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With a new year approaching, you may be considering some changes around your pharmacy. Whether you’re seeking a new pharmacy software system or some different services for your patients, there’s no better time than now to implement these changes. Like any new technology purchase or practice you want to put into action, it takes time to understand it well enough to implement it properly.
Matthew Wine, Pharmacist-In-Charge at Just Meds in Saint Clairsville, OH, fully embraced the learning curve that comes with a new software when he and his father chose to convert to PioneerRx one year ago. Within that year, he has grown comfortable with the system’s capabilities to the point where PioneerRx has already paid for itself.
When he first started using PioneerRx, Matthew had many ideas but knew he needed to begin with the fundamentals. “If you try to accomplish everything at once, it’s not going to work,” he advises. “It’ll be way too much for you and your staff.” Instead, Matthew assessed the major projects he knew would be a great springboard for Just Meds, then he set out to perfect those practices.
Matthew’s MBA in business has helped him approach Just Meds with a clinical and entrepreneurial mindset. Like any business, excellent inventory practices are a foundation of better operations around the pharmacy. “The first thing any store should do is evaluate how they manage inventory,” says Matthew. “A good clinical side won’t be enough to make up for a bad inventory side.” Rather than waste capital on unnecessary products sitting unused on the shelves, he has utilized tools like perpetual inventory, the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) integration, and the Print Queue so he and his staff can maintain their inventory.
Matthew notes that the pharmacy industry is unique because stores often buy and sell goods without knowing the true price. “If stores are not identifying scripts with bad AWP spreads (in Generic Effective Rate [GER] plans), they may be unknowingly dispensing products that appear to have a profit at adjudication but may result in hundreds of dollars in underpayment,” Matthew explains. Predicting reimbursements may seem impossible, but tools like the Low Profit Block and Smart Profit help Just Meds keep track of losses and gains with their products.
As a pharmacist, Matthew wants to see his patients’ health improve. As a businessman, he wants to see his store thrive. Medication synchronization addresses both of these goals. “Med sync allows for good business management,” he says. “It’s great for our patients, but I use it as a tool to manage my inventory and workflow.” With the inventory tools already mastered, Matthew set out to improve efficiency by allowing med sync to evenly distribute his workflow, which led to 34 inventory turnovers within his first year with PioneerRx.
Rather than outsource pricing to a third party vendor (and spend hundreds to do so), PioneerRx users can utilize the pricing tools like Competitive Cash Pricing Analysis to automatically adjust prices according to their competitors, or tailor them according to market prices. “I just ran across a store that was paying $100/month for a company to essentially do what PioneerRx’s software does at no charge,” says Matthew. Mastering pricing with PioneerRx’s capabilities will make independent pharmacies more viable and proactive in this ever-changing market.
Now that Matthew has conquered the basics, he has big plans for his second year with PioneerRx. In the state of Ohio, pharmacists just received approval for provider status by the Ohio House of Representatives. This will change how Ohio pharmacists normally operate and create a need for more documentation, and Matthew plans to approach that with Care Goals. “Being able to streamline note-taking and documentation will be huge,” Matthew says. “That creates data, and data is powerful.”
The power of your software isn’t in filling a prescription, and PioneerRx does so much more than just filling. While the system helps pharmacies do more than the everyday “fill and bill,” users need to understand the fundamentals of tools already available to them so they can work smarter, not harder, to fulfill their goals.