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Maximizing Efficiency in Independent Pharmacies: Workflow Optimization with Pharmacy Software

pharmacist helping customer

You can speak to 10 different independent pharmacies, and likely, you will find at least 3-4 different workflows between them. Operating a pharmacy is not ‘one size fits all’. So your pharmacy software needs to be customizable and adaptable to change. We have seen many folks come from the chain pharmacy mentality, where they want as much as a 4 or 5 step workflow process, where the system requires as much as 2 levels of verification prior to it being bagged for sale at the point of sale. Many community pharmacies still want an open workflow, with no restraints, and the ability for the technician to do everything from entering the prescription, to adjudication with the insurance company, all the way to label and bagging. Winpharm offers the ability to have anything from an open-ended workflow, a 2 step, 3 step, 4 step, and even 5 step workflow that are all fully customizable. Our pharmacy software allows you to choose when the label prints, the requirements for verification, if you want to verify as a whole or step by step. It is so customizable that inside the pharmacy system, we have the queues associated with each step of workflow, where you can choose a color code and what it means as a status to your staff. This way, you can quickly identify the status of any prescription inside the workflow simply by looking at the color itself.

Our pharmacy management software allows for customization throughout your entire workflow including the option to build batches, manage deliveries using your own drivers or integrating with one of many delivery companies around the country. The pharmacy system can track a memo that can follow the prescription from one workflow queue to the next. Any good pharmacy software should have a workflow that offers a mobile delivery application that can tie into it. The ability to manage deliveries for those pharmacies that offer it, is key. Managing drivers, assigning orders to drivers, tracking the deliveries as well as the ability to track monies owed to the pharmacy from patients all needs to be carefully integrated. The pharmacy management software, the point of sale software, and the mobile delivery application all need to tie into one another so that start to finish, you know if a prescription was paid by insurance, if it was delivered or attempted delivery, and if it was delivered, was there a copay collected and due back to the pharmacy?

pharmacists using software

With common audits in independent pharmacy these days, verification of prescriptions has become more and more important. In Winpharm, if you use a 2 step or more in your workflow, we require verification. The verification in our pharmacy software can be used one of two ways, you can verify all of the data as a whole, and it will track who verified it and when. Or, you can require each step of the prescription be verified so make sure each area is being looked at carefully.

Workflow within a community pharmacy is not just about the flow of a prescription from start to finish, but its also the flow of work within the business for how things get done. Filling prescriptions should not always be a manual process. Using the automation inside of your pharmacy software is key to efficiency. So using technology such as automatic refill for your patients can free up your staffs time to work on other tasks within the pharmacy. Communication with your patients should also be automated through the pharmacy system, allowing for alerts and reminders regarding prescriptions ready for refill, not picked up yet, immunization alerts, and so much more also helps streamline your day to day processes.

Your pharmacy software solution should offer the ability to communicate with your patients through 2 way sms messaging, through a dedicated mobile application that ties into the pharmacy software, via email, and throughout outbound calling from an IVR system. The overall flow of work and operations within the pharmacy need to be efficient, especially with dwindling reimbursements from the PBM’s.

In conclusion, todays independent pharmacy is tasked with so many more tasks than in the past. As years go on, PBMs change their expectations, laws change, and profits are not as good as they use to be. So change needs to happen inside of each and every independent pharmacy workflow. Change to build efficiency and automation, so that you as an owner can accomplish more work, with less staff. Putting the pharmacy management software to work for you is key. If your pharmacy software does not offer a fully customizable suite, with a multitude of features that allow the system to work for you, its time to start shopping around! In todays day, technology needs to work for you, and if it does, it more than covers the cost of the pharmacy software solutions you implement into your business. Used properly, it should give you an amazing return on your investment.