Editor’s Note: This blog entry was originally published on June 9, 2016, and was updated on July 13, 2020.
Pharmacies have become sophisticated, technology-dependent operations. Because the pace of technology evolution is swifter than ever before, ISVs who provide software to pharmacies need to keep up with the changes or run the risk of falling behind. Healthcare operations need to invest in technology in order to protect patients and the business. Here are four technologies Global Payments Integrated recommends that ISVs who serve pharmacies assess and consider upgrading if needed.
Point-of-Sale and Pharmacy Management Systems
The point-of-sale (POS) system used for front-of-the-store checkout and back office operations is arguably the most important element of business technology used in the pharmacy. A well-developed, networked POS, built for the pharmacy, can streamline nearly all parts of the business. A strong pharmacy point-of-sale can help with: prescription recordkeeping, accounting, inventory, customer data storage, payments acceptance, FSA/HSA acceptance, and more. If a pharmacy’s POS is not designed specifically for the pharmacy industry, or it hasn’t been upgraded in the last year, it may be time to consider whether that system is doing all it can for the business. For example, pharmacy POS systems need to be kept updated to match the evolving ways people pay, such as NFC contactless payments.
A number of technologies (such as end-to-end encryption, tokenization, and others) have been implemented to protect sensitive credit card data. For industries related to healthcare, the security concerns are deeper still; security measures are crucial for protecting patient records. Pharmacies maintain more personal details about their customers than the average retail operation. A customer’s credit card data, address, health plan, doctor and more are often maintained in pharmacy records. A data breach by hackers can be financially crippling to a pharmacy, not to mention the impact on customers. Instituting the latest protocols for payments and customer data security within your pharmacy software is business-critical.
In 2019, people downloaded an estimated 194 billion mobile apps. Pharmacy apps help patients utilize pharmacy services in a quicker and more convenient manner. Customers can easily request prescription refills, and even use the app for contactless payments. Pharmacies which have not explored leveraging existing smartphone apps (or developing their own apps) are potentially missing a huge opportunity to reach new and existing customers. Especially in today’s world, customers want the most frictionless process when it comes to paying for goods and services and ensuring you are offering the most up-to-date technology solutions is critical.
HIPAA ensures federal protections for the privacy of patient information. Pharmacies are required to follow a specific series of administrative, physical and technical safeguards related to electronic health data. Outmoded computer systems may make maintaining HIPAA compliance more difficult. In the worst case scenario, insufficient technology could cause the pharmacy, unknowingly, to be out of federal compliance, resulting in fines or lawsuits. Pharmacies should confirm they are compliant with HIPAA rules, and ISVs should offer solutions that help streamline this process.
Pharmacy technology is evolving at a rapid rate, and pharmacies have specific needs for their POS software. ISVs need to ensure they’re staying current on the latest pharmacy technology trends so they can continue to improve the software they offer their pharmacy clients. To learn more, check out our pharmacy solutions, and contact us today for more information.