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Pharmacy Software Integration: Connecting with Third Party Services to Offer More Technology

pharmacist using pharmacy software

Even the most robust, technology packed pharmacy software on the market has the need for third party integrations.  In our industry, you have companies that offer interactive voice response systems (known as IVR’s), robotic dispensing products, scales (for measuring ingredients when building compounded prescriptions), electronic MAR systems (eMAR), different shipping companies, and the list goes on.  A cutting-edge pharmacy management system will offer an independent pharmacy a limitless number of third party integrated solutions.

These solutions can range from products that help automate processes such as dispensing robots, to data feeds, pill counters, and even direct feeds to drug wholesalers for inventory replenishment via electronic ordering.  Datascan’s pharmacy management software has over 75 third party integrations, and that number is constantly growing.  Both WInpharm and our pharmacy Point of Sale system integrate with countless wholesale vendors that support EDI for electronic purchase orders, automatic replenishment, and auto update of inventory levels.   Today’s modern independent pharmacy looks to automate and implement as much automation as possible.  Pharmacy software systems need to offer integration to pill counting products, electronic scales for measuring ingredient’s, and robotic dispensing systems.  A small startup community pharmacy may not need all of that expensive technology in the beginning, but through growth, they may find every day tasks are monopolizing their time.

In the pharmacy industry, there are multiple switch vendors such as Cover My Meds (formally Relay Health) and ERX (Formally Emdeon).  Pharmacies need flexibility.  The best pharmacy software on the market will offer such flexibility, for example, if your pharmacy wholesaler has a program linked to a specific switch partner, you can choose whats best for your business.  Medication adherence has been a hot topic that pharmacy systems providers have worked hard to build tools within the pharmacy software to assist with.  Higher adherence rates means better star ratings, more refills, which all translates into higher profits.  Software for pharmacies must offer not only built in adherence tools, but interfaces to third parties that can also enhance the patient experience as well as offer additional reimbursements.  Winpharm proudly offers integration with Outcomes/MTM for medication therapy management opportunities, we integrate directly with Prescribe Wellness for additional adherence tools, and we work with CPESN to offer clinical care opportunities that help small pharmacies with additional reimbursement opportunities.

Setting yourself apart from chain pharmacies will help keep your existing customer base, as well as hopefully bring in some clients that maybe are not happy with feeling like another number in a chain setting.  Pharmacy software needs to be so much more than just software that  helps dispense medication, generate labels, and keep patient history.  Offering delivery options to your patients is surely something that is traditionally unique to community pharmacy.  We make sure to offer a robust electronic delivery application (available on both Apple IOS and Android) that ties directly into our pharmacy systems, including our POS for checkout. On top of our own solution, for those clients that want to outsource for deliveries, we currently have integrations to 5 delivery companies around the U.S. and growing.

person using pharmacy software

Compounding pharmacies building their own compound medications will use scales from companies such as Ohaus to help measure ingredients accurately.  The Winpharm pharmacy computer system integrates directly with these scales, even allowing for multiple scales on the same network.  As you look to expand your business outside of traditional retail, many look to LTC (long term care) facilities where you can serve a multitude of patients in one location.  A good pharmacy software system will allow the ability to cross over into compounding and LTC without requiring additional modules you pay for.  Our retail pharmacy software also accommodates, at no additional charge, the LTC model.  In fact, on top of offering MAR printing and management internally, we also currently integrate with 3 eMAR vendors, with quite a few more coming in the near future.  Again, offering flexibility to our clients.

There are a number of data feeds on the market, from Asembia for specialty pharmacy, to aggregators like IQVIA that report de identified data back to pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Running an independent pharmacy today requires up to date technology that offers real flexibility.  Pharmacy software is just the beginning of your ‘technology adventure’.   The best pharmacy software on the market will offer third party integrations of all kinds, from bagging systems to pill counters, from IVR technology to delivery systems and beyond.  While you may feel that you do not need some of this technology today, you never know what opportunities tomorrow brings.   Living in a world that is built around speed and convenience, retail pharmacy software systems need to offer and integrate with tools that offer these to your patients.  Remember, your competitors are offering these conveniences, so your pharmacy and your pharmacy management system must also!