Pharmacy consists of many modules: inventory, prescriptions, deliveries, billing, loads of documents, employee management, etc. Managing all these processes requires lots of attention from pharmacists. In fact, they experience one of the highest levels of burnout among other medical workers: 61,2% of pharma professionals report experiencing it.
One of the easiest ways to lift the enormous pressure is to adopt pharmacy management software. It automates numerous tasks and lets everyone focus on more essential, strategic ones. No wonder, the market of pharmacy management software is anticipated to reach $35,3 billion by 2027 growing at a CAGR of 10.5% from 2020 to 2027.
In this article, we are going to explore how exactly pharmacy management software can help to optimize pharmacy business processes, what units it consists of, and how to develop a pharmacy management system.
What Problems Can Pharmacy Management Software Solve?
The FDA receives over 100,000 reports each year about medication errors. 21% of them are caused by dispensing errors at the pharmacy which could have been prevented by the pharmacy management software. Although the system requires solid investment on the side of pharma B2C businesses and the adoption of the technology may be hard, it offers numerous benefits to the pharma sector.
Manual Drug Dispensation
Manual drug dispensation takes much time: employees have to decipher the doctor’s handwriting, verify the prescription, check the availability, find the drug, etc. However, it all can be automated and managed by the software. The request is sent from the doctor’s computer to the pharmacy CRM system, and technology processes the rest of it. As a result, the process is quicker, and pharmacists can spend more time assisting the patient rather than figuring out the documents.
It happens a lot that patients ask pharmacists for help while choosing a drug. Usually, the latter have to ask numerous questions about previous medical history and patients can not answer it properly. With a pharmacy management system, one can simply look up the visitor’s EHR and give safer, more accurate recommendations.
Insufficient Drug Information
Pharmacy information software offers great drug documentation, with a detailed composition of the medicine and its substitutes. Consequently, doctors can avoid allergy reactions and having to send patients off because they do not have some drug. Moreover, they can save the situation quite quickly, without frantically checking all the cough syrups in the storage.
Expired or Absent Medications
It is quite difficult to manage the pharmacy inventory without technology: pharmacists can find out about expired or absent medications during reviews (which do not happen often) or at the moment when they are trying to sell the drug. It can seriously harm your business in the long run, considering how many patients you could not serve just because of inventory issues. Pharmacy data management software will notify you about the expired or absent medication so you can fill the stock as quickly as usual.
Low Productivity Levels
Manual tasks always take up a lot of space. If your employees did not have to deal with that much paperwork and inventory checks, they could serve way more customers and meet them not as tired and burnt-out pharmacists but as people who are full of life and ready to assist. Pharmacy management software implementation will help you to get rid of all the manual tasks and increase the satisfaction level of customers.
Close to 6,800 prescription medications are available in the US, and there are countless over-the-counter drugs. Considering such an abundance of substances, it’s not hard to make a mistake during the drug prescription or dispensation. A mistake in the pharmaceutical industry can cost you someone’s life or a penalty, though so it is better to avoid it at all costs. Technology is there to save the day with its 24/7 functioning.
Common Pharmacy Management System Modules
Do you want to know how to develop pharmacy management software to make it as lucrative as possible? You should really add all the aspects of managing a pharmacy. An all-in-one solution will be the best choice for automation and modernization, partial transfer will only cause a mess.
So the modern management system should include the following pharmacy software features and modules:
Paper-based inventory is difficult to manage and is prone to mistakes. With an inventory management unit in the pharmacy management system, pharmacists can look up stock levels, define the location of needed items, and update the information about the stock as soon as someone buys from them. Additionally, they will get notifications if they are running out of some medications and order them timely.
The system also helps to make data-driven decisions based on historical data: what medications will be in demand based on refills, time of the season, weather, etc.
Document and Data Management
There are a lot of documents to manage in the pharmacy: prescriptions, patient data, orders, etc. Small notes can be easily lost and that much paper requires a lot of storage space. After developing a pharmacy database management system, you can store the documents neatly in virtual folders and find information just by entering keywords.
User management helps to give access to authorized users only. Moreover, it has role-specific access: some members will only get information about inventory and medical data, while management will see the full picture with analytics, sales reports, the performance of particular employees, etc.
The prescription management module allows pharmacists to eliminate the risk of stolen or faked prescriptions, receive electronic prescriptions and process them faster, receive notifications about contradicting medications or allergies, etc. Overall, it boosts efficiency, lifts off the pressure of selling controlled substances, and helps to provide better care.
Analytics is one of the most important pharmacy software modules as it helps drugstores to achieve their business goals faster. It helps to understand the performance of the pharmacy, its revenue, biggest expenses, and losses, reasons for shortages, customer behavior, etc. By looking at reports and analyzing them, pharmacies can handle their inventories better, optimize losses caused by lack of insurance reimbursements, learn about the best-performing employees, and adapt their practices.
Pretty much everything has moved online after the pandemic hit since shops were forced to close and people became afraid of offline shopping (6 out of 10 consumers say so). Pharmacy stores, very much like hospitals, are considered to be among the places where one can easily catch the virus. Therefore, it makes sense to add an eCommerce module while building pharmacy management software, so that pharmacies can run their own websites, without the need to create everything from scratch. Just add some easily customizable themes, so an online store can be created without any coding background.
Multi-Store and Multi-Location Support
The big pharmacy chains are among those who need the pharmacy management solutions the most: they need to manage multiple stores in multiple locations. They want to see a bigger picture while being able to take a look at individual stores in detail. Therefore, make sure to provide them with analytics on individual and chain levels, inventory management for further distribution, etc.
A pharmacy management solution has to have an integration with e-prescriptions, point of sales, and EHR/EMR systems. It helps to avoid manual data entry that will only double the employees’ workload and number of mistakes. It is the only way to automate the processes effectively.
How to Develop a Pharmacy Management System?
It is not enough, sadly, to just get the idea and the main modules before jumping straight into the development. It is more the question of what to create rather than how to make your own pharmacy management system. There are several steps to consider before starting the development process:
Step 1: Define Your Goals
While building your own pharmacy management software, you should define the needs first:
- What processes need to be automated?
- What is the main pain point of the pharmacy that needs the most attention?
- Would your solution serve a single store or a chain?
- Would you like to integrate employee management there as well?
If you are developing a solution for broader audiences, you should research the pharmaceutical market, and learn about necessary modules, and general trends. Do not forget to look through the disadvantages of other solutions and try to eliminate them.
Step 2: Collect User Insights
It is essential to ask users about their needs and wishes in custom pharmacy management software development projects: it will speed up the technology adoption process and increase satisfaction levels. Pharmacists and management know exactly what processes take the most time, the full scope of their work, the most problematic actions, etc. They can pick the designs that they are the most comfortable with.
Step 3: Plan the Process
A well-researched and detailed plan on how to build a pharmacy management system is of crucial importance. Record all the business and user needs, create the full scope of work, requirements, responsible people, deadlines, and budget. If you have a roadmap for pharmacy management system development, you are less likely to stretch out the budget and the timeline and to miss some tasks because of management issues.
Step 4: Choose a Model of Cooperation with the Development Team
Choose which IT engagement model is the most suitable for you, based on your internal technical expertise, budget available, main tasks, and business goals.
- Hiring an in-house development team would give you full control over the development process but would require more investment in employing the team members and managing their work.
- Choosing the staff augmentation model would allow you to quickly expand your development team and manage the developers on your side without having to deal with all the HR, tax, and workplace organization expenses.
- Working with the dedicated development team would allow you to outsource certain technical tasks, get access to niche-relevant expertise and significantly lower the costs while controlling the development process. However, you’ll need to share sensitive information with the outsourcing vendor, so the dedicated development team should possess all the certifications needed, have experience creating HIPAA-compliant solutions, and sign an NDA.
- Working with a technology partner is the right choice if you lack internal technical expertise and want the outsourcing vendor to perform the role of a CTO by conducting a profound analysis of your business and offering the best-fitting technological solutions.
By having over 20 years of experience creating innovative healthcare IT solutions, our team knows everything about the user’s pain points in health tech, regulatory compliance standards, EHR/EMR systems, workflows, and smooth software adoption.
Our vertical-specific expertise allows us to make suggestions about design and architecture decisions and start building a custom pharmacy management solution faster. Our project managers will also make sure that we are following the timeline and will effectively communicate about all the work that is being done.
Pharmacy management software is a useful tool for pharmacists and managers that allows them to automate routine processes, focus on serving customers, and make data-driven decisions. Such software is in high demand among pharmacies and there’s a shortage of high-quality solutions on the market. Thus, creating pharmacy management software that successfully meets the needs of end-users can become a profitable and scalable business idea.
If you want to develop a perfect solution for pharmaceutical businesses with the potential to win a large market share, feel free to contact Langate. Our team will quickly jump on board, conduct profound market research, and help you to develop a pharmacy management system from scratch. Fill out the form below and we will reach out to you as soon as possible!