How Software as a Service Elevates Patient Care in the Pharmacy

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Total Pharmacy JournalTotal Pharmacy June 2024
Volume 02
Issue 03

Nicolette Mathey, PharmD, founder of ATRIUM24 and Dotti CRM, discussed how new technological tools can help pharmacists care for more patients.

At the Spring 2024 Total Pharmacy Solutions Summit, held virtually on April 13, Nicolette Mathey, PharmD, founder of ATRIUM24 and Dotti CRM, led a discussion titled “Innovations in Pharmacy Business Management.”1 She focused on software as a service (SAAS) designed specifically for pharmacy operations.

In a pharmacy setting, SAAS is a tool at pharmacists’ disposal to manage patient care and complete tasks in the most efficient ways possible. As technology in the pharmaceutical space evolves, new tools helpful for managing a pharmacy will help expand the scope of pharmacists’ clinical duties and create more bandwidth for them to access a larger pool of patients.

“When we think back to the impact on patient care, SAAS definitely improves patient outcomes through optimized operations and services [and] enhances patient engagement and their access to essential products and services,” Mathey said.1 “There’s a lot of things we do in pharmacy on a daily basis that we wouldn’t be able to do without technology.”

As technology in the pharmaceutical space evolves, new tools helpful for managing a pharmacy will help expand the scope of pharmacists’ clinical duties. | image credit: ASoullife / stock.adobe.com

As technology in the pharmaceutical space evolves, new tools helpful for managing a pharmacy will help expand the scope of pharmacists’ clinical duties. | image credit: ASoullife / stock.adobe.com

Here are Some Other Key Takeaways from Mathey’s Keynote Presentation:

  • SAAS allows pharmacists to not only stay more engaged with their patients but also with fellow health care providers (HCPs) within their networks. Mathey discussed how pharmacists now can be proactive about providing better patient outcomes. Before, pharmacists were forced to be reactive, waiting for patients to come to them for their medication needs and advice on treatment regimens. Now, with the inception of technology and its interconnectivity, pharmacists can communicate with other HCPs and patients to get a better grasp of their treatments and reasons for administering specific medications.
  • Further expanding on the proactive abilities of technology, Hughes et al—as well as Mathey—explain that “Med sync [medical synchronization] is a service that proactively aligns prescription refills for pharmacy pickup or delivery on a single day each month. It eliminates the need for patients to call in multiple prescription refills and reduces their trips to the pharmacy. Studies show that patients enrolled in a med sync program have higher rates of adherence compared [with] those not enrolled.”2
  • Mathey also discussed the role of technology in the pharmacy, specifically with the recent genesis of artificial intelligence (AI) and concerns surrounding several industries. “Now, I don’t think robots and AI [are] going to replace all of us. I just think it’s going to make us that much more efficient so that we can spend our time learning and thinking and studying and working with our patients. Because patients always need that human interaction,” Mathey said.1
  • To increase patient engagement—and be more proactive—pharmacists can focus on personalized communications, medication reminders, and educational resources to offer patients more outlets to help them adhere to prescription regimens.1
  • Although she agrees that patient outcomes are the most important focus for pharmacists, Mathey continued to explain how technology can also improve day-to-day tasks and duties of everyone working in the pharmacy. “[Whenever] we can automate tasks and streamline processes within the pharmacy, of course that reduces manual errors, which is pivotal, and it will improve our efficiency,” she said.1
  • For community pharmacists, technology is expanding the scope of practice. “Now you can proactively reach out to that patient and have an informed conversation with them and actually practice at the top of your license just by utilizing all this technology and getting organized,” Mathey said.1 Organizational skills are crucial for running a successful pharmacy, and technology is the best and easiest way for pharmacists to get a grasp on organizing their data and communications.
  • Finally, after discussing how to utilize SAAS in the pharmacy, Mathey concluded her presentation with some key statistics showing how prominent technology really is within retail, chain, and community pharmacies. The data showed that 94% of pharmacies use point-of-sale systems to track purchases, 58% use automated dispensing counters, and 38% use both mobile commerce and automated dispensing systems, according to Mathey’s statistics.1

In the pharmacy, technology is here to help, not take away from hardworking pharmacists. The ability of SAAS to streamline processes and put patient care at the forefront of operations makes it one of the most important tools. It is important for pharmacists to stay ahead of the curve, and SAAS can make that happen.

READ MORE: Software as a Service to Elevate Patient Care in the Pharmacy

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References
1. Mathey N. Innovations in pharmacy business management. Presented at:2024 Total Pharmacy Solutions Summit; April 13, 2024; virtual. Accessed May 30, 2024. https://www.drugtopics.com/view/software-as-a-service-to-elevate-patient-care-in-the-pharmacy
2. Hughes TD, Cutrell S, Minshew LM, Brown P, Ferreri SP. An exploration of barriers, facilitators, and practical solutions for adopting medication synchronization into community pharmacies: a qualitative analysis. Explor Res Clin Soc Pharm. 2022;5:100111. doi:10.1016/j.rcsop.2022.100111
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