Whether you realize it or not, you deal with mounds of data every day. Patient data, transaction data, supply chain data, clinical data, insurance data — it’s all there in your pharmacy management system. But it isn’t doing anything for you by just sitting there.
The term “business intelligence” is thrown around a lot these days. Simply defined, business intelligence involves analyzing data and making connections that provide you with actionable insights. That last part is key. It’s not enough to just analyze; you have to take action.
Many pharmacies are reluctant to use a business intelligence solution in their pharmacy. And while there are a myriad of potential reasons, the same ones tend to crop up again and again. Let’s address the top three myths about using business intelligence and pharmacy analytics:
Myth #1: Analytics Require Too Much Time to Measure
Pharmacists are busy. In addition to dispensing prescriptions and providing patient care, many of them also have to manage a business. Carving out extra time to analyze pharmacy data seems like a luxury many pharmacists just don’t have. The good news is, they don’t have to do it themselves. Business intelligence software can analyze pharmacy data automatically. Some solutions, like FDS MYDATAMART, include pre-built reports that can give users insights on a number of different data points related to patient behavior, transactions, prescription volume, inventory, and more.
Also, the solutions consultants at FDS Amplicare actually recommend that pharmacists and pharmacy owners allow their pharmacy technicians to handle business intelligence tasks. Even 20 minutes a day can make a huge difference in improving profitability and adherence.
Myth #2: Analytics Don’t Tell You Anything You Didn’t Already Know
Many business owners feel like they have their finger on the pulse of their business. Pharmacists and pharmacy owners are no different. Sure, you probably know off the top of your head some of the prescriptions you sell at a loss, but do you know all of them? And do you know how much that loss is every month? Switching metrics, do you know how many people on your patient roll have missed refills over the last year? Do you know how many they’ve missed?
Your pharmacy management system stores all kinds of data. It’s amazing the insights you can get when you start making connections. And even if (and that’s a big “if”) you do already know every insight the analytics provide, an actionable report telling you how to use them to get the biggest ROI can be quite convincing.
Myth #3: Your Pharmacy Isn’t Big Enough to Need Analytics
Don’t sell yourself short. If you run a business, no matter how small, you can benefit from collecting and analyzing data. According to an article on PharmacyU, there are several ways analytics can help independent pharmacies no matter their size. Data insights can help you understand your patients better and overcome observation bias — the tendency for your perspective to be skewed by what you see the most. Analytics can also help you make decisions around inventory and revenue opportunities.
In truth, having a smaller business makes data insights even more important. Far more than larger chain pharmacies, your patients are the lifeblood of your business. Losing even a few of them could have detrimental effects on your business. Business intelligence can help you get every dollar you can.
The world of business is constantly changing, and the pharmacy industry is changing alongside it. Decades ago, filling prescriptions for your community was enough to stay afloat and stay profitable. But that’s not the world we live in anymore. To stay in business and continue helping your patients, you need to employ every trick in the book. Using business intelligence and pharmacy analytics to gain insight from your pharmacy data is one of the best tricks there is.