When searching for the best pharmacy point of sale software there are a few key features that are an absolute must have for every independent pharmacy. Operating a small pharmacy or clinic today can be challenging, but the right technology synchronized together can make the world of a difference. Ultimately, the ability to get a POS system for your pharmacy from the same vendor that supplies your pharmacy management software should ensure that both software packages are deeply integrated into each other. It is also a benefit when any questions or issues arise that you can deal with one company that is responsible for both pharmacy software systems. Make sure when you are shopping for your new pharmacy, or to replace your existing pharmacy system, that the features listed below are available from the vendor you choose to do business with.
1: Full Integration with Pharmacy Software:
If your pharmacy software vendor is your POS provider, they will likely have a more robust integration between the two systems. Essentially, the two software products need to speak to one another. The POS system can grab the co-pays due from the pharmacy software to make certain of accuracy when checking customers out. If a patient decides they do not want an RX and you need to return it, the pharmacy software needs to queue that prescription up to reverse it if it was sent to insurance. Many pharmacies want to make sure prescriptions are verified before they are checked out and sold to a patient, and in Datascans pharmacy POS you can require verification be done before it can be sold at the cash register. What if a patient is there to pickup a prescription, and there are still others in the store, possibly in other bags, or childrens medications waiting for pickup? The POS can read from the pharmacy software and display a list of other RX’s in need of pickup. Many states require that controlled substances are reported to the PMP once they have been delivered or picked up, so the pharmacy computer system can receive confirmation of date sold from the POS, and then report those scripts to the PMP with the proper data. Both systems can also share data to help build out a series of reports to help owners better understand their business from sales and inventory perspectives. The best retail pharmacy software will allow you to customize a rewards program in the pharmacy POS that will also allow you to grab data from the pharmacy management system, and give rewards for prescription sales as well as OTC. These are just some of the important capabilities you should expect from your pharmacy POS and its integration with the pharmacy systems.
2: Rewards and Coupon Programs:
Rewards programs have been around for decades. The big chains offer them, it gives patients incentive to come back to the same store, make purchases, and get discounts in return for loyalty (which is why these are typically called ‘loyalty programs’). Your pharmacy pos system must have a customizable rewards program. One that you can choose milestones that offer different rewards, as well as the ability to choose how much each spending dollar means to you. Datascan works with like to give more value to OTC dollars, while giving a bit less towards RX copay dollars. They still count, just not as much, but add up over time to discounts and reewards that keeps their patients coming back. Rewards can trigger anything from a coupon to be used at a later date, to an instant discount you display on the receipt and share with the customer at checkout.
3: Detailed Reporting:
In order to build efficiencies into any business, you need data. Knowing your areas of weakness (or areas that need improvement), knowing employee performance, profitability not just across the board but in specific areas of your independent pharmacy –these are all imperative to overall success. The best pharmacy POS systems on the market, when properly ‘married to’ the best pharmacy systems on the market will allow you to dive into a wide range of reporting that are fully customizable. Breaking down your OTC into categories and subcategories, looking over patient purchasing and identifying those that may be in the negative after RX losses to PBM’s coupled with little to no OTC sales will give you a detailed picture into areas of waste or weakness that you can turn around into more profits. Remember that tying in data for a full picture from both the pharmacy point of sale and the pharmacy computer system is key to getting the big picture, not a partial one.
4: Pharmacy specific features:
There are many point of sale products on the market being used in independent pharmacies today that were not built FOR pharmacy, and may lack specific functionality to the industry. Datascan made sure their pharmacy POS system was built from the ground up, to cover any and all unique requirements our industry has.
- SIGIS and FSA capabilities: You may have patients that participate in health insurance plans that offer FSA/HSA spending cards. In order for you to be able to accept these cards in the point of sale system, you will need to be registered with SIGIS, and be setup properly from your vendor within the software. Without it, you are simply walking customers out your door and into your competitor down the block.
- Pseudoephedrine reporting / tracking: There are laws that require you track, and in some cases report pseudoephedrine purchases. These are tracked at checkout in the pharmacy point of sale system, and then tie into reporting from NPLEX within Datascans system. If a customer attempts to purchase more than the law allows, the system will stop you. When you sell items that contain pseudoephedrine in them, the software prompts and requires you to scan the ID/drivers license.
- Integration with Deliveries: The best pharmacy pos systems on the market will also integrate with a delivery system, preferably from the same vendor. (again, they will have control of all potential issues start to finish). Many independent community pharmacies are opting to offer delivery to local patients to set themselves apart from the chains. We offer our own robust delivery system on both android and apple IOS, as well as support integration with a number of delivery systems / couriers around the country. This allows you to manage, with ease, start to finish all deliveries, manage drivers, ensure copays or monies due are brought back to the pharmacy and placed in the register and so much more.
5: Inventory Management:
Inventory is one of, if not the largest expense a community pharmacy has to invest in continually. Ideally, you want inventory turning over, and not sitting stale on the shelves. The ability to track historic sales and make decisions on replenishment based on that history is important to lower spending and keep those dollars in your accounts, not on your shelves. Simplifying cost updates, inventory ordering and inventory level updates is all done via EDI, and electronic interchange with whole sale vendors. You need the ability to either manual reorder (when needed), and set automatic reorder points so when you sell down to a certain number in inventory, it puts it on the next PO. The system should shop for you across vendors for the same products, saving you money, and paying for itself!
If you take the time to choose the right pharmacy software vendor, that offers an integrated pharmacy point of sale system, and all of the features above (and more of course), you are on the right track. Now you just need to take advantage of the technology and features built into the software systems to get the most out of them. The best pharmacy software companies on the market will offer their own pharmacy driven pos system that ties directly into their pharmacy management software, delivery applications, amongst many other technologies offered industry wide. Used correctly, these products will more than pay for themselves and help you to build a more profitable pharmacy.