According to the CDC, approximately 6 in 10 adults in the United States have a chronic disease, often exacerbated by poor nutrition, use of tobacco and alcohol, and lack of physical activity. To address this challenge, pharmacists must ensure that their technology is meeting patients’ needs to achieve optimal outcomes.

Keycentrix, a software and technology company specializing in pharmacy and health care, develops and implements technology solutions with pharmacists in mind. Using key information derived from customers, the company’s software solutions inform and guide pharmacists with an established specialty channel as well as those introducing specialty into their operations. Their products include Flextrax, a point-of-sale solution that effectively streamlines business operations, and Sendkey, an engagement module that alerts providers and patients of their order and prescription activity.

A Client-First Approach
To Luis Rodriguez, president of Keycentrix, the company is unique in its scope: looking at the pharmacy space as a technology company rather than focusing on pharmacy operations.

“What we’ve learned over our years in health care, and pharmacy in general, is that there are a lot of companies that believe because they understand the operations of a pharmacy, they can also be technologists, and [vice versa],” Rodriguez said.

The company’s secret to success in the specialty pharmacy space, which is often nuanced and multifaceted, is in using their client network to leverage growth. By asking their customers where their needs lie, Keycentrix can focus on their goals: a good patient outcome and stable revenues for their clients’ pharmacy.

“We believe…that those companies who know how to leverage technology well and use their partners and vendor networks correctly for their technology tend to grow and develop better than those organizations that believe they can be both,” Rodriguez said.

Keycentrix views the patient’s set of order holistically, allowing pharmacists to act on multiple business modes and models that save time. Throughout the process, the team of technologists communicates with clients to inform them of how each technology solution works and what solution would fit their needs.

The Need for Technology in Specialty Pharmacy
“I think the technology pressure and demand on specialty pharmacy is extraordinarily higher than on any other pharmacy,” Rodriguez said of the operational challenges facing specialty pharmacists.

Specialty pharmacists are unique because they fill multiple, individualized specialty drugs without much repetition in their daily operations. Meanwhile, every manufacturer has a different demand for data, and prescribing partners have significant demands for transparency, data, and reporting. Therefore, little room exists for a technology system that relies on automation.

To provide adaptability in daily operations, technology must guide the specialty pharmacist, who should take note of changes that may occur, rather than systematically taking hold of the process from start to finish. For Rodriguez, adaptability is not about spending more on the back end through the technology but about making better decisions on the front end, where the pharmacist interacts with that software.

“It’s about where you spend that money, putting it in the smart places, and how that fits for your organization because [the need] isn’t going to be the same for every pharmacy,” Rodriguez said.

In the Pipeline
How can technology streamline operational efficiency without sacrificing the customer model? Keycentrix is developing new engagement systems and automation mechanisms that are disease state aware while simultaneously providing higher-class service to patients by off-loading certain provider services and making them accessible 24/7.

For Rodriguez, such technology could assist a patient with a new diagnosis of diabetes. Through a combination of machine learning, artificial intelligence, educational content, and data, a technologically driven patient education program could inform patients on the steps needed when their blood sugar is low and on when to seek advice from their physician.

“We believe [the solution] stands to increase better outcomes for patient education and patient management of drugs, adherence to drugs, and the therapy program that’s beyond drugs. As a result, it presents pharmacy with a revenue opportunity,” Rodriguez said.

Technology as a Solution
According to Rodriguez, technology can help pharmacists in 2 ways:

1. Helping them adhere to their own operational standards
2. Having a technology staff to improve patient outcomes and to give better insights for patients

Keycentrix’s client-first model guarantees that pharmacists will have the tools they need to meet their patient outcome goals.

“Because we at Keycentrix are technologists and my background is in health care, retail, and finance, we think that there are a million things we can do to increase the experience and help the delivery models of service as opposed to product with pharmacy,” Rodriguez said. “All we need is to continue to use our customers’ knowledge to refine what technology is put out there.”