Prepare for Impact: How the Right Technology Can Energize the Pharmacy Experience

More than 90% of independent pharmacy customers want technology to enhance their experience. Is your pharmacy ready?

October is American Pharmacists Month, making this the perfect time to reflect on how far our profession has come, and appreciate the many advancements independent pharmacies have made in customer care. It’s also a chance to look to the future and ponder all the ways technology can make things even better.

Prescryptive’s recent Rewriting the Script: Independent Pharmacy Trends report showed that 90% of pharmacy decision makers believe technology, if used the right way, could help improve overall pharmacy profitability. And 91% of independent pharmacy customers want technology to enhance their experience.

Yet, with nearly all agreeing on the importance of technology, 40% said they were not currently using it to its fullest potential. So, why the disconnect? What’s holding independent pharmacies back from implementing the tools they know will bring a boost to their pharmacy and improve customer service? For many, knowing where to start is half the battle.

Sometimes the best place to begin is to make a list of the biggest potential benefits.

Two ways tech can make immediate impact

The high-level benefits of a digitally smarter store are easy to imagine. But when you focus in on precise parts of your pharmacy, the pros of specific tech tools really stand out.

Take a look at 2 key areas in which technology could make an immediate impact on the way your pharmacy works:

Prescription shopping: Our study shows 94% of consumers are aware they can shop for their medications, and 72% use their mobile phone to do just that. Today’s savvy consumers are constantly seeking ways to save money and time. With mobile solutions, you can connect to more people and provide the prescription experience they need to keep them coming back to your counter.

Drug pricing: The rise in high-deductible health plans is creating more cost-conscious consumers. In our Rewriting the Script Report, 31% of respondents said they primarily pay out of pocket for their medications, and 61% of insured individuals have paid out of pocket despite having insurance.

A smarter pricing solution can keep customers happy and boost your bottom line. Artificial intelligence (AI) could be the answer. Using data-driven insights and expert analytics, AI-based pricing provides accurate, profitable pricing that flexes by drug and fairly positions a pharmacy against other stores, big and small, while still providing low, but competitive, pricing to patients.

Five more ways technology can energize the pharmacy experience

Technology has the potential to enhance the consumer shopping experience and boost pharmacy profitability. But the return on your investment doesn’t stop there. The right tech tools can bolster the valuable intangibles that make community pharmacists unique, such as customer service and convenience.

1. Take a minute to visualize 5 more ways technology can help you provide a better experience for every customer walking through your door:

2. Patient-engagement solutions can connect you to new customers, driving more business and helping you reach more of your community with the services they need.

3. Digital solutions can make providing clinical services, including vaccinations, easier for your staff, so they can spend more time focused on people.

4. Mobile technology makes it convenient for consumers to shop for and save on their medications. This easier experience leads to greater prescription adherence.

5. Digital prescriptions help reduce errors by allowing providers to send prescriptions directly to the pharmacy.

Modern technology streamlines manual tasks associated with regulatory compliance to keep your pharmacy in line, giving you the peace of mind to provide the best possible service.

Your real bottom line

Technology is a game-changer for independent pharmacies. Intelligent solutions, including AI-optimized pricing, have the power to learn as your pharmacy grows. As AI ingests information, it looks for trends based on location, demographics, seasonality, and, in the case of prescription drugs, therapeutic type and usage. Applying this intelligence to the way your pharmacy works can increase profitability and efficiency while still balancing what patients want and need.

The best part: The tech-driven improvements you make to your pharmacy now will reinforce the already strong connections you’ve built with your community over the years. That’s the biggest win for pharmacies that truly embrace modern technology.

About the Author

Paige Clark, RPh, is the VP of Pharmacy Programs and Policy at Prescryptive, overseeing the company’s policy work to drive awareness, utilization, and scope of trusted independent pharmacists nationally. Prior to Prescryptive, Paige spent 11 years at Oregon State University's College of Pharmacy, driving policy initiatives for the state’s licensed pharmacists, including the prescribing of birth control and tobacco cessation services. Paige also worked as the Staff Pharmacist Consultant for the Oregon Board of Pharmacy, managing rule writing, legislative endeavors, and regional and national policy work. She is a frequent speaker and presenter at national industry conferences and a multi-award winner, including several Pharmacist of the Year recognitions.