Datascan Featured Pharmacy: Idaho Drug
If you close your eyes and imagine an independent pharmacy, what do you see? For some, it’s the mom and pop on the corner of town with friendly staff, unique items perfectly merchandized on beautiful mahogany shelves, and the best ice cream float you’ve ever had. This is exactly what it means for Idaho Drug in Rigby, ID. Although they’ve modernized patient care, they have never given up on old school service, providing patients with the latest and greatest conveniences and best quality care.
Datascan: Tell us a little about your pharmacy. It’s history and how you got started.
Idaho Drug: The pharmacy was opened in 1947 and the building we are in was built in the early 1920s. We are located right on Main Street. Shane and I became partners in the pharmacy in 2007. After some planning and great help from our team we did a complete remodel of the building in 2015. There was excitement from our customers when they learned that we were going to improve and keep our ice cream fountain. We began to use Ice Cream from a local dairy that in keeping with the Idaho theme, uses, of all things, Potatoes in their ice cream. We chose not to have an industrial feel to the pharmacy, so we used solid wood shelving instead of the old ugly metal stuff, to give the pharmacy a warm feel.
D: What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as an independent pharmacy over the years? How are you using the technology in your software to help?
ID: The biggest challenge is trying to balance insurance / PBM reimbursements with costs of goods, as well as competition from nearby chain stores. Larger chain stores and grocery stores can use the pharmacy prescriptions as a “loss leader” of sorts, because they can encourage people to spend money in other parts of their store which is more profitable. Where we are a traditional pharmacy, so we depend on technology to assist in making sure transactions are profit making, but more importantly, technology helps me as a pharmacist to make sure I am providing the best health care possible, and individualize that care for each of our patients. Our Datascan pharmacy management software gives us pre and post edit settings that help us analyze our claims in real time and stops us with a warning if we’re being reimbursed at a loss, and can even calculate expected post claim DIR fees to help aid in decision making. These warnings are color coded and organized into a queue where we can manage them at any time. This has helped us to make sure we’re not accidentally dispensing prescriptions at a great loss, which can be detrimental to our bottom line. Using technology to give patients the best care possible allows us to differentiate ourselves from high volume big box stores. Our patients love having access to their prescription profile through our Datascan mobile app, and we’ve found them to be much more compliant with their refills through this tool. Partnering with a pharmacy software vendor that is efficient helps free up time for me as a pharmacist to spend time speaking with and helping our community.
D: What are some unique things you’re doing to set your pharmacy apart?
ID: We pride ourselves on being an old school pharmacy, from the actual look of the store to the customer service. We strive to know our customers by name, know about them, and anticipate their needs. We believe if we put the customer first everything else will follow. This old fashioned service requires modern technology in order to free up time to spend with our friends when they come into the store. We were fortunate to find those same values in Datascan when we converted from our previous vendor. It’s nice to work with a software vendor that knows us by name, picks up the phone immediately ready to help us, and actually listens to what we have to say. While it’s important for us to incorporate technology and modernize the pharmacy, we never want to lose sight of our core values which always stems back to putting our patients first.
D: What made you decide to go into independent/community pharmacy?
ID: I have spent most of my career in independent pharmacy, the little time I have spent in chain stores and institutional pharmacy led me to a desire to serve the community. I wanted to bring the health care component of institutional pharmacy to a retail setting, but free from the numbers driven attitude of chain stores. I have seen how this parallels with Datascan, our pharmacy system provider. The previous “chain like” pharmacy software vendor we worked with had the same numbers driven attitude. Datascan cares about their customers, and gives individual attention we deserve. I enjoy getting to know our customers and using that information to give them the best pharmacy health care, at the best possible price.
D: What are some of the ways you use Datascan’s pharmacy software to help in your pharmacy?
ID: Datascans software has led to a tremendous improvement in our customer care. Winpharm has tools that help make sure we are maximizing our prescription profits and quality of care for our patients. It is easy and quick to use, so employee training is a breeze! The scheduler built into the pharmacy software enables us to use AI to automatically process auto refills, automatically send refill requests for maintenance medications to physicians, and even automatically run reports. All of this frees up my time to spend with customers. Datascan has helped us become a better version of Idaho Drug.
D: What made you decide to partner with Datascan when looking for a new pharmacy software vendor?
ID: As I researched pharmacy systems, I found Datascan to be what I was looking for, ease of use, easy to access patient information, affordability. After calling and speaking with Sarah I found a rapid and complete response. I could tell from my initial contact with Sarah that the customer service was top notch. As the decision was made and the conversion was taking place I was wrong, the customer service was beyond top notch, it’s out of this world.
D: What’s your outlook on the future of independent pharmacy?
ID: My outlook of independent pharmacy is an optimistic one, but does require caring and hard working pharmacists, with tools like Datascan provides to be successful. I believe that patients want the personalized care that independents can provide and we need to show them our best selves each patient encounter.