The world of pharmacy point-of-sale is definitely unique. Working in this sector is the quintessential definition of a niche market. I’m often met by blank stares or questioning looks when I answer the question of “what do you do for work?” Even as I close 11 years with RMS, I still have not perfected a response to that question that doesn’t confuse those not familiar with the inner workings of a pharmacy.
Partly this is because the average person does not give thought to point-of-sale outside of necessary interactions when making a purchase. But the other major factor is that explaining pharmacy point-of-sale is complicated. There’s no one sentence that can sum up everything we do at RMS.
Technically, the term “point-of-sale” just refers to the place where a purchase is completed. And sure, that’s a good starting point. But in a pharmacy, point-of-sale has to go beyond that transaction. So what may start as a transaction hub actually ends up being a whole lot more.
Customer Relationship Manager– The speed, ease, accuracy and overall flow of the checkout process is one important piece of customer satisfaction. But your POS system should do more for your customers than process payments. Programs like nutrient depletion notifications help with patient wellness and increasing overall patient satisfaction. Pharmacy POS should also be able to host your customer loyalty program, making earning as well as redeeming points and taking advantage of special promotions easy.
Inventory Management Expert – Maintaining a front end can be a full time job. Just stocking, facing and merchandising products is a big job. When you add in the work it takes to truly manage and understand inventory trends, it gets even more daunting. This is where point-of-sale comes into play. Every product you receive and sell goes through the POS system. So all those questions about sales history and trends can be answered through your POS system with minimal additional labor. You’ll be able to see what departments and products are performing well along with those that aren’t doing so well. Keep pricing up to date with automated updates and set up easy automated ordering processes. All without hiring an extra body.
Accounting Assistant – Do you need to track or understand outstanding Accounts Receivable funds? What about managing Payroll Deduction programs. Or maybe you need to find out how much your charitable donation program has raised. Perhaps all of that in addition to the basic tracking of sales totals, cash flow and other minute details that govern the financial side of running a pharmacy. Your Pharmacy POS system is a data repository for every dollar that is spent in your pharmacy. It should be easy to find all of the numbers you need for financial planning and other accounting purposes.
Compliance Helper – There are many different facets for compliance in your pharmacy. HIPAA, PCI and many different federal and state regulatory requirements come into play in every transaction you process. Point-of-Sale can help to take some of the weight off of your shoulders. This helping hand can come in the form of capturing signatures and storing for easy access, tracking controlled substance purchase, or putting workflows in place to meet counseling requirements. It also means that flexible options for processing credit, debit, EMV, NFC and FSA transactions should be available, along with more advanced processing options like end-to-end and validated point-to-point encryption.
When you take the time to look a bit closer at pharmacy point-of-sale, a whole new way to run your pharmacy and help your customers opens up to you. It just means expanding the definition of what point-of-sale is, and figuring out what it can mean to you.