The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges in the medical field. Since the past few years there has been a lot of emphasis on the areas that need to be improved in today’s healthcare system.
Ever since the world has been fighting against the deadly virus, making use of advanced technology to provide adequate care and medicines for patients has become more important than ever. This is where the concept of digital pharmacy comes into play. Digital pharmacy or ePharmacy is a term used to describe the pharmacy that operates purely on the basis of the internet by purchasing medicines, drugs and sending them to the customer.
According to some statistics, the market size of global ePharmacy is anticipated to reach $1694.7 billion by 2023 from $1244.4 billion in 2018, growing at a CAGR of 6.4% during the forecast period. Reasons behind the rapid growth of online medicine delivery is the evolution of the internet, advanced heath-care infrastructure, fast aging of the population, the comfort of buying medicines from home and increasing awareness about e-commerce.
To start with, technology is continuously evolving and it has the potential to transform the diagnosis and cure of multiple diseases, which was perhaps considered incurable in the past. Not just from the standpoint of delivering adequate care; independent pharmacies can improve their business in multiple ways by using technological tools.
Safety – Ensuring patient’s safety is the most essential factor for pharmacists. One of the ways in which technology ensures safety is to reduce the unnecessary prescription errors. With the help of the right technology, pharmacists can also be alerted if a particular medicine has any new side effects or drug interactions.
Efficiency – Another important aspect that every pharmacy should focus on is being more efficient. Independent pharmacies with limited resources and corporate support will benefit from relying on the latest machinery as it helps pharmacists to eliminate the manual clinical workflow process.
Compliance – Besides ensuring the safety of patients, it is vital for pharmacies to comply with the federal regulations. Technological advancements play an integral role in eliminating compliance errors. By using the latest technology, pharmacists will not only be alerted of any major compliance updates but they can also avoid issues like overpayment disclosures, reimbursement limitations and claims submissions.
Adherence – In order to ensure a better therapeutic outcome patient adherence comes into play. When a patient voluntarily works with the healthcare provider he/she is less likely to undergo complications and will surely notice positive results. One such tool that helps independent pharmacies to improve adherence to prescribed medications is patient management software. Pharmacists can also use technology to include adherence packaging on prescriptions.
How to Make the Transition into Digital Pharmacy
If you’re already using some of the old technological tools in your day-to-day workflow it doesn’t mean that you have fully adapted to the concept of digital pharmacy. In order to make your operations efficient, provide better care and make profit; independent pharmacies must use the latest technology.
Streamlined medication therapy management- In order to meet with the Medicare Part D, most independent pharmacies are providing streamlined medication therapy management resources. By using modern software tools, pharmacists can make these programs more efficient and provide the best outcome for patients.
Apps – Right from small-scale to large-scale businesses, everyone is relying on apps to improve their business model and reach out to far more customers. The same applies for pharmaceutical firms. Unlike the manual process, patients do not have to wait to refill their prescriptions when using an app they can do it the same day. Apps also have pharmacy information, medication alerts and reminders to refill.
Cloud-based server – On a day-to-day basis pharmacies have a lot of sensitive patient information saved on a terrestrial server, there is a possibility of losing this data in case of some accident. Hence its best to upgrade to a cloud-based server, which will save the data on an off-site location, even if something happens the data is safe.
Pharmacy-centric point-of-sale – If you’re using the same old point-of-sale system you used fifteen years ago, it’s time to upgrade to the one that’s specifically designed for pharmacies. A good and efficient POS software will have many advanced features. Some systems will also have a platform where you can record patient counselling notes.
Robotics – Apart from the apps and other advanced software, robots play a crucial role in helping independent pharmacies work more efficiently. A pharmacy robot can fill upto 60 percent of your prescriptions with 99 percent accuracy on a daily basis. By using robots pharmacists can spend more time with patients providing personalized care.
Better communication solutions – Imagine how much time pharmacy staff spend on reaching out to doctors. Modern technology can minimise the time spent on waiting to hear from the doctor, that way pharmacists can help assist patients better. UpDox is a service that provides a HIPAA-compliant messaging system for easy communication.
As an independent pharmacy before investing in the right technology, there are some vital factors to look out for-
- Customizable dashboards for analytics and reporting
- Automation of time-consuming and manual tasks
- Effortless interaction between post-marketing surveillance and other existing methods
- Ample resources on clinical care services
- Real-time inventory management
- Dedicated customer and technical support
Now that we have learned about how independent pharmacies will benefit from transitioning into the digital model, here is the story of one successful digital pharmacy that is indeed changing the way independent pharmacies are operating.
The Success Story of a Digital Pharmacy: Ravkoo
In recent times, small and independent companies are adapting to an online model in order to provide the best medical help to people. Ravkoo is one of the few successful digital pharmacy platforms that has made the prescription management process convenient for patients, pharmacies and doctors.
With over 400 network distribution centers in 110 major cities, Ravkoo provides free same-day or next-day delivery of medicines to patients. With the ultimate goal of providing convenient and better care for patients, the company has partnered with pharmacies and healthcare providers to digitalize the entire prescription management process. Apart from a quick and convenient medicine delivery model, the company is offering a customised web portal that enables people to track deliveries, and prescription status. Ravkoo is known for its expertise in improving patient adherence through affordability, convenience and consultation.
Join Ravkoo’s Pharmacy Network–
Not only does Ravkoo provide superior care for its patients, but this digital platform also helps independent pharmacies in several ways-
- Increase the volume of prescriptions
- Increase foot traffic to independent pharmacies
- Real-time status updates on prescriptions
- Exclusive flat fee delivery of prescriptions
- Ravkoo hub pharmacy support
- Increase global clinic rating (GCR)
An independent pharmacy called Buddy’s pharmacy located in Las Vegas has recently become a member of Ravkoo’s affiliate network of independent pharmacies. This small and independent pharmacy is now able to offer same-day, free delivery of medicines within the vicinity.
One of the biggest challenges faced by independent pharmacies is lack of proper communication with their patients. By being affiliated with Ravkoo, independent pharmacies can easily connect with patients in order to understand and talk about medical insurance plan coverage, co-pays and pricing.