Technology is an amazing thing. We can so many things today that even 5 years ago seemed an impossiblity. And was WE can do with a cell phone in the US pales in comparison to what is being done with cell phone in Europe. You can use your phone as your wallet, your computer, your phone, and your store. You can send a message to a vending machine and purchase something from it. You can “scan” s bunch of squiggly black dots on a page and get more information on a subject than you can shake a stick at. I have a smart phone and I only use a small percentage of its capabilities.
In the pharmacy, we still do a lot of things the “old fashioned way”, not because I choose to do so, but because the company hasn’t invested in cutting edge technology. I am sure that technology is expensive, and for a company who is all about cost cutting at the moment, the idea of investing cutting edge technology is abhorrent to them. While we do not type on a typewriter or hand price drugs anymore, we certainly aren’t using our imagination to make the business of pharmacy more 21st century. I only work for PC Pharmacy so I cannot speak for what technologies exist or dont yet, but here are some of the things I would like to be able to do .
1. Automatic refills should REALLY be automatic. when I come to work on any given morning, the computer should just have automatic refills done. Why should I just have to hit enter, enter, enter, enter…print? I would like to come to work with a stack of labels printed and ready for filling after some pre-determined ( like 3 am) start time for the days auto-fills.
2. Online profiles: I am sure this is already being done, but we dont have it. I would like to see the consumer order and check the status of their refills by computer or some smart phone app. I would like to see a customer see and print their refill history, see and print their tax reports, order prescriptions, enroll or cancel autofills, etc.
3. Rx tracking. we already have a workflow program. I would enhance that by enabling a real time notification process. As soon as the script has been fully completed, a quick scan by a device would launch a txt to an enabled device ” a prescription for you has been completed and is ready for pickup. Rx must be picked up by xx/xx/xx or will be returned to stock”.
4. Automatic payments: I would like to see our computer credit card enabled so that a prescription that is filled is also CHARGED. I would bet the customer would be less inclined to ignore our phone calls or txt notifications if they had already paid for the prescriptions. I would also like to see a restocking fee charged to the cards. If we return a prescription to stock, only 90% of the price shall be refunded, and once its returned another message would be sent out ” A prescription has been returned to stock, your credit card has been returned $x.xx minus a 10% restocking fee”
5. A better process to determine what is new or what is refill. Everytime we get an escript, it is called a “new” one, despite that is , in fact, just a refill authorization sent electronically. I would like to see an option to choose “refill” . Just because it gets a new number doesn’t make it “NEW”, but because its “new” I get dragged over for a counsel over and over on what is truly a REFILL.
6. I would like to ELIMINATE having to document if its written, phone in, or fax, or electronic. WTF moron thought this up? Its just another way to hose a pharmacy in a predatory audit, and who friggin cares?
7. I’d like to see E refills simplified. When I send an e-refill , I want to bring up the number and hit SEND. currently I have to run thru about 6 key strokes and 6 windows before I can send my request.
8. E scripts should go into a batch file so I can pull them as I want to NOT as a frickin irritating pop up every time I clear a screen!! Do I really need to be asked ” 1 E-script in queue, process Y or N?” every time I clear a screen? NO. put an icon on the bottom tray that indicates I have a script and let ME handle it.
9. I would like the refill history to print on every refill request I send to the doc, not just the LAST one. I dont have that on my computer and it would come in handy, especially on controlled substances.
10. I would like responses from insurance companies transmits to be in easy to read format instead of some weird company code. If Joe McCrack has filled 5 narcotic scripts in the last 30 days, show me what he had not ” Multiple controlled rx…..30/90-45 DE88…WTF? How can I do a proper DUR if I can’t understand the messages?
11. MedGuides should print as part of the epistles of patient info that comes out with my label. Nobody can be as sick as I am of trying to find and keep up with every med guide. the MG has become the proverbial Manufacturer COP OUT. ” whups we f’d up! lets make a med guide to tell people our drug may make their skin turn green, hair fall out and teeth turn black! and make the pharmacist do our dirty work FOR us! They can take the blame for all these side effects if the customer gets sick”
What other techy touches would you like to see happen in YOUR pharmacy! Speak!