Integra: Giving Pharmacies a Leg Up in the LTC Market

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Integra is a company that introduced more efficient communications between pharmacies and long-term care (LTC) facilities through the electronic exchange of documents. The company then went further in bringing better control over deliveries to the facilities. Bob Bates, president of Integra and QS/1, talks to ComputerTalk Publisher Bill Lockwood about how the company is continuing to help pharmacies do a better job in serving LTC facilities.

ComputerTalk: Let’s start with DocuTrack, the product that Integra introduced to the long-term care market. What led to the development of this product?

Bob Bates President Integra and QS/1
Bob Bates President. Integra and QS/1

Bob Bates: We saw the need for an electronic document management system. The primary communication method between pharmacies and facilities was the fax machine, and these faxes were often misplaced, lost, or sent to the wrong person. This created a significant issue, as there was no tie off from the faxes received to the pharmacy management system. By storing these documents electronically, making an association between the prescription and the appropriate pharmacy management system records, and creating routing rules to direct a document to the appropriate person or workflow, DocuTrack made the pharmacy both more efficient and more accurate.

CT: Now tell us how this product has evolved over the years, and how pharmacies have benefited.

Bates: As the product evolved, we were able to improve the efficiency that DocuTrack provided. We added DeliveryTrack, to tie off another area we saw missing: the fulfillment of the orders to the facility and closing the paperless loop with DocuTrack. Additionally, we linked records between DocuTrack, DeliveryTrack, and the pharmacy management system. And, combined with PrimeCare, we created a unified search that allowed you to find what you needed more easily than ever before.

We realized that the LTC pharmacy market was in sore need of innovation: a new way of thinking about how software manages the prescription process. We have built it from the ground up, in the cloud, using modern programming tools that are fast, reliable, and secure.– Bob Bates

CT: Logix is an interesting addition to your product line. How does this improve workflow?

Bates: A common theme we hear is about the struggles with finding and retaining labor, and the costs associated with it. One COO told us, “We don’t want our people to have to think,” and we understand that concept. If the steps to processing a document are well defined and flow through the same gates each time, why should a user have to remember to do this manually? And that’s where Logix comes in. Based on rules that are defined in the pharmacy, we can create standardized automated business processes to remove those repetitive manual steps, allowing those employees to think about more important things.

CT: PrimeCare is your current pharmacy management system. Tell us about the features that are specific to LTC.

Bates: PrimeCare is designed for LTC. The fill list allows pharmacies to manage cycle fill for facilities. We have eMARs [electronic medication administration records] connected to all the major vendors, allowing the automation of exchanging information between pharmacy and facility. We have literally hundreds of interfaces for things like dispensing, packaging, and billing. We have a facility portal that allows nursing staff to access a price calculator, request refills, or print forms on demand.

CT: Axys is a new platform you recently introduced. How will Integra users benefit from this?

Bates: When we became RedSail Technologies, the first thing we did as an organization was to take inventory of what we had and where the industry and the technology are going. Being browser based, the user interface is familiar to anyone who uses a computer. In fact, our CEO’s niece is in pharmacy school, and she was able to fill prescriptions without the first bit of training. We’re really excited about how Axys will grow and revolutionize pharmacy in the coming years.

CT: Does this mean that PrimeCare is being replaced?

Bates: Absolutely not! Since becoming RedSail, we have invested a lot in the product, both in terms of the software and the support behind it. We reinvented the way our help desk supports our customers, with new tools and training to give fast, reliable answers to our customers’ questions. Additionally, we invested in the product, improving the weaker areas of the system and making it more responsive and more reliable. We will continue to add functionality that makes sense for the product. Axys will provide options down the road for our customers, but PrimeCare is still a vital part of product portfolio.

CT: Now let’s turn our focus to what you see as the biggest challenges these days facing pharmacies serving the LTC market.

Bates: We see the convergence of the community and LTC markets. LTC pharmacies are seeing an increasing number of patients staying with loved ones in private settings. Following these patients to their homes and still providing the same level of service is critical.

CT: Integra has certainly become an important player in the LTC market. Any closing thoughts?

Bates: Long-term care pharmacy, as an industry, is evolving. We feel that we are uniquely positioned to offer a total pharmacy approach, between Axys or PrimeCare, DocuTrack, and DeliveryTrack — robust, accurate reporting, and integration with the best vendors in the industry for any other needs the pharmacy has. CT