When RMS was founded in 1998, one of the first things we did as a pharmacy point-of-sale provider was create the first platform for pharmacy management system integrations. These integrations were essential then and remain so today because they allow pharmacies to choose the systems that best meet their needs in each equally important aspect of their pharmacy business.
All too often pharmacy point-of-sale and pharmacy management are treated like different sides of the same coin. And sure, there are arguments to be made for that analogy. But really, the goal of the two systems, and their capabilities are unique, making them more like a Venn Diagram. Certainly, there places where they overlap due to a common need, regulatory requirement, or shared data. But each system comes with a unique set of capabilities and each uses different approaches to help you solve problems and achieve the outcomes you desire.
This differentiation is more important today than ever before. As pharmacies delve into new processes and services to drive revenue, robust functionality on both fronts is important. But equally important is that common ground. This is where your point-of-sale to pharmacy system interface comes in.
Pharmacy POS interfaces are the key to escaping limitations. They allow you to make decisions based on what’s best for your pharmacy business and take action with the right tools.
While the roots of many point-of-sale/pharmacy system interfaces can be traced back to their roots at the very beginnings of RMS, there have been a lot of changes in the intervening years. There are so many features and new opportunities. Here are some of our top things to look out for when you’re searching for the right two pharmacy technology partners.
Register Workflow – If all there was to selling a prescription was scanning a barcode and accepting a payment, you wouldn’t really need much in the way of pharmacy point-of-sale. Successful pharmacies do so much more than this in every transaction. Make sure to check out everything that happens (or can happen) during workflow completion at the till. For our integrations focused discussion, you want to look for things like “additional prescriptions for pickup” prompts and patient date of birth verifications. There are many potential feature sets depending on the specific systems in play, but we think it really comes down to making sure communication between the two systems maximizes efficiency and patient safety.
Electronic Signature Capture- Some signatures are based on point-of-sale maintained data and others activate based off of information received from the pharmacy system with the prescription information. Take some time to evaluate how this all works and make sure it’s easy to capture all of your signatures at the register. You’ll want to look for things like HIPAA, Safety Caps Decline, and of course payments to start with. It’s also beneficial to see if you can enable “one and done’ signature capture so patients sign once for all prescriptions and payments. Things like HIPAA and Safety Caps can’t be included in this, but minimizing the count where possible is always helpful to speed things up at the register.
Communication- Many interfaces are multi-directional. Meaning information flows to and from both systems. Take some time to review what information the pharmacy system can accept back about the transaction as well as what information they send. This information flow directly impacts many aspects of the back office and the register workflow so it’s worth taking the time to investigate. These communication pieces include signatures, patient date of birth and address, and NDC number.
Flexibility – Here’s one more great thing about having separate, but well integrated systems for pharmacy management and point-of-sale… You aren’t ever going to be stuck. If you need to make a change in one aspect of your pharmacy business that requires you to change in technology providers, you don’t have to start from scratch on both ends. Look for partners on both ends that offer you the freedom to work with multiple provider options.
Remember that RMS customers have the freedom to choose from any of our over 30 pharmacy system integrations. Call us today at 877-767-1060 to learn more about our flexible choices for your pharmacy!