In 2011, pharmacy point-of-sale looked a bit different. There were lots of different options for software functionality, but the general footprint for all systems was pretty much the same. PC, monitor, receipt printer, barcode scanner, signature pad, cash drawer, fingerprint reader and maybe a customer display thrown in. If you wanted to shrink down the footprint or do something different, an all in one system was used to eliminate some of the hardware needs.
But emerging statistics on patient adherence and changing customer expectations meant that pharmacies needed to adapt. And they needed pharmacy technology to help. Adopting mobile solutions became, for many, the solution to meet all of these rapidly shifting demands.
Over the last several years we've seen meds-to beds programs take over the institutional and outpatient pharmacy landscape. What started with a few pharmacies asking, "what if?" is fast becoming a necessity for growing hospital-based pharmacies.
Here are some things that a meds-to-beds program can do for your outpatient pharmacy and your customer base.
Patient Adherence - This is what started it all: the knowledge that customers who don't adhere to their medication regimen after discharge have a much higher chance of being readmitted. The risk of Medicare reimbursements dropping continues to be a driving force for outpatient pharmacies considering meds-to-beds program adoption. Ensuring that patients receive their medication with proper instructions at discharge has become a key factor in the struggle to increase patient adherence and decrease readmission rates.
Drive Sales - Without meds-to-beds programs, there's no guarantee that your pharmacy will be the one to fill a patient's prescriptions at discharge. What's the chance that a patient will make their way to the hospital pharmacy waiting room when family members are waiting to take them home? Implementing a meds-to-beds program helps to guarantee that sale and also guarantees payment when you use point-of-sale technology to process the entire transaction at bedside.
Customer Loyalty - Helping patients to achieve positive outcomes is one of the best ways to build customer loyalty. Especially when paired with the convenience offered to a patient that no longer must make another stop on the way home from the hospital. Meds-to-beds programs are a great way to introduce customers to your pharmacy and an opportunity that can't be beat for helping to groom repeat business through regular medication needs.
Helping pharmacies implement successful meds-to-beds programs using mobile point-of-sale is something we at RMS do every day. If you're thinking about starting a program, or expanding a current one, we're ready to help you get things just right.
And if you're curious about what else this same technology can do for your pharmacy, stay tuned to next week's blog for a dive into some different ways to use the mobile trend to increase your pharmacy profitability.