The pharmaceutical industry is more layered and complex than meets the eye. It has to follow a bunch of rules and regulations in terms of patient data, medicines, and as a business itself. A pharmacy is, in a way, a store. And a store has to manage a number of things, from inventory, and staff, to customers and vendors.
There are various tools that a pharmacy uses to manage all this, namely a customer relationship management tool, inventory management tool, and so on. Some things it might even be doing via phone calls or emails, like vendor management, partner invoicing, etc.
This is where a customer portal can come into the picture to help manage all these aspects seamlessly, with proper regulatory compliance. Anyone using a Dynamics CRM should integrate a
A large pharmacy sells two kinds of medication: over-the-counter drugs and contolled/prescribed medication.
Let’s see how a Dynamics 365 portal can streamline operations for a pharmacy.
We will take it up in two levels:
To sell this type of medication, a pharmacy can use a mobile app or web store, and it works like any ecommerce store. Customers make an account, browse the medication or general items like bandaids, personal hygiene products, etc., make the payment, and check out. They can have these delivered to their desired address or pick them up from the pharmacy.
There are a few more steps to buying and selling prescription medication or controlled drugs. Traditionally, this is what the process of getting prescribed medication looks like in a store:
- The technician has to check the prescription to ensure the correct name, doctor’s information, signature, and date of the prescription.
- Then they scan it to have it fed into the pharmacy portal so that later we can put in the customers’ personal and prescription information.
- After this, details of the medicine, like the dosage, the time to take medicine, how to take it, and if there are refills required, all of this can be typed in.
- Ordinarily, the pharmacist informs the patient about the side effects of the medication or asks them to read the leaflet that comes with the prescription.
- If the patient has any allergies, the pharmacist verifies them on the prescription. It could so happen that the patient is new and their allergy section has missing information, then the system will raise an alert, and the pharmacist can ask them about it. Pharmacy techs can ask the patients about these health conditions or allergies when they come in to pick up their medication and then add it to the system.
- In doing this, the portal can corroborate with the patient’s insurance agency and check whether the medication is covered by them or not.
- Once it has been checked out by the insurance agency, the pharmacist can confirm the prescription and print it out. Then, it is filled and given a recheck. Depending on the drug, they will either put it in a bin or a refrigerator.
Should there be any change in the patient’s therapy or if there is a new prescription, the pharmacist can advise them. Pharmacists make proper documentation of this. They do not need to ask for an ID for every controlled medication. However, IDs are asked when buying C2 drugs such as Adderall, Percocet, Norco, Hydromorphone, Morphine, etc.
Now that we know what the process looks like in a pharmacy, let’s look at how the CRM customer portal shortens it.
Access to Inventory
The in-house solution portal ties in with the CRM customer portal, providing a full inventory of the store, including prescription drugs and controlled medication.
Access to Insurance
Not everything is covered by one insurance plan or even one insurance agency. There are tiers to it; certain tiers of insurance cover upto certain medications. It is important to check whether the patient’s insurance will cover the medication bill or you may need to charge them at the moment of selling.
To scan each prescription, in addition to doctors’ details, you can attach a barcode to your equipment and, therefore, your customer portal. Once all the details have been fed in this way, the software matches the doctor’s details in the database to the ones in the prescription, validating it.
The CRM customer portal can help manage the patient’s medication consumption. This helps the technician and pharmacist ensure that they do not sell beyond the prescribed limit. Moreover, it ensures that the patient is not buying too much or too little than what is prescribed, as both of these are harmful to their health. Most important of all, it keeps a record of when the patient last filled the prescription so that they do not get any ill-advised refills.
Having seen how the portal helps, let us now see some of its benefits:
- Since the software manages the customer’s transaction history, it inadvertently helps to regulate their medication intake and lowers the chances of drug abuse.
- People cannot buy the medication for reselling as the medication is so closely monitored and cannot be sold without a prescription.
- Checking the insurance right at the moment of the transaction from within the software makes it easier.
- In the case of suspicious prescriptions, the technician can check with the doctor before filling the prescription.
- As it can keep track of the patient’s allergies or health conditions, there is a very low risk of them getting the medication they would have side effects to.
Additionally, the system can keep track of the patient’s medication and alert the pharmacy in case of a refill. Generally, pharmacies do this for long-term maintenance medication like hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, etc. The portal can automatically notify the patient to pick up their refills.
Furthermore, it keeps track of the inventory of unfilled medication or medication that has not been picked up. If 10 to 14 days have passed, then you can put that medication back in stock and sell it to other customers who may need it.
In this industry, the benefits of the customer portal solution are plenty. Here, the software works at two levels. On one level, it works like an application or an online store, where you can get medication that is mild, and necessary products, which are usually available in a pharmacy. The other level is the point-of-sale in-shop solution. These levels are in sync, ensuring that no detail of the patient’s medication intake is overlooked. This is essential because medications react to one another, whether they can be prescription drugs or controlled medication.
The next logical step after getting your pharmacist’s degree and before starting your own pharmacy is to get this software. A customer portal development company can customize one to fit your needs.