Data is power in today’s pharmacy marketplace. Patient data, prescription transaction data, clinical data, insurance data, financial data, adherence data . . . there’s so much data out there. And you can find it in so many places: your pharmacy reporting system, POS, claims processor, etc. Trying to gather all these data points from different programs and sources can be like herding cats. For a multi-store pharmacy chain, it’s even more difficult. And that’s before you even consider privacy and security concerns.
So what can be done? Is there an easy way to collect all of this data? Once you do, is there something productive you can do with it? Is it even worth it?
The answer to all of the above? Yes. Very much yes.
Business Intelligence Turns Pharmacy Data Into Pharmacy Insight
Business Intelligence (BI) is necessary to compete in today’s data-driven marketplace. BI can provide you with meaningful reporting and actionable data. It helps pharmacies grow, improve efficiency, and deliver better patient outcomes — all while positively impacting the bottom line.
For business intelligence to be successful, it should be able to locate, collect, securely store, and aggregate the necessary data. It should store that information in a central location (typically a cloud-based server). Once it stores the data, the BI solution should have the capacity to run reports based on analysis of that data. With those insights, the pharmacist can improve the health of both his patients and his pharmacy.
Pharmacy management systems and pharmacy reporting systems have offered reports for decades. Users can learn about revenue, regulatory requirements, dispensing history, and more at a glance, and usually without too much fuss. But it’s not enough. While these legacy reports remain essential to operating your business, there’s way more data out there. And with more data comes more insight — and new ways to help your pharmacy grow.
What can BI do for your pharmacy business?
BI can give pharmacies the ability to simultaneously address poor patient medication adherence, Star Rating measures, med sync enrollment, and more. Using insights from their own data, pharmacists can boost profitability, prescription volume, and patient health outcomes. Refill frequency, gross profit margin, and PDC adherence measures are just a few examples of meaningful reports you could generate for your pharmacy. Trending KPIs (key performance indicators) can provide a clear picture of your business health.
Let’s look at a couple scenarios on how business intelligence can be used to help your pharmacy:
- Analyzing Refill Metrics: Identifying refills that are overdue or missed has become somewhat common. But what about the impact of early or late refills on staffing, inventory, and refill volume? The effects might be smaller, but early and late refills are also more common than overdue or missed ones. It adds up. BI can report these events for immediate action by your staff. Course correction on these can improve adherence, drive refill volume, and produce more revenue for the store.
- Keeping New Patients: With business intelligence and analytics, you can readily measure almost any variable and tailor it to your specific needs. For example, identifying and tracking new patients is essential to the growth of your business. Marketing and advertising might get them in the door, but understanding who they are and why they’re there is important to retaining their business.
“Knowledge, itself, is power.” The phrase, attributed to Sir Francis Bacon in the late 16th century, is the core of business intelligence. With data insights, you have the power to make informed choices on every aspect of your business. But you have to get the data first.