Purchasing software can seem like a daunting task for pharmacy owners to tackle on top of all their other day-to-day tasks – but purchasing the right software can automate those tasks and thus free up so much valuable time in the long run. Today we will discuss some pain points to avoid in the process to help you choose wisely the first time and get to the end goal… a more efficient team and happier patients.
The Importance of Software in Pharmacy
Before we dive into what you should watch out for when looking into new software for your pharmacy, let’s first discuss why software is important. A pharmacy software program not only maximizes work efficiency but is also related to patient outcomes. The software system can have an effect on patients since pharmacists utilize the software for a variety of reasons from dispensing medications to communicating with patients.
The various software programs that are used by pharmacies for a variety of purposes are relied on in some way to ultimately ensure patients receive the medications and health-related information that they need in a timely manner. Therefore, it is significantly important to choose and shop for appropriate software for the sake of your business– but also for the health of your patients.
Evaluating a Pharmacy Software Vendor
The functions of software used in pharmacies vary considerably as do the needs of pharmacies for what software they require. Large franchise pharmacies, such as CVS pharmacies, use ‘Epic’ electronic health record programs for all locations, but in most independent pharmacies it is the pharmacy manager’s duty to make a decision on software purchase to be able to keep up with the big box stores. The choice of which software program to purchase depends on the functions required by each pharmacy and the unique features each software brings to the table. Obviously, the overall function of the software is important to consider when deciding if a provider will meet your needs but there are several other factors that you should consider before making your decision.
1) Customer Service
As pharmacies rely on software programs to work consistently and without interruptions – good customer service is an important matter when it comes to software shopping. When the software in the pharmacy goes down, the entire workflow is interrupted, leading to extra, unnecessary work for pharmacy teams and potentially delaying your patients receiving critical medications.
With that being said response time is a huge factor to consider. When choosing a software program, shoppers should pick a software that provides real-time chat or after-hours call service in order to solve problems immediately whenever any issues arise and offer assistance to mitigate those issues quickly.
One way to evaluate a software vendor early on is to pay close attention during the implementation process of the software in your pharmacy. This is a critical time when service should be at its best and if it is already not up to par, that could potentially be an indicator of poor service when working with the company in the future.
2) Cost of Pharmacy Software
There are numerous software vendors on the market for every type of program pharmacies require, and of course, the price of software varies. Some programs offer flat fees, while others have varying prices depending on the features and/ or the number of users or locations that you need to service – making it difficult to predict what you might end up spending with the vendor over time.
Something else to consider when comparing pricing is scalability. If your pharmacy is in a period of growth or expansion the scalability of the software at the price you are quoted is something you might want to consider.
You might also find that some vendors offer similar pricing but one might provide more advanced features than the other. Something to consider is the potential time savings these features can provide. Because while two software might offer similar pricing – the higher return on investment one offers over the other could be a deciding factor.
3) Integration Capabilities
Integration with your pharmacy’s other systems is one of the most important factors to consider when shopping for a new software solution. Investigating necessary systems is required in advance before installing new software. In addition to the integration capability to other systems, ensuring that the software can be connected to a printer, fax machine, or tablet PC without any problem is essential for the speed and connectivity of work.
4) Information Migration Process
Changing from old software to new software is not an easy task because pharmacy staff may need time to adjust themselves to the new software. It is also vital to understand the process for transferring all information to the new software from the old one and make sure all necessary information can be migrated efficiently. The pharmacy’s software contains a lot of patient information and it would take significant time to register all patients and information to the new system manually, so you should consider if the new pharmacy software can bring all information easily from the old system.
A variety of software programs are utilized in pharmacies, and it is a difficult task to decide which software program to choose in order to manage the pharmacy flawlessly. Selecting software is a huge burden and painful as there are many things to consider, but pharmacy software is a significant part of pharmacy management. Thus, choosing the right software for a pharmacy should be a careful process to avoid pain points. Check out our suite of pharmacy solutions to see if one might be a good fit for you and your team!
Software Digital Pharmacist Offers:
Our Patient Engagement Platform offers task-based workflows that automate outreach and track prescription lifecycles, improve adherence and reduce your return to stock, and organize and manage patient relationships and touchpoints effectively and securely from multiple access points.
Within the Patient Engagement Platform, there is an appointment scheduling tool that allows pharmacists to set up, support, and offer a range of appointment-based services.
Vow is the only all-in-one IVR and VoIP communication system on the market purpose-built for pharmacies. This platform is secure, reliable, and easily integrates into any pharmacy software system to allow customers to refill prescriptions, find information, and communicate with your team like never before.
Digital Pharmacist can help with a wide range of digital marketing services and support, from Facebook advertising campaigns to social media posting to new customer tracking. Digital Pharmacist’s original content and curated health resources keep customers informed and educated while positioning pharmacies as experts who care.