Where Do You See Your Pharmacy in 10 Years?
Over the last decade, independent pharmacies have seen an enormous amount of changes within the industry. Between the introduction of DIR fees and PBM takeovers, many states granting pharmacists provider status, and a major shift and emphasis on patient clinical care, managing a successful pharmacy requires adaptability now more than ever.
The future for independent pharmacies can be prosperous once again, but it requires a willingness to change and the right tools to manage their business. While the core objective is still providing quality care and bettering the health and well-being of pharmacy customers, in order to provide patients the level of care they need, independent pharmacies need to see bigger profits. Independent pharmacy owners have turned to their pharmacy software vendors like Datascan for help. The introduction of new technology equipped to help pharmacies manage patient care through better communication and automated filling has opened up the door to bigger reimbursements and ultimately better patient outcomes.
The role of the independent pharmacy has transitioned over the last decade from a focus on filling prescriptions to a focus on quality patient care and medication adherence building. With this came many challenges, as most independent pharmacies were not equipped with the staff, technology, or ability to spend more time with patients and less time in front of the fill screen. It became the responsibility of the pharmacy to manage patient maintenance medications and chronic conditions, and as patient performance rankings began affecting pharmacy reimbursements, pharmacy owners became frustrated and scared for the sustainability of their businesses.
Through technology, pharmacies have been able to implement new ways to manage patient care and improve upon patient outcomes within the automation of their pharmacy management systems. Not only has technology alleviated many daily tasks for pharmacy staff, allowing them to focus their efforts and time on patient care, but it has also helped widen their reach and allowed for better communication with patients. Options for mobile messaging and patient notifications have tremendously helped pharmacies reach out to their patients alerting them when it’s time to refill their prescriptions.
A good pharmacy management software even allows the pharmacy to push additional reminders to patients who have not yet refilled their medications or picked up their prescriptions, known as adherence alerts. Datascan not only offers a messaging platform within its pharmacy software, but includes a patient portal available via mobile app and online, giving patients even more insight into their medication history. Patients can track the status of their prescriptions, request refills, and even schedule pill reminders to help them manage medication administration. The more that pharmacies reach out to their patients, the more likely they are to remember to refill medications, pick up their prescriptions, and be more adherent to their maintenance medications, all ultimately improving pharmacy quality scores, increasing revenue and lowering DIR fees.
Medication synchronization and automatic refill within pharmacy software systems have made it easy for pharmacy staff to queue up and organize prescriptions due for fill. MedSync has its obvious benefits, like better medication compliance and adherence, but there are other advantages to integrating MedSync into your pharmacy software. Automated medication synchronization can help free up time for patient care, allowing pharmacists to focus on profit builders such as MTM (Medication Therapy Management) opportunities and immunization therapy. You’re also adding in prescription fills, which is important to not only maintain compliance, but for improving your bottom line.
If patients have three or more maintenance medications and are enrolled in a MedSync, you could potentially see 2-3 additional fills per year, per prescription. MedSync also helps cut down on added expenses for things like deliveries and shipping. Getting patients’ medications synced up will help eliminate extra deliveries to the home, and even cut down on shipping costs. Patients appreciate the ease of auto refill and MedSync coupled with automated notifications to alert them when it’s time to pick up their medications or to let them know the delivery is on its way.
Inside of Datascan’s Winpharm Pharmacy Management Software, there are so many tools to help you better automate your independent pharmacy operation. Winpharm has a built-in scheduler, which can allow you to automate when auto refills processes prescriptions ready for refill. It has the ability to schedule automatic prescription requests for maintenance medications that have no refills left. You can even schedule with a customized interval, when the system reaches back out to doctors who have not yet responded to refill requests or prior authorizations.
Datascan’s Pharmacy Software even has a built-in adherence dashboard to organize and monitor patient medication adherence. Datascan’s “To-Do Queue” helps you easily organize tasks for RX’s that require additional attention, whether they are awaiting a PA, or they are in rejected status, or maybe it’s a list of prescriptions with no refills left and we are awaiting a doctor response for the new prescription request, it’s all in one easy-to-manage location.
If we look back at how much the pharmacy business has changed, it’s not a surprise how much we’ve come to rely on technology to help us. As the independent pharmacy continues to play a pivotal role in patient care, it’s important to open your mind to change in your business. The old days of being a “pill dispenser” have gone by the wayside, and as a provider, your role in patient healthcare is much bigger and more involved than ever before.
It’s important to look to your pharmacy software vendors for ideas and ways to implement technology into your pharmacy. As industry innovators, we continue to advance our technology everyday to help pharmacy owners run efficient and profitable businesses. Your pharmacy software needs to be cutting edge in order for you to compete in today’s industry, and Datascan makes sure this is always the case with Winpharm and our other pharmacy software products.