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The January/February 2020 issue of ComputerTalk took a look at the power of interfaces, and what was clear is that the value these tools can offer pharmacies really depends on what the pharmacist wants to accomplish (you can read the story here).
That potential to add value to the pharmacy workflow is what drives Micro Merchant’s CEO Ketan Mehta to add a given interface to PrimeRx™. The company has recently rolled out six new interfaces: delivery services through ScriptDrop; immunization registry reporting through Script Management Partners (SMP); two new eMARs (electronic medication administration records); IVR (interactive voice response) through Vow Data; and workflow through Amplicare.
Pharmacy management system vendors have traditionally focused on the core management of the pharmacy. Now they are handling the IT, data feeds, and connectivity to a wider range of system interfaces designed to improve the pharmacy’s offerings in a dynamic pharmacy marketplace.
“We look at an interface through the lens of what value it offers the pharmacy,” explains Mehta.
Interfaces give pharmacists access to bidirectional flows of information that are valuable. Through data tools like PrimeAPI, qualified vendors have the ability to transfer data directly to and from the pharmacy management system, which eliminates many redundant data entry steps and thus saves pharmacies valuable resources and time. Mehta gives the example of an integration with a shipping company, ScriptDrop, where Micro Merchant’s interface pushes the tracking number from the shipping company back to the patient profile to track who signed for the prescription, providing important details to the pharmacist when communicating with patients and auditors for audit compliance.
Improving communication between pharmacist and patient is critical, and automated communication tools like text messaging are very popular interfaces that many pharmacies are beginning to turn to more frequently for efficient and effective patient and provider communication. To really drive value from the service, the pharmacy needs to be able to manage its communication through the pharmacy management system and be able to send, receive, and store critical patient communications in a HIPAA-compliant manor, within the patient’s profile.
Developing interfaces for pharmacy clients can be complex and time-consuming, and can come with unforeseen costs, but pharmacy owners don’t have months to waste when they see a business opportunity. Mehta says that many times the value of the interface far outweighs the cost. A recent example of a subscription-based interface is Amplicare’s workflow automation. The access to decision-making capabilities improves efficiency and patient services. Pharmacists can select what they need to integrate directly into the PrimeRx pharmacy management system and receive proactive information that can mitigate DIR (direct and indirect remuneration) fees and provide Medicare Part D comparisons. Through a robust set of HL7 and API integration offerings, PrimeRx can connect to an array of third-party data tools such as EHRs, CRM, and accounting tools. With this bidirectional interface, PrimeRx allows seamless access to lab systems, EMRs, staff management systems, pharmacy automation, business applications, and a host of others.
“These are just a few examples of how Micro Merchant Systems continuously works to collaborate with partners and develop the needed tools to keep our pharmacy customers’ PrimeRx pharmacy management systems operating at the forefront of pharmacy industry technology,” says Mehta. CT