As the year winds down, it’s time for our annual look at what’s ahead for pharmacy technology. We focused this year on finding out how vendors see the dynamic between technology and critical areas of current pharmacy practice.
There’s been a great deal of change in the (LTC) market in the past few years, with a significant impact on how pharmacies are organizing their operations and deploying technology. Whether it’s dispensing automation, pharmacy management system functionality, or digital connectivity platforms, LTC technology is evolving rapidly to meet current and future challenges and opportunities.
Cover Story [July/August 2015] Looking to the Future: Key Technologies Taking Chain Pharmacy to the Next Level
Our annual chain survey brings to the fore trends and challenges on the radar at 17 chain pharmacies, representing over 5,700 locations. Find out what’s happening at the technology core, which technologies are doing the most to position pharmacies at the center of clinical care, and the way technology-based strategies create better connections with patients.
The trend toward a greater focus on clinical care and an emphasis on measured performance are leading these pharmacies to work harder than ever to elevate the level of engagement not just with patients, but with other members of the care team as well. Find out how pharmacists are using a wide array of both cutting-edge and long-standing technology to help them in their efforts.
Cover Story [January/February 2015] Solving the Claims Management Puzzle: Protecting Patients and Revenue
Pharmacies are required to successfully navigate a complex set of rules unequaled in almost any other business environment, simply to ensure that their patients get the medications they need and the pharmacy earns the revenue it deserves. Not surprisingly, technology plays a prominent role in helping create a smooth and efficient dispensing flow.
This year’s outlook survey found the technology vendors putting a heavy emphasis on patient management and pharmacist access. Data flows and mobile technology loom large, as does a continued focus on adherence, driven by system features for prescription synchronization, compliance packaging to promote adherence, medication therapy and disease management tools, improvements in workflow efficiency, and technology that helps pharmacists understand their patients better and support richer pharmacist-patient interactions.
Central fill has evolved into an important way for pharmacies to standardize processes, reduce costs, improve efficiency, and most importantly, afford pharmacy staff the chance to step away from certain repetitive tasks and focus on the bigger picture. Find out how central fill is working for pharmacies with 100 locations or 10, and with pharmacy locations in a limited area or spread across several states.
This year’s analysis of our annual chain survey pulls together responses from 17 chains representing over 7,300 locations. Get a look into the dynamic world of chain pharmacy as we check on the state of technology, from pharmacy systems to POS, IVR, and automation; find out where the chains are with specialty pharmacy; hear what they are doing to connect with patients via messaging and apps to achieve clinical goals; and more.
It is incredibly valuable to build a loyal base of customers who return to shop with you again and again. Rewards programs are a great way to do this, which is clear from their widespread use in retail. And you too can implement a sophisticated customer loyalty program for your pharmacy by using tools that are already available in many point-of-sale systems. Find out what you could be doing to reward your customers and build loyalty, whether you are just getting started or are an old hand looking to add functionality and implement new features.
Whatever a pharmacy’s focus — retail, LTC, or specialty — workflow can play a major role in moving prescriptions through the dispensing process efficiently and managing patients better. From staff specialization to automating administrative tasks and the built-in tracking and safety measures, pharmacies are using workflow to save time and money, improve service, and create a technology foundation to support their strategic
ComputerTalk’s annual survey of the technology vendors shows that there’s a great deal being done by these companies to address trends for the coming year. Find out how the vendors see the trends developing, what new products are coming out, where they see pharmacy technology in a few years’ time, and more.
Long-term care pharmacy can present quite a puzzle to pharmacies looking for success. It’s a complex field that makes stringent demands on clinical and operational resources. But there are many pharmacies out there that are showing that with the right combination of smarts and technology, there continue to be new ways to streamline operations, lower costs, and create innovative service models.
Eighteen chains, representing close to 10,500 locations, provided input for this year’s chain market report. The responses give a quick look at where these chains are in their software and hardware deployment and the current state of clinical services; mobile and social technology; adherence programs; and current regulatory and operational challenges. We also found out what the chains’ top deployed technologies are and what their priorities are for the
Pharmacy stands in the middle of a stream of data. It can be a steady stream or a torrent, but clinical, billing, wholesaler, and retail transaction data, and more, is constantly flowing into and out of a variety of technology systems. Channeled, stored, and used correctly, all this data can be a powerful way to improve operational and clinical performance.