Technology has evolved significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially when it comes to healthcare tools. Community pharmacists must keep up with the latest digital health trends to safely serve patients and promote business growth.
From telehealth appointments to optimizing pharmacy inventory, there are many ways to make technology work for you in 2021. Keep reading for the latest digital health trends for independent pharmacies this year.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, stay-at-home orders and government mandates forced many businesses and healthcare providers to close their doors. This shift forced healthcare providers to rely on technology in order to continue serving patients.
According to the CDC, telehealth visits increased by 154% during the last week of March 2020. One 2020 survey found that almost 80% of specialists in the U.S. increased their use of telemedicine technology during the pandemic.
Over the past 12 months, patients have come to expect telemedicine services from more than just physicians. Pharmacists that provide clinical services for patients in their community can safely and conveniently schedule telehealth visits.
When integrated with a pharmacy management solution, telehealth capabilities provide benefits including:
- Increased convenience for patients
- Secure and HIPAA-compliant communication
- Secure document sharing
- Safe appointments for at-risk patients
With face to face interaction limited or disguised behind masks, communication between the pharmacy and patient had to increase significantly due to the pandemic. As pharmacy hours and operations changed, clear communication put customers at ease and kept them informed.
Patient communication applications that are integrated with your pharmacy management software enable you to send automated messages and maintain a higher level of trust and support for your patients.
In 2021, the increase in patient communication is likely to continue through digital apps and patient portals. From regular refill reminders to delivery and pick-up notifications, technology can ensure customers return to the same pharmacy again and again.
Gone are the days of a full waiting room or store lobby. In the age of COVID-19, pharmacies have modified their workflow to streamline the in-store experience and get patients in and out the door quicker.
An appointment scheduler tool within your pharmacy management software can save time and provide a better customer experience. The TDS scheduler, set to be released in early 2021, offers the digital tools pharmacists need to manage their busy schedule and streamline pharmacy operations.
- Create a custom patient schedule
- Clearly communicate appointment times with patients
- Send automated text-based appointment alerts and reminders
- Integrate appointment information with your telehealth solution
Finally, 2020 taught us the importance of analyzing our business operations and adjusting as the world evolves. Pharmacists will rely on technology more than ever in 2021 to manage their inventory, optimize ordering processes and attract patients with their OTC products.
An integrated inventory management solution offers the digital tools needed to boost revenue and improve your workflow. Attract more traffic to your pharmacy by syncing your inventory through your point-of-sale system to an online system such as Pointy. As most people shop with an express purpose today, displaying available inventory online has become a new staple for many retailers including pharmacy.
Increase traffic and profitability, set up automated ordering, and monitor your existing inventory to provide OTC recommendations, and learn how much you truly spend on inventory to optimize your business.
Access Digital Health Tools for Your Independent Pharmacy
Staying on top of digital trends will be vital for pharmacies in 2021 as a new influx of patients will come with vaccine distribution. The right pharmacy management system will work for you, not against you as new patient needs arise.
Contact us today to learn more about the digital tools a pharmacy management solution from TDS can provide for your independent pharmacy.