Read The 2021 Outlook Cover Story

Check out more content and an analysis on what to look for in pharmacy technology the coming year...

Jennifer Zilka | Good Neighbor Pharmacy Field Programs and Services at AmerisourceBergen

ennifer Zilka, group VP of Good Neighbor Pharmacy Field Programs and Services at AmerisourceBergen

Jennifer Zilka, group VP of Good Neighbor Pharmacy Field Programs and Services at AmerisourceBergen

Jennifer, what do you see as the next big thing for pharmacy?

"When the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread across the U.S., many independent pharmacies turned to social media to maintain the strong connections they have with their community. I believe this type of engagement will continue to be a necessity in the new normal, as patients have come to expect authentic, “always-on” experiences from the businesses they support, even when business is far from usual. Innovative technology that streamlines and amplifies how pharmacies attract, engage and retain their patients will be crucial as we move forward into new territory.

At Good Neighbor Pharmacy, we had already made those investments in a sophisticated social media management platform and text messaging services, so our members were able to adapt quickly to the pandemic and stay in constant contact with their community. We plan to continue developing and expanding our digital marketing solutions in 2021 to ensure independent pharmacies everywhere can keep delivering that extremely high-level of personalized care for which they are known no matter what challenges lie ahead."

In just three or four words, what do you see making the biggest impact on pharmacy in 2021?

Additional patient outreach methods.

What can add value to the pharmacy/pharmacy system?

Easy to use interface to increase productivity to reduce script costs.


Kevin Minassian | President, Datascan

Datascan President Kevin Minassian

Datascan President Kevin Minassian

Kevin, what do you see as the next big thing for pharmacy?

"The ability to harness all technology offered by your vendor currently, which most are not doing, and synchronize the use of it with employees as well as customers. The goal is to streamline all processes, and eliminate as many of the manual process currently being done. Free up time to find new profit centers, spend time with customers, and build relationships with local doctors and facilities."

In just three or four words, what do you see making the biggest impact on pharmacy in 2021?

Automation and efficiency building efficiency.

What can add value to the pharmacy/pharmacy system?

The ability to automate processes, thus needing less staff time spent.


Amber Murray | IND Consulting Director of Business Development

IND Consulting Director of Business Development Amber Murray

IND Consulting Director of Business Development Amber Murray

Amber, what do you see as the next big thing for pharmacy?

"IND Consulting's focus in 2021 will continue to be helping our pharmacies manage their backend workflow allowing them to be more efficient and to focus on their patients and facilities. Our array of services can be tailored to each pharmacy’s needs. We offer data entry, onboarding new business, adjudication, Pharmacist on Demand Services, PODS On Call (back-up pharmacy services) and IT support and solutions that is specific to pharmacies."

In just three or four words, what do you see making the biggest impact on pharmacy in 2021?

Reimbursement, adjusting with the market.

What can add value to the pharmacy/pharmacy system?

Increasing efficiencies and workflow.


Jim McDonald | Integra Director of National Sales for LTC

Integra Director of National Sales for LTC Jim McDonald

Integra Director of National Sales for LTC Jim McDonald

Jim, what do you see as the next big thing for pharmacy?

"At RedSail Technologies™, we are committed to investing in the future of pharmacy in ways that enable real, sustainable solutions that elevate our customers and provide them with an opportunity to level up, be more profitable, and offer enhanced services to their patients. Long-term care, institutional, and combo-shop pharmacies across the U.S. are looking for new opportunities to expand revenue for their business and provide better care for their patients.

With reimbursement rates decreasing, increasing competition, and other industry pressures, it is difficult to grow revenue by purely dispensing prescriptions. With the pharmacist’s role evolving and provider status continually expanding, patients are looking at the clinical pharmacist as an integral part of their healthcare team. In addition, a Next Generation LTC Pharmacy Management System that is like nothing we have had in the past that will change the way Pharmacy operates going forward."

In just three or four words, what do you see making the biggest impact on pharmacy in 2021?

Managing COVID vaccinations.

What can add value to the pharmacy/pharmacy system?

Helping pharmacists bill for services as a provider.


Mike Stotz | Senior Marketing Manager, Kirby Lester, automation by Capsa Healthcare

Mike Stotz Kirby Lester

Senior Marketing Manager, Kirby Lester, automation by Capsa Healthcare Mike Stotz

In just three or four words, what do you see making the biggest impact on pharmacy in 2021?

Infection prevention.

What can add value to the pharmacy/pharmacy system?

Continuing to build public trust and habits to use the local pharmacy as a healthcare resource, beyond just filling scripts.


Phil Idziak | PharmSaver CIO

Phil Idziak, PharmSaver, CIO

PharmSaver CIO Phil Idziak

Phil, what do you see as the next big thing for pharmacy?

"The reimbursement environment for pharmacies today really only leaves two alternatives. Either the Insurers and PBM will recognize the contribution of pharmacist and reimburse them for their professional services, (doubtful) or the pharmacy industry will seek out technology solutions to stem the power of the PBM's. These solutions include new services and prescription provider services that circumvent the PBM's, analytics providers that assist with purchasing and product selection and direct physician dispensing within a fixed formulary."

In just three or four words, what do you see making the biggest impact on pharmacy in 2021?

Managing the impacts of COVID-19.

What can add value to the pharmacy/pharmacy system?

Using an automated system to lower drug costs by identifying less expensive alternatives while maintaining the pharmacy's relationship with their primary wholesaler.


Keith Blecha | Pillvac Director of Sales

Pillvac Director of Sales Keith Blecha

Pillvac Director of Sales Keith Blecha

Keith, what do you see as the next big thing for pharmacy?

"Pharmacies must be Flexible to change with the market."

In just three or four words, what do you see making the biggest impact on pharmacy in 2021?

COVID-19.

What can add value to the pharmacy/pharmacy system?

Cost effective tools.


Marsha Bivins | PioneerRx Marketing Director

PioneerRx Marketing Director Marsha Bivins

PioneerRx Marketing Director Marsha Bivins

Marsha, what do you see as the next big thing for pharmacy?

"The past year has brought many trials, changes, and opportunities to pharmacies and supporting businesses like ours. These challenges have reinforced our mission to Save + Revitalize Independent Pharmacy. As the healthcare landscape evolves, we are quickly identifying and creating solutions that will empower pharmacies to offer enhanced services without a lapse in patient care. We believe that with more pharmacies aligned with our mission, we can provide independent pharmacies the technology toolset and purchasing power to completely transform their position in healthcare.

As pharmacists are being recognized as health care providers, their opportunity for offering enhanced clinical services expands. Community pharmacies have played a monumental role during the pandemic by offering COVID-19 testing to their communities. Before the pandemic, many of our pharmacies were already providing point-of-care testing and immunizations. Our pharmacies are preparing to further flex their clinical muscles in the coming year, utilizing their PioneerRx pharmacy software system to aid in care planning and providing proper documentation for reimbursements. PioneerRx powers some of the most clinically advanced pharmacies offering medication synchronization, adherence packaging, nutrition counseling, compounding, specialty dispensing, and so much more. Patient connectivity through various telemedicine platforms will continue to grow in the next year, which is why we have partnered with MDBox through our RxLocal patient app.

PioneerRx pharmacies using the RxLocal patient app can facilitate telemedicine visits between a patient and a medical professional using RxLocalMD, and then fill medications prescribed during the appointment. With delivery, curbside pickup, and drive-thru pickup integrated within the workflow, patients can safely and conveniently pick up their medications and OTC products. Our pharmacies are transforming patient care far beyond its traditional setting, and it is our goal to continue to create a sustainable future for them. Everyone at PioneerRx is excited for a new year and looking forward to the evolution of the industry that we passionately serve."

In just three or four words, what do you see making the biggest impact on pharmacy in 2021?

Telemedicine and clinical services.

What can add value to the pharmacy/pharmacy system?

Tightly integrated solutions.


Randy Burnett | QS/1 Product Manager, NRx, PrimeCare, and SharpRx

Rich Muller | QS/1 Senior Director, Next Generation Pharmacy Systems

QS/1 Product Manager, NRx/PrimeCare/SharpRx, Randy Burnett

QS/1 Product Manager, NRx, PrimeCare, and SharpRx Randy Burnett

QS/1 Senior Director, Next Generation Pharmacy Systems, Rich Muller

QS/1 Senior Director, Next Generation Pharmacy Systems Rich Muller

Randy and Rich, what do you see as the next big thing for pharmacy?

"Clinical services will continue to grow as a new source of revenue. Pharmacists know that with reimbursement rates decreasing and other industry pressures, it’s difficult to grow purely by dispensing prescriptions. The COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted their vital role. Although getting started takes time and attention, community pharmacies are perfectly positioned to add more clinical services, whether patients pay through insurance or out of pocket.

QS/1’s partnership with OmniSYS®, the first initiative of our new RedSail Advantage program, enables our customers to much more easily start or expand clinical services. Most clinical service opportunities fall under medical coverage, so pharmacies need a partner who will navigate the complexities and provide claim reimbursements faster than ever. No matter where pharmacies are with their clinical services, QS/1 can help them bill for items covered under the medical benefit and optimize reimbursement for immunizations, clinical services, DME, and specialty drugs."

In just three or four words, what do you see making the biggest impact on pharmacy in 2021?

Pharmacists as immunizers (COVID driven).

What can add value to the pharmacy/pharmacy system?

Documentation/reimbursement workflow for clinical services.


Brad Jones | Retail Management Solutions CEO

Retail Management Solutions CEO Brad Jones

Retail Management Solutions CEO Brad Jones

Brad, what do you see as the next big thing for pharmacy?

"Pharmacies must continue to increase their focus on improving patient outcomes. One area that can help achieve this and add substantially to the bottom line is creating a nutrient-depletion therapy recommendation program. Helping patients overcome drug-induced nutrient depletion improves compliance by reducing the side effects that can result in the patient altering their dosage or stopping their medication completely. Pharmacies must take a holistic approach to patient care in 2021 and beyond."

In just three or four words, what do you see making the biggest impact on pharmacy in 2021?

The end of COVID.

What can add value to the pharmacy/pharmacy system?

Understanding nutrient depletion and recommending vitamins and supplements can boost profits and improve patient outcomes.


Bill Holmes | RxSafe CEO

RxSafe CEO Bill Holmes

RxSafe CEO Bill Holmes

Bill, what do you see as the next big thing for pharmacy?

"We believe the COVID pandemic will have far-reaching impacts on the future of pharmacy, significantly accelerating marketplace trends that are already in motion. For pharmacy in the COVID Era:

  • The fear of virus transmission will persist.
  • Retail customers want touchless service, packaging, delivery & payment.
  • This requires new pharmacy operating procedures and sensitivity to these concerns.
  • Traditional vial filling inherently has many touch points during filling & consumption.
  • DivvyDose, PillPack, and others are setting the standard... pharmacy chains will follow.

In short, 2020 marks the “death knell” for vial filling. Ignore at your peril."

In just three or four words, what do you see making the biggest impact on pharmacy in 2021?

Touchless pharmacy, adherence packaging.

What can add value to the pharmacy/pharmacy system?

Improving patient health and safety, by increasing medication compliance with pouch packaging and “touchless” delivery of meds from end to end.


ScriptPro


What does ScriptPro see as the next big thing for pharmacy?

"ScriptPro will continue to expand both its automation and clinical software offerings in 2021. As always, our new initiatives focus on synthesizing pharmacy financials, operations, and clinical practice. Specifically, ScriptPro’s Advanced Clinical Pharmacy Services (APCS) will continue to expand its footprint in the specialty pharmacy space, as well as release new, and enhance existing, programs that any pharmacy can deploy to improve both operational efficiency and health outcomes.

APCS can already help pharmacies manage patients across a multitude of disease states and will further develop tools for benefits investigation and prior authorization, clinical interventions, patient tracking throughout the course of therapy, and reporting on health outcomes. Through seamless integration between ScriptPro’s Pharmacy Management System and APCS, these solutions can help any pharmacy make an enormous impact on their patients, while managing a top-level operational practice."

In just three or four words, what do you see making the biggest impact on pharmacy in 2021?

Expanded pharmacist responsibility.

What can add value to the pharmacy/pharmacy system?

A merging of technological advancement (algorithmic approaches to problem solving, intelligent automation, data aggregation & analytics, remote patient management, etc.) with a growing clinical focus (disease/drug management, expanded practice capabilities, testing/vaccination expansion).


Chuck Welch | Speed Script EVP/CTO

Speed Script Chuck Welch

Speed Script EVP/CTO Chuck Welch

Chuck, what can add value to the pharmacy/pharmacy system?

"Patient engagement and tracking."


Beth Perry | Transaction Data Systems Regional Sales Manager

Transaction Data Systems Regional Sales Manager Beth Perry

Transaction Data Systems Regional Sales Manager Beth Perry

Beth, what do you see as the next big thing for pharmacy?

"Pharmacy is moving to become a critical point of contact in the patients' healthcare team as the patient will visit the pharmacy more often than prescribers. Pharmacies adding more services such as clinical care and immunizations will help in recognizing this industry a vital to the patients' healthcare team."

In just three or four words, what do you see making the biggest impact on pharmacy in 2021?

Clinical services, immunizations.

What can add value to the pharmacy/pharmacy system?

The ability to grow/adjust quickly to industry trends, specifically moving pharmacy to a more patient care focused model.


Kenton Summers | VIP Pharmacy Systems Vice President

VIP Pharmacy Systems Vice President Kenton Summers

VIP Pharmacy Systems Vice President Kenton Summers

Kenton, what do you see as the next big thing for pharmacy?

"In the coming year, independent pharmacies will continue to do what they have always done, which is adapt to the needs of their community. For VIP Pharmacy Systems, our primary goal is to make sure our team is responsive to the ways our pharmacies needs change faster than ever before. That means matching long term innovations with quick development that puts new features in the hands of our customers when regulations change, new billing and dispensing opportunities become available, or workflow needs to be altered."

In just three or four words, what do you see making the biggest impact on pharmacy in 2021?

COVID Vaccines, Opioid Management, DIR Fees.

What can add value to the pharmacy/pharmacy system?

Easy access to shared patient data, be that with state agencies or prescribers.


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