Technology can help manage every aspect of the pharmacy.
Technology is reshaping the way that health care is delivered. From the physician’s office to the pharmacy, a slew of innovative ideas and solutions are poised to change the way pharmacies interact with their customers and patients.
Drug Topics® sat down with Eric Lindsay, MBA, vice president of product management at OmniSYS, to discuss some of these solutions.
Eric Lindsay: The area of compliance is both complex and multifaceted, so I will focus on of the most pressing aspects to your readers.
Pharmacist credentialing: The growing movement related to pharmacists as a care provider increases the need for pharmacists to be credentialed for certain clinical services and—as a result— increases the demand for related information technology services. This is challenging for both pharmacies and pharmacists, because of the relative newness of this need, and hastens the need for pharmacists to partner with a knowledgeable technology vendor.
Some pharmacies may want to outsource the credentialing process to third parties based on resource constraints and areas of expertise. If this is the path taken, a system is needed to facilitate items such as information gathering, status tracking, and error correction.
Taken one step further, consider the following patient experience scenario: A patient searches to find which pharmacy locations provide a service they need, and arrives at the pharmacy only to find that a credentialed pharmacist is unavailable at the time of the patient visit. Pharmacies need a solution to ensure that when patients look up locations for specific services, the location presented has the right credentialed pharmacist available. Although this seems somewhat straightforward, practically, there is added complexity. Think about a pharmacy that offers various services by different credentialed pharmacists; those pharmacists and services may only be delivered during specific hours. That information is critical to present to patients during their service and location search. Purpose-built technology that addresses these nuances is vital to delivering on the promise of an exceptional patient experience.
Medication adherence: Medication adherence can be viewed as a patient need based on implications to clinical outcomes as well as financial repercussions to the pharmacy. Pharmacists are well positioned to impact behaviors in this area, based on their status as trusted care providers and the breadth of available information technology solutions.
Some of the types of information technology solutions that pharmacists can use to impact medication adherence include:
Solutions of this nature can be found from a variety of vendors, ranging from those who provide just some of these specialized services, to larger enterprise solution vendors. There are a few services purpose-built for pharmacy solution providers who are better positioned to address the nuances of pharmacy and their rapidly evolving business models that are underway.
Pharmacies across all markets should strategically be thinking about how their technology stack and partners are aligned with their future state so that they can determine the plat- form and partner that are the best fit for their business now and in the future.
The process of selecting an appropriate technology vendor for pharmacists and their staff will vary based on their unique needs. There are, however, some common considerations across pharmacies, including:
Pharmacists and pharmacy staff, across practice settings, are feeling tired or burned-out because of staff shortages, professional demands, and the realities surrounding COVID-19. Although many may feel that adding new technology into the system simply means that there’s more to learn, we’ve seen the opposite of this when the technology is the right fit. Technology can, and should, meaningfully improve the pharmacy team’s workflow efficiency and enable the pharmacist and their teams to spend more time serving patients. Technology solutions can also result in additional benefits, such as improving medication adherence, reducing risk, driving revenue, and improving customer convenience or experience.
Some typical solutions that follow the flow of a prescription and improve workflow efficiencies, separate from of the pharmacy management system, include: