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Datascan Featured Pharmacy: Contigo Compounding Pharmacy

As Independently owned pharmacies continue to fight declining reimbursements and rising operation costs, more and more pharmacy owners are looking at alternate models such as long term care and compounding. Christopher Smith, owner of Contigo Compounding Pharmacy in Albuquerque, NM is no stranger to compounding and the need for specialized compounding pharmacies across the US. Contigo continues to find success in their model as they offer a unique service to their patients. Through Contigo’s partnership with Datascan, they are able to offer their patients an unparalleled level of quality care and service.

What are some of the ways you set your pharmacy apart from other independents and chains?

Contigo Pharmacy specializes in compounding services, with a focus on sterile, sterile hazardous, non-sterile, and non-sterile hazardous compounding. We are fully USP 797 and USP 800 compliant, which sets us apart from other pharmacies. Our use of Winpharm, our pharmacy management software, has streamlined our workflow and improved our efficiency. We offer medication therapy management services, medication synchronization, and adherence packaging to help our patients manage their medications effectively. Our pharmacy software and the technology it offers aids us in offering many of the conveniences and services.

What are some of the unique services you offer to your patients?

As a pharmacy focused on compounding, we include compounding services for long term care, med spas, hormone replacement therapy, veterinary and dental practices.We offer many sterile infusion products that are considered high-risk, such as chemotherapy, parenteral nutrition, and other intravenous medications. Our specialized expertise in sterile compounding means we saw a need for the right software to fit our model and ensure we are compliant with all the massive amount of regulations we must follow.

Aside from everyday functions in Winpharm, what other features are you using to help run your business day to day?

Aside from everyday functions such as entering prescriptions and viewing patient profiles, we use Winpharm to help better organize our workflow, build better efficiency, and improve medication adherence with our patients. Specifically, Winpharm has built customized compounding “queues” that help us manage formula creation, compounding, QA of compounds, and quarantining of compounds until test results are available. These custom features allow us to streamline our compounding process and improve the accuracy and safety of our compounded medications. We’re also able to integrate our digital scales which is a huge help when we’re compounding.

What advice would you give to someone searching for the right pharmacy software?

It’s important to invest in technology that can support your specialized needs. Look for a software solution that can be customized to meet your unique requirements. It makes a world of a difference when your pharmacy software encompasses dispensing, inventory, compounding and POS as one package. A powerful pharmacy system will free up your time to focus on building strong relationships with patients and healthcare providers, and providing exceptional customer service. I would highly recommend doing your research when it comes time to choose a software vendor. We had initially signed up with a very popular compounding system. We found it to be cumbersome and did not offer the level of customization we needed. Datascan has solved all of those day to day problems.

You’ve previously used another vendor prior to Datascan, what made you start looking for a new software vendor?

While our previous vendor’s software was good, the technical support was only available via email, and the response time was often slow. Additionally, the integration between dispensing, inventory, compounding, and POS software was poor, which made it difficult to manage our workflow effectively. In contrast, Winpharm has been a significant improvement in terms of technical support and software integration. We can get a support person on the phone almost immediately. We appreciate that Winpharm software is customizable to meet our unique needs as a compounding pharmacy. Plus, the cost of Winpharm is significantly less than our previous vendor’s software.

What made you choose Datascan?

We chose Datascan as our new software vendor after Sarah gave us a demo of their Winpharm software. We were impressed with its comprehensive functionality, which met all of our needs as a compounding pharmacy. We appreciated that the software was customizable to meet our unique requirements, and was fully integrated across the board. Overall, we felt that Winpharm was a much better fit for our business than our previous software vendor’s solution. Pharmacy compounding is not one size fits all, and using a software that assumes that proved to be difficult and frustrating. Through our partnership with Datascan we’ve been able to suggest beneficial features for compounders that actually get put into the system. We know 100% that we made the right choice with Datascan.

How was your conversion/transition from your previous vendor?

Because we had only been open and using another software for about 8 months we opted not to do a traditional conversion. Datascan was incredibly understanding and helpful throughout this process. Their trainers assisted in showing us how to input our formulas, patients, and any other data we needed. They were so patient throughout our training and made sure we had a complete understanding of not only the day to day functionality in the software, but also all of the compounding features as well. We were a bit nervous at first but the entire team at Datascan helped make this as seamless as possible. We have no regrets.
Since you’ve been with Datascan, can you tell us what you like about working with us?

We appreciate Winpharm’s ease of use, flexibility, and the ability to customize it to meet our specific needs. Their compounding module is very robust, offering more functionality than most systems out there. The technical support from Datascan has been excellent, with live people answering almost immediately and with the knowledge to assist us. We cannot think of a single thing we liked better about our prior vendor. From the system to the service Datascan has been a night and day different for us. Not to mention that the monthly fees are so much more affordable and we get so much more.

What would you suggest or say to other pharmacy owners who are not happy with their vendor, but nervous to make a change?

My suggestion would be to do their research and evaluate the options available. Consider software solutions that are flexible and can be customized to meet your unique needs. Customization is huge. There is no way that one size fits all and that we each have uniqueness. The last vendor we used basically told us “too bad” when we told them we needed a change or an upgrade. Look for a vendor that offers fast responses from a live support team that does not need to transfer you around. They should be responsive to your needs, Winpharm has done that for us. Ultimately, making the switch to a new vendor can be a daunting task, but it can also be an opportunity to improve your business and better serve your patients.