the technology you’re paying for, adapt to new ways of doing things, and you will undoubtedly see better productivity and a more profitable future.