5 Ways Datascan Will Improve Your Pharmacy Operations

5 Ways Datascan Will Improve Your Pharmacy Operations

improve pharmacy operations 2021

How can you set your independent pharmacy up for success?  By making sure your two most important vendors are carefully chosen.  First, your pharmacy wholesaler.  The pricing, tiered discounts, availability, and of course how fast they can deliver are all extremely relevant to your overall success.   Partnering with the right pharmacy software vendor is also one of the most fundamental ways you can build a profitable and successful community pharmacy.  Using the technology and tools provided by your pharmacy management system helps you streamline daily tasks, analyze your business, and build more revenue through efficiency.

Increased Prescription Profits

Datascan’s pharmacy management system is packed full of features to help your pharmacy boost profits.  From reports to manage and analyze your business, to automated utilities to run daily tasks, our focus is on helping your pharmacy make more money!   Our pharmacy software helps your staff manage claims with pre and post edit warnings to sweep prescriptions before and after adjudication.  Our post edit warnings are color coded to easily warn pharmacy staff of losses on claims.  Winpharm’s integrated DIR estimator helps pharmacy staff manage DIR, GER, and BER fees linked to claims, showing you a net reimbursement in real time.  Our pharmacy system also helps you fill more prescriptions through auto fill automation.  Easily process auto refills, future fill hold RX’s, and even Med Sync prescriptions through our one-of-a-kind scheduler.

Inventory Management

Datascan’s inventory management system in Winpharm and our pharmacy based point of sale help to regulate inventory levels, avoid over ordering, and better manage items in stock.  Both Winpharm and Datascan POS offer free integration for EDI to make ordering, shopping across multiple vendors, as well as updating inventory and acquisition costs easier than ever!  As your largest overhead, inventory can often be overwhelming to manage.  Datascan’s pharmacy software systems make managing inventory simple and efficient.

Build Customer Loyalty

Patients choose your independent pharmacy for so many reasons!  Datascan’s pharmacy software helps you continue providing patients with exceptional service and care.  Offering conveniences like automatic refills, med sync, text and email notifications, home delivery, and immunizations are just some of the ways you can use your pharmacy system to help build customer loyalty.  Datascan’s point of sale system includes a customer rewards and loyalty program!  Track customer purchases, assign points for every dollar they spend, and incentivize your customers to continue shopping in your independent pharmacy.

Improve Efficiency

There are many ways to help improve efficiency in your pharmacy.  Our pharmacy management software includes options to help your pharmacy better manage day to day operations.  Our customizable multi-step workflow gives you the ability to choose exactly how to fill prescriptions from a basic workflow to a 5-step queue system.  Busier pharmacies can take advantage of barcode verification at our dispense and filling queues, and even choose where and when to print labels.  Integrated workflow helps reduce filling errors and helps manage pharmacy staff.  Our prescription fill screen can also be customized to include pop up checks to verify things like prescription written date and proper DAW codes.

Increase Star Ratings

Pharmacy performance is very important when it comes time to lowering DIR fees and improving your star ratings. Better patient medication adherence and compliance directly results in lower fees and bigger profits on your prescriptions.  Utilities like auto refill and med sync have proven to help improve medication compliance for patients while also resulting in more prescriptions filled per patient. Making sure your patients are not out of refills on their maintenance medications is easier than ever.  First, we have a hard stop if you use the last refill of a maintenance medication that offers you a quick click to send the Dr an electronic or fax request for a new prescription.  But if you’re concerned there could be some that were missed, our maintenance medication utility can be set to run at your own custom intervals in our pharmacy scheduler.  The utility will automatically scan patient profiles and find maintenance prescriptions that recently ran out of refills, and automatically reach out to the respective doctors for new prescriptions.  When these requests are sent out, they are parked in their own queue to work from and manage these outstanding requests.  Once a doctor responds, it moves from this workable queue, into the central fill queue that you work from daily.  It’s a pretty smart and intuitive system, that can help you run a more efficient independent pharmacy with less help behind the counter.

To find out more about Datascan’s pharmacy management software and how we can help you improve your pharmacy operations reach out to our sales team for more information!

What You Need to Know About Pharmacy Billing Software

What You Need to Know About Pharmacy Billing Software

pharmacy billing software

For many pharmacists considering opening an independent pharmacy there can be confusion surrounding claims and billing.  Unlike other types of medical billing, pharmacy billing is done in real time—providing pharmacy owners with immediate adjudication responses from payers and more insight into the status of their prescription claims.  Pharmacy billing software is an essential part of your business and something that Datascan offers right within our dispensing software.

Why do we need a pharmacy billing software?

In order to be reimbursed for your prescription claims you must be able to adjudicate them to a PBM or third party payer.  When filling prescriptions for your patients they can choose to pay cash or use their insurance plan.  When patients opt to use their insurance, the pharmacy system must be able to transmit claims data to the third party in order to generate a patient pay amount, or copay.  In most pharmacy software systems billing happens at the end of inputting prescription information and provides the pharmacy with a breakdown of how they will be reimbursed.  This tells the pharmacy if they are making a profit on a prescription or potentially losing money.  The billing software makes sure you’re able to manage your pharmacy’s profitability.

Why use Datascan’s pharmacy billing software? How can you benefit?

Datascan’s pharmacy billing software is integrated directly into our dispensing system.  Billing is an automatic part of prescription filling in our system which makes it quick and easy to manage.  Once prescriptions are entered our pharmacy software will send the prescription claims through a switch to the PBM, allowing pharmacy staff to see if the claim is not only paid or rejected, but if it’s profitable.  Datascan’s billing software allows pharmacies to bill not only a primary insurance plan, but also secondary and even tertiary plans for patients with dual eligibility.  Our easy-to-use billing software also includes comprehensive reporting capabilities to easily analyze claims.  Reports can be customized for your pharmacies specific needs and can even be exported and saved to Excel, allowing you to easily analyze your data even further.

What information is provided?

Once claims are billed, Datascan provides a comprehensive explanation and breakdown of your reimbursements.  Each claim response is detailed, providing your pharmacy staff with the amount reimbursed by insurance and the amount of your patient’s responsibility or copay.  Our insurance responses will warn your staff if there is an underpayment, DIR fee, or potential flag for audit.  For prescriptions requiring Prior Authorization or PA, the authorization is sent directly from the response screen in the billing software.  Our intuitive billing software color codes prescription status and queues them to make it easy to manage pending claims.

Accurate billing software is arguably one of the most important parts of your pharmacy software system.  The simpler and more automated the billing software is, the easier it is for pharmacy staff to understand and use.  Our software provides pharmacies with the necessary tools to run a successful and profitable independent pharmacy.

5 Things You Need in your Pharmacy Point of Sale System (POS) – 2021

5 Things You Need in your Pharmacy Point of Sale System (POS) – 2021

pharmacy point of care system

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.

Datascan Featured Pharmacy: Accudose

Datascan Featured Pharmacy: Accudose

Datascan Featured Pharmacy: Accudose

Successful independent pharmacy owners have come to understand that finding a niche will make or break their businesses.  Pharmacist Mark Franceschelli, owner of Accudose Pharmacy in Boardman, OH has found his.  As we continue to see pharmacists playing a much larger role in patient care, enhanced medication management has become the key to seeing better outcomes.  Despite the many challenges facing independent pharmacy owners, Accudose has made its mark and sees a bright future ahead with their unique pharmacy model.  Finding the right software partner to support your pharmacies unique needs has become equally as important—especially as your business evolves.

Datascan: Tell us about Accudose pharmacy—how did you get started?

Accudose:   Accudose Pharmacy started a little over four years ago as a long term care pharmacy with the idea of helping patients manage multiple medications and improve health outcomes.  Being in the long term care industry and owning a consultant pharmacist practice as well, I personally saw the challenges facing patients when leaving a hospital or nursing home as it relates to medications.  Many patients are overwhelmed with trying to return to everyday life and simply taking their medications safely is a challenge.  Almost 40% of hospital readmissions can be attributed to medications—underutilization, overutilization, drug-drug interactions, poor compliance, and adherence, etc.  With this in mind, my cousin and I developed our pharmacy around addressing these issues as well as helping assisted living facilities, group homes, and home health companies reduce medication errors, decrease nursing time, and improve care.  We decided that there was a unique opportunity to enter the space in which we planned to operate.  We opened our doors in January 2017, and although it hasn’t been easy, we are now servicing patients in 5 states and looking to expand into more states in the coming years.

D: What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as an independent pharmacy over the years?

A: One of the biggest challenges we’ve faced as an independent pharmacy is obviously reimbursement.  Prior to starting the pharmacy we were aware of the headwinds that impacted independents.  However, we didn’t have a full appreciation for it until we began living it every day.  With shrinking margins, we realized from the beginning that we needed to operate the business extremely lean and focus on efficiency and growth.  Additionally, the need to provide greater service and separate ourselves was important but with reduced reimbursements, we knew it would be challenging.  Therefore, focusing on unique areas that are underserviced has helped position us to expand our bottom line even in the current environment.

D: How did you combat those challenges and set your pharmacy up for success? What are some of the unique things you’re doing to set yourselves apart?

A: We are constantly focused on our growth and enhancing our partnerships throughout the communities we service.  These partnerships with different healthcare providers, agencies, and community organizations have helped us expand our reach and increase our patient base by over 80% over the past year.  Additionally, since we are designed to effectively manage patients with multiple medications, we service proportionately more patients who have complex drug regimens.  This in turn has helped increase our growth trajectory.

Some of the services we provide include multi-dose packaging for our patients, monthly compliance calls, free delivery, pharmacist follow up, and more, to help alleviate the problems patients and caregivers encounter.  Our customized program has truly impacted the lives of so many patients and is extremely gratifying to know we are making a difference as [healthcare] providers.

What really separates us from a lot of places is our team.  We have a wonderful and caring group that makes all of this possible. We can offer all of the latest and greatest programs if but if you don’t have a team that truly cares about the patients, none of it matters.  We focus on making ourselves better each day and always try to do what’s best for the patient.

D: What made you decide to go into community pharmacy?

A: After being a pharmacist for 20 years in many different capacities I have been fortunate enough to see what works and what doesn’t.  I realized I had the opportunity to try and create a pharmacy that was different from the norm and make it something unique.  There is a sense of pride that comes with being creative, and in the end, hopefully making something special.  There are always moments when you question yourself, but then you realize the amount of people who depend on you—both your patients and your team.

D: What are some of the ways you use Datascan’s pharmacy management software to help in your pharmacy?

A: As our fast growth put additional strain on our process, we soon realized that our previous software was not suited for our needs. What really stood out to be about Datascan was their willingness to customize the software to our needs.  We are a very unique pharmacy with our workflow and Datascan has been able to help us through our rapid growth.  In particular, we have a specialized way of handling our prescription processing each month based on multi-dose packaging and they have helped design a workflow that improves our efficiency.  Part of this workflow design was the customized integration with our TCGRx machine, which has helped our team better handle the nuances of filling prescriptions in multi-dose packaging and improve efficiency.  One of the best features is the prescription refill request process.  Tracking prescription refill requests in our previous pharmacy system was becoming untenable as we have hundreds of requests a day.  Datascan’s software automatically matches incoming prescriptions from physicians whether arriving via e-scribe or fax to the original refill request in the queue.  This eliminates the need to manually handle this process which was becoming confusing and time consuming for our team.  Additionally, the software provides for the ability to track these requests by date and add notes so the team can follow up with the physician and/patient.  On top of this, we have the option to schedule pending refill requests to automatically be resubmitted to the doctors.  This has saved our order entry technicians and call center technicians inordinate amounts of time.  There are also a multitude of other features that truly streamline our day to day operations such as integrated SMS and IVR messages that help to automate our workflow and build a better patient experience.  We view it as a partnership and realize both companies contribute to each other’s success.  As our needs change it’s nice to know that our software provider is willing to help us and collaborate on ways to adapt to those changes.

D: What is your outlook on the future of independent pharmacy?

A: I think independent pharmacies have a tremendous opportunity in the years ahead.  Independents provide such a unique and valuable service to their communities and it’s more evident now than ever before.  There are a number of studies showing the positive impact independent pharmacies have on a community—not only in a rural and underserved area, but in all community types throughout the country.  The care and improved outcomes they help provide is truly remarkable and the ability to innovate the industry sets them apart.  As rules and regulations continue to change, both federally and at the state levels, I think independent pharmacy will only continue to get stronger.

Diversity among pharmacy models is encouraging for the future of independent pharmacy.  Partnering with the right software vendor ensures you’re setting your pharmacy up for long-term success and growth.  Accudose Pharmacy’s focus on medication adherence and compliance requires an adaptable workflow and flexibility—a perfect match for Datascan

Independent Pharmacy is leading the COVID vaccine rollout

Independent Pharmacy is leading the COVID vaccine rollout

independent pharmacy vaccine rollout

Independently owned pharmacies have transitioned from a primary focus on filling prescriptions to transitioning to healthcare professionals.  Today, they offer a wide-range of clinical services while playing a much larger role in patient health.  No longer are community pharmacists seen as “prescription fillers,” but often a first line of defense for everyday health concerns.  Over the past year, independently owned community pharmacies across the US have shown us what they are capable of.  Figuring out ways to safely provide patients with their medications, order and stock PPE as well as OTC products, and even offering contactless pickup and delivery options, pharmacies went above and beyond to ensure their patients continued to be properly cared for.  Perhaps one of the greatest opportunities that arose for community pharmacies was to begin offering immunizations.

Independently owned pharmacies are better positioned to provide their communities with vaccination services.  They continue to outperform large chain pharmacy’s at delivering better quality care to patients.  Between patients having easier access to community pharmacists, and community pharmacists having more time to spend with patients, their part in the COVID vaccine rollout can be much larger than the chain pharmacies.  Independent pharmacy has been, and continues to be proactive, especially when it comes to the pandemic.  According to the Washington Post “The vaccination results in West Virginia and North Dakota have prompted wave of national news stories, noting how startling it is that two rural states relying on local drugstores—the epitome of the old-timey “mom and pop” stereotype—have rocketed far ahead of states like Massachusetts and Virginia, with their networks of supposedly sophisticated chain pharmacies that have largely replaced independents.”  The Washington post also notes that “independent pharmacies have been outperforming their larger rivals all along.”  If you haven’t already started offering vaccines in your pharmacy there is no better time than now.  Planning ahead can help you to be ready once your pharmacy is licensed and ready to go.  Keep in mind that pharmacists are able to provide far more than just the COVID vaccine—with many pharmacies offering flu shots, shingles vaccines, the pneumonia vaccine, Tdap, and many more, this is a tremendous opportunity for pharmacies to build new revenue streams into their business.

Having a plan in place and coordinating with your software system vendor will streamline your vaccine rollout. Some of the ways you can prepare your pharmacy for immunizations is to set yourself up to electronically report administration of vaccines.  Each state has its own list of requirements depending on the type of vaccine; however, all states are mandated to report COVID vaccine administration. Datascan pharmacy software is fully integrated to automatically and electronically submit vaccine administration to all states, saving you time from having to manually report.  Datascan’s innovative technology also helps you to set up text and email alerts to remind patients when it’s time to come in for a follow up appointment.  Depending on the vaccine, patients may need to schedule a series of appointments or follow up, and Datascan’s software makes it easy and efficient to manage.  To assist pharmacies quickly and efficiently fill and adjudicate vaccine prescriptions, Datascan offers vaccine templates.  An option that allows pharmacies to set defaults for vaccines such as quantity, SIG code, day supply, incentive fees, professional service DUR codes, and even link a protocol physician.  Templates are one way to fill a large volume of vaccine prescriptions quickly and efficiently.

We continue to see community pharmacy evolve and shift towards more clinical care and as this continues, owners will need to plan for the future.   The pandemic has shined a light on the necessity of community pharmacy, especially with the rollout of the vaccine.  Working together with your pharmacy software vendor, you can come up with an easy, efficient, and affordable plan and be prepared to continue to help your communities and patients in more ways than you ever imagined.