Life as we know it is vastly different in 2020. Ever-evolving advancements in technology, pharmaceutical industry growth, and now the COVID-19 pandemic are causing us to rethink how we do just about everything. How we use pharmacy management software is no exception.
The software you choose for pharmacy management matters, and there are certain expectations you should have when comparing different vendors. But with the global pharmacy management system market growing rapidly—and expected to reach almost $14 billion by 2027—it can be challenging to compare tools and find the one that’s right for you and your business.
To help you navigate the process, we’ll share the essential expectations you should have from pharmacy management software companies in 2020.
How Pharmacy Management Software Can Improve Your Business
These days, every pharmacy needs the right technology to keep up in the industry, maintain a competitive edge, and ultimately deliver top-quality care. Pharmacy management software can help improve your business by:
- Improving adherence to prescribed medications
- Enabling health and wellness services in your community
- Increasing quality and patient satisfaction ratings
- Minimizing waste and preventing drug shortages
- Reducing the number of billing and medication errors
- Improving profitability and pointing out new revenue streams
And there are so many additional benefits, both from a financial perspective and when it comes to the way you deliver care.
Pharmacy management software is especially useful for smaller pharmacies, which require it to adequately address the efficacy of their business and the satisfaction of patients in their community. Small pharmacies without corporate support can rely on software to better manage complex tasks such as dispensing medications, managing inventory, and handling billing.
Choosing the Right Pharmacy Management Software
Pharmacy management solutions are designed to streamline workflows associated with drug dispensing, medication adherence, medical billing, inventory management and fulfillment, and customer data collection. With the right technology partner, retail and independent pharmacies alike can automate and simplify daily tasks, reduce costs, and improve patient outcomes.
But not just any pharmacy software company will do.
Your choice in a pharmacy management software partner is important because no two pharmacies—or two software companies—are created equal. Each pharmacy has unique struggles and goals for improvement, so it only makes sense that you need to choose a system that meets your business needs.
While many pharmacy management solutions have the same core functionality, some are more comprehensive than others. For example, some solutions are integrated, whereas others are used as a stand-alone system, which is often less than ideal. When you’re comparing pharmacy management solutions to see how they stack up, it helps to identify both your current and future needs and choose one that will be most useful, especially if you’re looking to grow your business.
To help with your selection, here are four key expectations you should have from a pharmacy management software company today:
- Seamless Integration
One of the most important features to look for in a pharmacy management software company is the ability to seamlessly integrate with your existing solutions. For example, you want technology for medication dispensing, pharmacy point of sale (POS), e-prescribing (e-Rx), inventory management and fulfillment, and/or electronic health records (EHR).
When all systems are integrated and working together correctly, you can easily navigate the headaches associated with managing inventory, dispensing medication, monitoring your pharmacy’s financial performance, and beyond.
- Support for Pharmacist-Patient Relationships
Today’s pharmacists are responsible for so much more than filling prescriptions. Patient engagement is important, and the pharmacist-patient relationship can have a significant impact on customer adherence, outcomes, and satisfaction.
In fact, a strong relationship can ultimately be the difference between a happy, healthy patient and a trip to the emergency room. The benefits are clear, but with so many other responsibilities on your plate, how exactly do you find the time to build said relationships?
That’s why you should look for a pharmacy management tool with a strong focus on expanding patient care and improving clinical outcomes. By investing in relationship marketing to build stronger relationships with your patients, you can retain more customers, boost adherence, and grow your business. You just need the right technology to help you do that.
- Medication Synchronization
Non-adherence is a significant problem in the medical community, and with more than half (54 percent) of adults 65 years and older taking four or more prescription drugs, it’s no wonder. For pharmacists, improving medication adherence is always a goal, but how do you make real change?
That’s where medication synchronization (med sync) comes in.
Adherence begins to slip when patients have several medications to take and refill. Med sync programs are an excellent way to combat the issue. The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) defines med sync as “a program that allows patients to pick up all of their prescription refills at the pharmacy on a single, convenient day each month.”
By making refills as convenient as possible for patients, you can boost adherence and reduce the number of wasted prescriptions. And that’s not all: Med sync programs also streamline pharmacy operations, allowing you to work more efficiently and spend more time engaging with patients. Look for a pharmacy management tool that allows for easy management of a med sync program and experience the benefits firsthand.
- Robust Pharmacy Analytics
Data and analytics are a driving force in most industries today. An increasing number of pharmacies are using them—which is why you also need management software with a business intelligence component.
Data has the power to unlock opportunities, identify areas for improvement, enable you to thrive in a competitive environment, and drive financial, operational, and clinical growth. You also want the ability to easily filter and sort through data in a variety of ways to help you grow and manage your business, so look for a tool that offers easy-to-use, interactive dashboards that you can customize to your liking.
With the right data tool, you can improve your pharmacy’s profitability, improve patient care, and enhance quality performance.
Looking Ahead: Partnering to Become a New-Era Pharmacy
Pharmacy has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it will undoubtedly continue changing well into the future. Today’s pharmacies need the right software partner to help them meet patient expectations, offer the best care possible, and keep the lights on in the process.
Want to find out more about the many ways pharmacy software can support your business? Get in touch to learn how FDS solutions help pharmacies offer better care, improve adherence, explore new revenue streams, and more.