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What are the key systems that pharmacy POS (point of sale) needs to interact with for full functionality and best ROI (return on investment)?

Retail Management Solutions CEO Brad Jones
Retail Management Solutions CEO Brad Jones

Pharmacy system integration is a key part of pharmacy point-of-sale functionality. A robust point-of-sale solution allows pharmacies to accurately and safely process prescription sales, protecting both the pharmacy and its patients. Minimizing dispensing errors is a major focus of all pharmacies. POS can help in this endeavor by warning when you scan a script for a patient that isn’t already in the transaction and forcing you to verify that this is intentional. Additionally, for pharmacies with large patient databases and many similar names, using birth date verification functionality is a great safety check.

Patient care is also enhanced with a robust POS solution. With today’s focus on patient outcomes, POS can be an integral part of the process of ensuring patient adherence by recording the date scripts are actually picked up and returning that information to the pharmacy system. Patient counseling notes can be entered right at the point of counseling and sent to the patient record in the pharmacy management system.

Improved customer service is another fundamental value achieved with a fully interfaced solution. Clerks can be alerted about additional prescriptions available for pickup in the event not everything was grabbed from will-call, so patients don’t leave without all of their prescriptions.

Today’s pharmacy POS systems must assist pharmacies in remaining compliant with federal and state laws. Robust interfaces allow the POS to capture ID information for narcotic sales, ensure patient counseling is documented when provided, maintain HIPAA signature compliance, and capture signatures as required by third-party insurance and PBMs (pharmacy benefit managers).

These interfaces have come a long way since they were first pioneered over 20 years ago. Pharmacies can use all of the data in their pharmacy system but still have access to a point-of-sale system that offers functionality beyond the prescription sale.

Wholesaler interfaces are a necessity for OTC (over the counter) products. A wholesaler interface allows you and your POS system to easily maintain accurate pricing. Wholesaler interfaces also streamline product ordering. Whether using simple replenishment ordering or maintaining inventory counts for min/max ordering, wholesaler interfaces allow for daily, just-in-time, ordering and greater controls on inventory levels.

Credit-card integrations are another differentiator in the pharmacy point-of-sale world. Providing pharmacies with many processor options has very positive financial ramifications and advantages for the pharmacy. Just like pharmacy system interfaces, credit-card interfaces come with a lot more options than they used to. With a range of interfaces available, pharmacies can choose the functionality that best meets their needs. In addition to typical credit, debit, EMV, and FSA (flexible spending account) card processing, many pharmacies need options, including point-to-point encryption, tokenization, NFC, and mobile payment solutions like Apple Pay and Android Pay.

What is a POS interface pharmacies should be using more?

Nutrient depletion notifications are a powerful tool for pharmacies. Using a point-of-sale interface to a program such as Ortho Molecular Products Digital Replete Platform, pharmacies can get real-time supplement recommendations based on prescription-induced nutrient depletion. Pharmacies not using a solution like this are really missing out on a big opportunity. Those recommendations result in sales of high-margin products and improved patient wellness and adherence with their medication regimens. This definitely has a big impact both on the overall profitability of the pharmacy and on customer retention. If you can help your patients feel better, they’re more likely to keep coming back.

A Pharmacy POS Success Story

For one Retail Management Solutions customer, implementation of the RMS interface with Ortho Molecular Products Digital Replete Platform resulted in a massive increase in supplement sales. At the time of implementation, the pharmacy was processing about 250 prescriptions a day and was seeing about $3,000 a month in supplement sales. During a six-month period following implementation, the pharmacy saw sales steadily increase, hitting as high as $10,000 in supplement sales in a single month. That paid for our POS solution very quickly! CT