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Using Pharmacy Innovation to Address Industry Challenges

Dec 1, 2023 | Blogs

Healthcare in the U.S. is at a tipping point. The need for patient services is increasing according to a Trilliant Health demand forecast, many are struggling with access to healthcare service providers according to an EY study, and the number of prescriptions that need to be filled continues to increase. Pharmacists are sitting directly at the crossroads, filling prescriptions, running immunization programs, and trying to create revenue generating programs in the face of declining reimbursement rates, all while dealing with staffing shortages as healthcare workers flee the industry.

These changes have led to a pharmacy industry that continues to increase in complexity, even as the demand for prescriptions continues to rise. These challenges along with staffing shortages and the need for pharmacists to better serve the needs of their community can lead to inefficiencies and waste. When faced with challenges, it’s often human nature to dive immediately into action, without taking a step back to evaluate the best way to approach the situation at hand. As we discussed in a recent whitepaper, 3 Signs the Pharmacy Ecosystem is Poised for a Movement: Are You Ready?, the U.S. Pharmacy Market has grown steadily over recent years and is poised for continued growth.

Demographics Driving Pharmacy Demand

Adding to these challenges is the fact that chronic diseases are increasing rapidly across the globe. According to Fortune Business Insights, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that chronic diseases affect approximately 133 million Americans, representing 40% of the total population. This confluence of staffing challenges, demographic trends, and increasing chronic disease makes it clear that pharmacy leaders should be looking to  explore how best to use innovation and the data it provides to ensure that pharmacy transforms to manage the demand.

Complex Challenges Lead to Innovative Solutions

Think about the ways in which our personal and professional lives have been impacted and improved by technology over the past several decades. Innovations such as online orders delivered to our home and telehealth services have given us time back in our days, time relaxing, enjoying a new hobby, spending time with friends and family, and finding ways to serve others.

In the world of pharmacy, time gained through a central fulfillment solution can be transformative for pharmacists, both in terms of the potential of increased revenue, and by allowing them to use their expertise to better serve communities and patients. A survey by Wolters Kluwer shows that primary care is decentralizing, and in many areas patients are driving shifts away from the physician’s office. Central fulfillment solutions lessen the burden of manual prescription fills by automating the prescription filling function, allowing pharmacists to spend more time consulting with and providing care to patients. The bond between pharmacists and patients created in the community care setting has the potential to increase customer loyalty to the store and to the pharmacists which, in turn could provide revenue generating services, all while technology is delivering the patients’ prescriptions accurately and on time.

The Power of Pharmacy Innovation

The pharmacy industry is just beginning to embrace the technologies and innovations in serving customers that others began adopting years ago. According to Fortune Business Insights, the increasing number of prescription drugs entering the market, along with a rising number of outpatient and inpatient admissions are resulting in a higher volume of prescriptions being filled. Imagine the potential impact on patients in your community by allowing your pharmacists to spend less time “counting pills”, and more time acting as consultative healthcare professionals providing primary care and revenue generating services that address community needs such as vaccinations and health clinics.

Centralized Pharmacy Fulfillment Solutions Deliver:

  • Scalable solutions that have the potential to deliver impactful results from smaller community pharmacies to national organizations with enormous volume.
  • Data that informs decision making, helping to optimize prescription fulfillment.
  • Reports and analytics that allow pharmacists to manage inventory, track a prescription through the fulfillment process, and consistently meet delivery requirements.
  • A way to address staffing challenges by utilizing automation to eliminate manual tasks and reduce errors while keeping up with increased demand.

Leveraging technology in the pharmacy could increase the confidence and trust between patients and pharmacists, increasing satisfaction and retention for both, all of which has the potential to lead to higher revenues and better service to those you serve.

Ready to learn more? Read our whitepaper 3 Signs the Pharmacy Ecosystem is Poised for a Movement: Are You Ready? to learn how iA’s commitment to improving pharmacy operations through fulfillment solutions can address the challenges you currently face.

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