SMART RETAILING RX BLOG

Discover how to make pharmacy software work for you

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Your pharmacy management system and other software tools can save you time, improve cash flow and identify more revenue opportunities

In brief:

  • Peru Health Mart is using software for med sync, to identify new opportunities with patients, and to better manage inventory and ordering.
  • Software has allowed Peru to grow its med sync program by more than 30% and increase refills by more than 6% while reducing inventory by more than 20%.

At Peru Health Mart in New York, the use of pharmacy software programs is streamlining operations and creating opportunities for growth.

Peru Health Mart - Peru, New York
Peru Health Mart – Peru, New York

Using software for med sync

The pharmacy started offering medication synchronization to patients three years ago, initially managing the program with paper and pencil. Last year, however, Peru began using PrescribeWellness, a cloud-based software that enables pharmacists to improve the health of America.

“It really streamlined everything for us,” said operations manager Ken Harp.

“Since we began using PrescribeWellness in August, our prescription volume has increased by 6.5% and our medication synchronization population has grown by 33% in half the time it would have taken using our paper and pen system,” Harp said. “Our med sync population continues to grow at a satisfying pace with PrescribeWellness helping every step of the way.”

Synchronization allows a pharmacy to better manage its workflow and help patients stay on their medication regimens. (See the Medication Synchronization Education Center to learn more.)

Use technology to make outbound calls

The pharmacy also improves adherence by using PrescribeWellness to make outbound reminder calls to patients who haven’t refilled a prescription and connect them directly to a pharmacy staff member to answer questions or place that order.

“People get caught up; everybody’s busy,” Harp noted, so those calls make it easy for customers to order the refills they should be picking up. Generally when they receive a call, he said, 1 out of 3 people will refill one or more prescriptions.

Peru set its system to call people one or two days after they would have run out of a prescription. “We want to make sure we’re not pestering people,” Harp said.

Use technology to identify opportunities

When customers are having a prescription filled, Peru is using a new Clinical Programs Solution platform from McKesson Pharmacy Systems to identify other clinical opportunities to serve them even better.

For example, during flu shot season it can be set to flag every person over the age of 19 for staff members to ask whether the patient would like to receive the immunization while they are at the pharmacy. Peru also is considering having stickers made to place on bags and prescription bottles to highlight the service the pharmacy can offer to that customer.

The program includes several pre-made alerts and the ability for a pharmacy to customize its own settings; determining the situations when an alert window will flash on the screen.

“If you need to, you can take the latest clinical guidelines and revise or create your own robust program to address patient needs on the spot,” Harp said.

Harp said he is excited to start using this software for a nutrient depletion program, such as flagging patients who are on a statin so the pharmacist can talk with those customers about whether they would like to also take coenzyme Q10. (See “5 profitable OTC solutions to common side effects.”)

Software for ordering and inventory management

By using its Pharmaserv® system to manage inventory, Peru Health Mart also better manages its cash flow, so it could hire a new pharmacist.

This allows the pharmacy to increase the number of vaccinations it administers through flu season and beyond. Plans also include adding new clinical services and expanding the current free compliance packaging it offers with its Parata PASS™ packaging system.

The med sync program makes ordering more predictable, and the pharmacy management system uses that data to identify when the store needs to order medications. The pharmacy can have expensive medications on hand when it needs them, without tying up cash by keeping items in inventory in case someone comes in for a refill. “You know ahead of time how much you need to order,” Harp noted.

Based on the pharmacy’s dispensing history, the software figures out how much inventory the pharmacy needs to have in stock. “We don’t even have to determine what that is anymore,” Harp said.

“Using an inventory management system through Pharmaserv,” he said, “we were able to decrease our inventory by 22% in a 45-day period.” That’s while maintaining a 6.5% increase in prescriptions over the past year.

Reports like the “Top 200 drugs” the pharmacy dispenses and adjudication reports, like how much the pharmacy is being reimbursed for those drugs, allow Harp to keep a close eye on the profit margin, as well.

“If you are able to determine the health of your business on the fly,” he said, “you can quickly decide what your next steps will be to grow and plan the future of your business, without focusing only on the day-to-day.”