Think about every time you’ve purchased that latest-and-greatest smartphone. The sales clerk at the store was willing to help you get acquainted with the basics—how to make a call, retrieve voicemails, help with transferring your contact list and email account settings—and not much else. But that phone was actually loaded with other potentially useful features they never took time to show you, especially if the next customer had just walked in the door! How much more were you left with to figure out on your own?
That same “bare bones” support you get for a $300 cell phone is also surprisingly common with many pharmacy information systems (PIS), an expense which can easily run users into neighborhood of $100,000 to $250,000 per year. While these platforms are usually highly customizable to meet the workflow needs of high-volume pharmacies, most vendors won’t go much beyond basic initial set-up and training without running up that lofty price tag. They end up charging the proverbial arm-and-leg for continued training and more additional services. So with vendor-based help at such a premium, how and where can cost-conscious pharmacies get that extra help to fine-tune their PIS?
Areas Where Vendors Typically Fall Short
Here are three key areas where we’ve typically observed our pharmacy customers’ PIS configurations falling short:
Advanced Workflow Tools. Depending on the vendor, PIS systems include other features designed to streamline batch data entry, verification and speedy prescription filling. Which of these added functions represent real value-adds to users, and which are more simply ‘bells-and-whistles’ that won’t offer much help?
Fax Workflow Routing. Most PIS platforms include automated fax capabilities which automatically record prescriptions and other communications faxed between doctors and the pharmacy. Yet many pharmacies never fully configure PIS-based faxing, still relying on antiquated hand-recording of faxes on a daily log sheet. The higher a pharmacy’s daily volume of faxes, the higher the likelihood of human error, costing valuable time and money.
Barcode-Based Document Association. Tracking required documentation for a single LTC patient can be tricky business. Properly organizing and storing as much as 20 separate forms for a single prescription may be required. Many PIS platforms enable convenient barcoding generation, linking scannable prescription delivery sheets to every corresponding document for quick retrieval and review as needed. It’s a highly convenient feature, which many pharmacies fail to custom-tailor to their full advantage.
Our First Step: A PIS Tune-Up
When we initiate the ramp-up process with a new pharmacy client, our first task is to evaluate their existing operations, specifically the capacities of their current PIS system. We’ve found that being a “second set of eyes” at the outset usually provides useful insights which have facilitated speedy improvements. Our expertise, across most widely-used PIS vendors, gives us the ability to fine-tune these systems for customer’s needs—and dramatically improve their return on investment.
How else can Infinx dramatically improve your LTC pharmacy operations? Find out more about our pharmacy management solutions.