While the independent pharmacy industry faces unprecedented challenges as a result of reforms and austerity measures, technology is currently in the process of transforming healthcare as a whole: from wearable tech and FDA-approved ingestible sensors to electronic health records – change is coming fast. Shifts in patient behavior and communication with healthcare providers also change the relationship pharmacies have with their traditional customers, which in turn creates new opportunities for collaboration and customer service improvements.
To help you better navigate constant industry change, stay focused on improving operational efficiency and patient outcome, we found 3 main trends that we predict will influence independent pharmacy industry in the next three to five years.
Transition to Automation
Constant technological advancements make medication dispensing more efficient, accurate and safe. Equipped with eloquent computer interface, machines like the KL20 can interface with the workflow and inventory management system, helping pharmacies operate more effectively. Advanced counters increase the ability to dispense common medications hands-free, via calibrated cassettes. New robotic mechanisms can fully dispense and label filled patient vials in a tiny nine square feet of floor space, allowing pharmacy staff to confidently dispense hundreds of prescriptions while managing daily operations of a busy community pharmacy.
Focus on Data
Every day we get inundated with data. Today, a wristband provides real-time information on a patient’s heart rate, sleeping patterns, metabolic rate and other trends. Electronic health records became the norm in the medical field. By assessing patient history, treatment outcomes and other trends health care organizations can improve their policies and optimize patient care. Powerful cloud computing that stores and processes big data further allows turning analytics into valuable insights.
Cloud technology that gathers and categorizes big data emerged newly designed electronic systems that allow patients to access their data through desktop, iOS and Android apps. These exciting systems put a greater emphasis on data recorded by patients, allowing for more detailed feedback, which in turn improves diagnosis accuracy and reduces chances of malpractice. Of course, some of this technology still remains in its infant stage, but it has already been known to positively impact patient outcomes, improve adherence to preventative measures and provide better communication between patients and health care providers. This positive impact will ultimately result in the decreased costs and improved pharmacy infrastructure.
Whether it’s using automated systems or utilizing big data analytics to identify the best-targeted customers and most cost-effective therapy, technology will continue to play an important role in today’s healthcare. And those pharmacy entrepreneurs who embrace the change, adapt and innovate their practice will continue to be successful in the long-term.
Ready to embrace the change? Download our guide to an Exceptionally Effective Implementation and learn how you can contribute to the future of of the independent pharmacy today.