Best Pharmacy Management Systems for 2020
Pharmacy Management Systems enable you to rationalize workflows for dispensing the drug, health claims management, and patient medication adherence. Generally, pharmacists use this software to enhance operational efficiency, provide actionable data points, and decrease costs, compliance risks, and errors. The best Pharmacy management systems enable pharmacy (clinical, retail, independent, etc.) to automate and simplify their daily tasks like drug stock management, customer management, and billing.
Most of the pharmacies can depend on the end-to-end feature of pharmacy management systems to take care of all of their business requirements, but some systems are intended to flawlessly integrate with other software like pharmacy POS systems, EHR software, medication dispensing software, and e-prescribing software, to provide an improved clinical and patient-facing experience.
The worldwide Pharmacy Management Systems Market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 13.64% from $ 13,856.72 Million in 2019 to $ 29,852.63 Million by the end of 2025. The pharmacy management solution allows pharmacists to provide effective professional and personalized care, on the basis of needs and requirements of the patients and also rationalizes their workflow. There has been automation at higher level in the pharmaceutical industry in the recent few years, thus several sectors in the pharma industry are inclined by the high advantages it provides to the users. The major players involved in this market are aggressively focusing upon developing partnerships, collaborations, and joint ventures with the pharmacy sector in various countries to strengthen their position in the market. Furthermore, there is a growing incidence in chronic diseases, which pushes the need for effective pharmacy management systems in the emerging as well as underdeveloped regions.
The American College of Clinical Pharmacy projects that approximately 5 billion prescriptions will be dispensed by 2021. The growing number of prescriptions rises the burden on pharmacists, which is anticipated to inspire the adoption of automated solutions in workflow management.
The pharmacy management software system offers a much efficient approach to managing inventory and emphasis on dropping the inventory costs via automated usage-based reordering, enhances expiration date tracking (reduces waste and saves staff time), enhances pharmacy staff productivity by automating satellite inventory management, and regulates the scales to meet the rising needs of multi-site health systems. Many government authorities from developed and developing countries have focused on the high-efficiency rate of the best pharmacy management systems, thus contributing to the growth of the market.
A large number of pharmaceutical forging incidents have been increased by 25% from 2017 to 2018, where more than 900 counterfeiting cases involved either customs seizures or police/health inspector raids. The application of reliable inventory management throughout the pharmaceutical supply chain enables you to track illegal medicines and helps in better drug selection choices.
Many vendors offering pharmacy management systems provide an inventory management system that enables the pharmacy retailers to utilize the “just-in-time” purchase of drugs, increase inventory turn-over ratio as well as cash flow.
The MicroQuadrant matrix by 360Quadrants provides in-depth information about the Pharmacy Management Systems vendors. It provides a detailed summary describing the inferences and analysis of how well each vendor performs within the predefined MicroQuadrant standards. The vendor assessments are based on 2 broad factors, i.e. Product Maturity and Company Maturity. The vendors have been assessed on the basis of parameters considered under Product Maturity and Company maturity. Parameters covered under product maturity involve product offerings & services, core features, product innovation, mode of deployment, and support services. The parameters considered under the company maturity involve geographic coverage, industry verticals catered, marketing network, and inorganic strategies like partnerships & collaborations, and mergers & acquisitions.
Visionary Leaders offer a strong product portfolio to their clients. These companies significantly invest in R&D to launch innovative products in the best Pharmacy Management Systems. These companies have a robust global presence and also adopted various organic and inorganic strategies to achieve constant and progressive growth in the Pharmacy Management Systems market.
Dynamic Differentiators have an extensive network of channel partners and resellers to enhance the deployment of their solutions. By adopting robust organic and inorganic business strategies, dynamic differentiators have been constantly creating positive revenue growth in the Pharmacy Management Systems.
Innovators in the best Pharmacy Management Systems offer innovative solutions and they also have a wide range of product offerings. By offering niche and customized software requirements to the clients, the innovators have been leading in deploying their solutions.
The emerging players in the best Pharmacy Management Systems space provide customized and focused pharmacy management solutions to their clients. Emerging players always strategize new ways of working to drive business outcomes in the market.
What are the key market drivers of Pharmacy Management Systems?
1. Requirement for reorganizing the workforce management systems in pharmacy settings
2. New advanced solutions and products launch in recent years
3. Joint ventures of key players with top IT companies, as well as other partners. In February 2019, SRS Pharmacy Systems combined with STRAND Clinical Technologies to develop an innovative clinic building service. STRAND supports pharmacies to launch clinic services inside their community.
4. Growing number of prescriptions. For example, the renowned College of Clinical Pharmacy in USA projects that nearly 5 billion prescriptions will be dispensed by 2021. Such a growing number will certainly cause burden on pharmacists, which is anticipated to increase the adoption of automated solutions in workflow management.
5. High R&D investments for the development of effective solutions
6. Strict compliance of IT in the pharmaceutical sector
7. Some cost reduction strategies adopted by key players to strengthen their position in the global pharmacy management systems market.
8. Increasing awareness among pharmacists regarding the large benefits and greater return on investment (ROI) of pharmacy management systems.
What are a few Recent Developments in Pharmacy Management Systems?
September 2019- The granted Software-as-a-service provider TechnologyOne was awarded a four-year, $ 3.2 million contract by the ACT Health Directorate to substitute its on-premise inventory management system. The integrated solution is intended to support the directorate enhance user experience, streamline administration and thus improve inventory processes.
August 2019- GE Healthcare introduced Indian-based start-up partnership programme, Edison[X] that will work with start-ups in India to build solutions on the Edison platform for some of the healthcare challenges faced today like, improving patient outcomes and pharmacy practices as well as efficacy of clinical practice.
June 2018- BD and Company partnered with Heart to Heart International (HHI) and the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC), to improve evidence-based care in free and charitable clinics using point-of-care testing results, and also announced six grants to specific clinics in the United States.
March 2018- Allscripts Healthcare Solutions launched its innovative EHR, named "Avenel", at the HIMSS annual conference. Avenel EHR is a cloud-based, mobile-first approach that generates a community-wide shared patient record and utilizes machine learning, to decrease the time required for clinical documentation.
In Texas and California, OSP Labs provides automation methods for stocking, monitoring and tracking, warehouse stock manifests, numerical balances, and dispensing updates for Inventory Management. This is achieved via the integration of barcodes that meet compliance requirement.
What is the Importance of Pharmacy Management Systems?
1. Provides a Stable System- The best Pharmacy Management Systems is intended to bring the part of management into the system. When processes are planned and managed well, it becomes very easy to manage the things on and off the field. Furthermore, the information is stored over the software and hence the authorized personnel can easily access the same to perform any task.
2. Provides Path for Effective Communication- Pharmacy Management Systems has data management feature that comprises all kinds of information related to the business and to the employees as well. Additionally, when team members work on a project there arises the ease of communicating to each other to discuss about the progress of any project or its current status.
3. Enhanced Efficiency- It’s wrong to compare the efficiency of manual resources to that of a software. Whenever you use software for any task it becomes very easy to perform the same through automated processes. Whereas, manual resources require more time and support as well to do a same task. It becomes extremely easy to perform the task if there’s support from a software
4. Cost-Effective Assistance- The best Pharmacy Management Systems comes with an extra cost, but it is more of an investment to your business. When compared the list of benefits that are offered by the software, it will help you to know and understand the cost-effectiveness it provides to the business. Moreover, the pharmacy management systems enable you to easily perform the task and keep the track of the same.
5. Effective Inventory Management- The pharmacy management systems allow you to keep an effective note of everything along with inventory management. This provides an alert to the managers to give them sufficient time if any item is falling short. Inventory management also enable you to keep the track of the operations that is currently happening in the business. As the data is collected about each and every possible thing, the tracking also becomes effortless. This enables professionals to know the details about everyone involved in the services.
What are the key features offered by Pharmacy Management Systems?
Most of the pharmacy management systems offer almost similar features and capabilities as a retail point of sale (POS) solution. Additionally, it include features that are specially meant for pharmacy business.
1. Automatic refills- This enables retail pharmacy stores to automatically refill clients’ prescribed medicines during a specific period, before they fall short.
2. Bar code scanning- Bar code scanning capability enables you to ensure accurate pricing and label tracking while avoiding human errors linked with medication handling.
3. Barcode generation- This feature let you to create printable barcodes to achieve prescription labelling requirements.
4. E-prescribing- E-prescribing allows pharmacy owners to obtain electronic prescriptions directly from patients’ medical practitioners, hence avoiding the requirement for handwritten prescriptions and ultimately helping to enhance the process of filling prescriptions.
5. Inventory management- With inventory management, users can enhance and manage inventory levels to ensure they remain at sufficient capacity while lessening inventory costs by ensuring only those medications that are essential are in stock.
6. Point of sale (POS)- Point of sale (POS) enables sales clerks ring-up customers and process payments. It also allows cashiers to charge the correct amount, adjusts inventory and prints receipts.
7. Prescription processing- This enables pharmacists to process single or multiple prescriptions instantaneously. Moreover, prescription processing can help reduce manual overhead activities simultaneously tracking inventory levels.
8. Rx image scanning- This allows pharmacies to scan, read and record hard copies of prescriptions. Moreover, it decreases the need for filing manual prescriptions and recovering paper prescriptions.
9. Reporting- Reporting is one of the important features that helps you to identify slow moving products and automatically send notifications if inventory levels drop to a certain level. Reporting also analyzes business performance by monitoring specific metrics such as inventory levels, operational efficacy and customer fulfilment levels.
What are the key benefits of Pharmacy Management Systems?
1. Streamlined, automated workflows- The best Pharmacy management systems helps to remove possible processing errors, automates buying and decreases the amount of time spent on manual tasks. Features, like POS, e-prescribing, and image scanning automate the tasks of payment processing, data recording and prescription processing—all of which can enhance an organization’s operational efficiency. Moreover, pharmacy management systems permit pharmacists to plan and distribute staff registers and assign and monitor working hours to make sure the business is sufficiently staffed at all times.
2. Providing better customer service- Pharmacy management software systems allow pharmacists to provide complete knowledge and advice to customers by recommending appropriate generic substitutes for prescriptions. These generics possess the same anatomical therapeutic chemical (ATC) code but are less costly for patients. Pharmacy management software also allow pharmacists to run marketing campaigns and other loyalty programs, send automatic notification via text messages for refilling medications, so customers can stay on top of their prescriptions.
3. Ensure comprehensive coverage of business operations- The best Pharmacy Management Systems are intended to control and regulate every part of a pharmacist’s business, right from inventory management to maintaining regulatory compliance. Additionally, these tools provide features that are crucial for running a retail pharmacy business, including early expiry alerts, automated sales operations and purchase tracking.
4. Analyze business performance- Detailed and in-depth reports offer pharmacy owners with performance insights, so that they have easy access to both real-time and past tracking in key performance areas. Many pharmacy software solutions also provide customized reports and data visualization reports using integrated business intelligence tools.
What are the current trends in Pharmacy Management Systems?
1. Mobile applications- Mobile applications improve customer convenience and allow pharmacists to obtain orders and accept payments from clients’ mobile devices. Such applications also improve customer accessibility by letting pharmacists to process orders or refill inventory while on-the-go. Customers can also choose automatic refills and share e-prescriptions via these applications.
2. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)- Cloud computing has affected many industries, comprising health care, and cloud acceptance rates are higher among small and midsize enterprises (SMEs). As per Forbes, more than 75 % of U.S. SMEs will adopt cloud computing by the end of 2020. Cloud-based pharmacy software solutions not only decrease capital investment and offer agility when it comes to digital infrastructure, but also make it much easy for pharmacy owners to launch and manage multiple locations.
3. Pharmacy automation- Pharmacy automation is now reaching at its peak. Due to growing applications for automation, robots can complete jobs like scanning prescriptions and managing inventories. This leads to quicker order fulfilment, improved accuracy in measuring medication, and better security and confidentiality.
4. Digital services are transforming medication adherence- Due to growing competition in the pharmaceutical business, pharmacies need to accept innovative strategies to acquire a competitive edge. Digital services through mobile apps and eCommerce channels permits the offering of virtual health care, which makes acquiring medications and notifying patients about medication schedules easier, while also enhancing medication adherence.
Who are the typical users of Pharmacy Management Systems?
1. Single-store retail pharmacy owner- These users are mostly independent medicine stores where owners generally have a complete control over all decision-making and operational processes. Such independent stores generally look for solutions that will enable them to accept new regulations, decrease paperwork, enhance operational efficiency and increase ground on their competitors.
2. Multi-store or multi-location pharmacy owner- The necessities and challenges of these users are significantly greater compared to those of single-store retailers. Their main requirement is to control and manage teams and operations from a remote central location, which means that capabilities such as inventory management and real-time information sharing become crucial in monitoring operational efficiency and steadiness from one location to the next.
3. Specialty pharmacy owner- A specialty pharmacy functions differently than a conventional pharmacy retailer. The supply chain and logistics needed for handling and processing of specialty drugs generally comes with greater compliance and regulatory measures that one should follow. These users typically look for solutions that have a better degree of customization in order to allow for these nuances.
What are the different types of Pharmacy Management Systems?
1. E-prescribing Integration- Healthcare providers (HCPs) are constantly looking to improve overall patient care experiences, and e-prescription is one of the great ways of improving patient safety. E-prescription solutions also help HCPs to generate and send prescriptions electronically to pharmacies for dispensation and delivery.
Many customized pharmacy management software architectures are available that keep secure communication of e-prescriptions among the patients, their relative pharmacies, and claims agencies. The e-prescribing software solution streamlines the entire process flow of the pharmacy’s system and enables error-free dispensing and billing increases patient fulfillment.
2. Pharmacy Data Management- Similar to other parts of healthcare, pharmacies also handle a huge amount of data. Pharmacy data management solutions offer real-time data that enables pharmacists to control operating costs, ensure comprehensive medication adherence, and develop population health management.
The pharmacy management systems with advanced analytics offer seamless access to patient data as well as demographic related information. These solutions also work toward integrating audit requirements and updates and changes related to billing and claims.
Data management modules help to record and manage patients’ Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Electronic Medical Records (EMR), together with the doctor’s notes, prescriptions, supporting documents, scans, and X-rays, all in one place.
3. Inventory Management- Single and independent pharmacies need to actively manage their inventory by taking stock of it regularly, instead of just once or twice a year. This will help them understand trends, recognize problems, and make timely changes.
Personalized pharmacy inventory management solutions improve efficacy via process-flow automation of stock keeping, numerical balances, monitoring and tracking, warehouse stock displays, and up to date dispensing.
With the help of advanced reports, pharmacists can review vital information about different drugs and medicines, vendors, and wholesalers effectively. Automation techniques integrate barcodes that fulfill compliance requirements supporting in better inventory management.
4. Pharmacy Compounding Solutions- Pharmacies are a doorway to the health system for most patients since patients visit pharmacies more frequently than healthcare facilities. Thus, pharmacies can help HCPs in improved patient engagement, patient education, and care management.
The pharmacy management software aim to combine the pharmacy’s compounding expertise and grow them through integration with advanced technologies.
Extremely advanced systems enable pharmacists to create personalized medication packages for every patient. Patients generally prefer value-based care that achieves their individual needs, so the complete revenue generation of the pharmacy increases.
5. Managing Dispensing Workflows- One of the most related and critical activities in a pharmacy is the dispensing of medicines. The pharmacy obtains the prescription and evaluates it for possible drug interactions, suitable dosage, duplicate therapies, or transcription mistakes. The pharmacy then dispenses the prescription and ensures the filled prescription has the right medication, dosage, and supply.
The best pharmacy management systems integrate with workflows, clinical measures, programs, data, and stock reporting into a centralized platform that helps the healthcare workers in smart decision-making.
Customized processes of delivery, drug refills, and clinical department cross-communication simplies the dispensing workflows. It automates the prescription fulfillment process as well as the requests for delivery of medications.
6. Master Patient Indexes
A Master Patient Index (MPI) is a patient database that enable pharmacies to maintain precise patient data across distinct systems and make consolidated patient lists. The MPI allocates a unique identifier to each registered patient.
The best pharmacy management software solution automates the index through advanced technologies for slight human involvement in upkeep and detailed update of patient information and communication.
MPI provides an entire details of a patient’s medical information so pharmacies can provide improved patient care and serve better. Pharmacies can also offer appropriate guidance in an emergency as they have access to details like the patient’s medical conditions and other information.
What are the key factors to consider while purchasing pharmacy management systems?
There are wide variety of pharmacy software solutions currently available on the market and selecting the perfect one for your business is crucial. Here are few important factors to consider while buying a pharmacy management system.
1. Integration- Pharmacy software enables you to streamline the operations; however, that's not possible if the software fails to integrate with your other systems. Billing and invoicing and electronic health records (EHR) software are a few of commonly used systems in pharmacies; seek for pharmacy software that can integrate with these and other systems deployed in your pharmacy.
2. Availability of technical support- Selecting and purchasing pharmacy management software and then unable to use it properly is annoying. The need for vendor support is important right from installing the software to operating and troubleshooting it; so, seek for software that is backed by a professional support team. Moreover, try to explore and look for the availability of training support.
3. Vendor reputation and experience- The software system is offered by every company that provides field service management software. But, the important point to consider is the vendor reputation and experience of the company in the pharmacy management space that provides the services. The reputation of the company also matters as it is one of the important elements that would help you to know the true capacity of the organization. Furthermore, companies also offer services to modify the software as per the exact requirements of the business. Therefore, you can tell all your vital requirements to the company in order to get a customized software as per your business requirements.
The Bottom Line
The advanced pharmacy management systems now offer a plethora of innovations to the users. Besides having such a vast number of benefits, it is a huge advantage to have such a software into the business. Pharmacy management software is the necessity of the companies that are involved in any of the means connected with pharmacy on field or off the field. Additionally, the companies providing such services also offers an extended range of support. It all depends upon the type of services you have selected to get the services. Experienced companies won’t hesitate going extra miles for providing any kind of support.
What are the challenges faced in the Pharmacy Management Software market?
1. Complex features like vendor Lock-In is a main blockade to adoption of pharmacy management systems. After onboarding, the vendor combines all its offerings in the pharmacy's current services. This co-existence builds a dependency which causes the pharmacists to onboard another vendor a complex task even if not required.
2. Frequent changes in the regulatory landscape in both developing and underdeveloped countries.
What are the different components of Pharmacy Management Systems?
1. Software- Due to rising concern for data privacy and protection among hospitals, software developers are emphasizing on designing embedded security solutions that will be applicable by default to avoid security breach incidences.
2. Hardware- Hardware components like computers, mobile phones, and video conference units are most widely used. With the arrival of next-gen advanced technologies, there is a huge demand for this component in the pharmacy management systems.
3. Services- Services help in enhancing results and support the range of care, thus improving the overall patient experience.
What are the different modes of deployment for Pharmacy Management Software?
1. Cloud/Web-Based- Cloud-based deployment enables companies to eliminate the purchase of their software, and this eradicates the need for an in-house server as well as the staff required for technical support. Thus, the cloud-based software market is projected to grow at a steady rate.
2. On-Premise- On-premise models use the firm’s computing possessions and need only a license from the vendor. This deployment methods are more expensive as they need in house hardware for the server, capital investments, and IT support as well.
Who are the End-users of the Pharmacy Management Software?
1. Inpatient Pharmacies- Inpatient Pharmacies are one of the major end-users of the pharmacy management software. This is again divided into acute care settings and long-term care services. The inpatient pharmacies segment is projected to hold a large share in the end-user segment due to the growing in-visit numbers in acute and long-term care services.
2. Outpatient Pharmacies- The outpatient pharmacies end-users have been divided into fast-track clinics and hospital retail settings. The outpatient pharmacies end-users are projected to be the fastest growing due to the growing awareness about fast track clinics and the increase in preference of such clinics in the emergency cases.
Importance of Pharmacy Management Software in Med Sync Programs
One of the important areas where independent pharmacies stand out from franchises and mail order services is customer delight and experience. Medication synchronization programs, or med sync, offer more personalized care to some patients, as well as improve customer retention.
Basically, med sync includes synchronizing the prescription schedule of patients with chronic issues that need maintenance medications (high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, digestive disorders etc.) by getting them to choose all of their regular prescriptions up on the same day of the month.
For patients on several maintenance medications, it’s difficult to remember when to pick up prescriptions. Patients may end up filling them at different pharmacies, or they may neglect to fill them at all.
Rather than shouldering the costs, you can really grow your revenue stream by inspiring patient adherence through med sync. As per NCPA, med sync patients are 2.5 times more likely to adhere to their medications, and nearly 21 percent less likely to stop medications.
Med sync can be achieved via pen-and-paper methods, but you’re perhaps not looking forward to the work of going through all of your patient records to recognize the perfect date for every patient to pick up a prescription.
Furthermore, one of the advantages of med sync is streamlining your pharmacy’s workflow, which is much easier with an in-built workflow calendar in a pharmacy management software that tracks & records med sync prescriptions.
Med sync isn’t yet universal at independent pharmacies, however those that do have it in place are using software to help it. It seen that pharmacy management software is happening to be one of the main ways in which independent pharmacies are exploiting the advantages of med sync.
Pharmacy Software aids Pharmacies work faster, cut costs.
Pharmacy management software provide features that cut across areas that comprise inventory management, financial management, customer relationship management, and order management, etc.,
The number one benefit of pharmacy management software is faster prescription processing, self-evident compared to pencil-and-paper inventory and order management methods.
The second major benefit is better control over expenses, which is more vital than ever in a health care market in which DIR fees and other hidden charges can rapidly end margins.
Some other common benefits of pharmacy management software include obvious reduction in paperwork, improved operational efficiency and revenue generation to some extent.
What's great about the NRx pharmaceutical management system is that its vendor QS/1 is EPCS-certified. It's a complete suite of integrated solutions for healthcare professionals and streamlines prescription filings, inventory management, and hospital workflows. The product is scalable, grows with businesses, and is extremely user-friendly when it comes to the interface.
What's unique about Helix pharmacy management system is how it makes inventory control flawless. Users can submit details about electronic purchases and get responses back from wholesalers quickly. It lets users run through payment terms and conditions, see audit trails and make the most of 'just-in-time' drug purchases. This ends up maximizing cash flow and also the inventory turnover ratios.
What's unique about Redbook pharmacy management system is how it's designed not just for pharmacies but businesses too. It lets users automatically order new drugs based on medicinal inventory levels and stocks. Customer support service is always available round-the-clock which makes using it for beginners very easy.