Technology has evolved significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially regarding healthcare tools. Community pharmacists must keep up with the latest digital health trends to safely serve patients and promote business growth.
There are many ways to make technology work for you this year and beyond, from telehealth appointments to optimizing pharmacy inventory. Keep reading for the latest digital health trends for independent pharmacies this year.
Trend #1: The Rise of Telehealth Appointments
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 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 expected 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
Trend #2: Patient Communication Applications Integrated with Pharmacy Management Software
With face-to-face interaction limited or disguised behind masks, communication between the pharmacy and patient increased significantly due to the pandemic. As pharmacy hours and operations changed, clear communication put customers at ease and kept them informed.
Patient communication applications integrated with your pharmacy management software enable you to send automated messages and maintain a higher level of trust and support for your patients.
This year, 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 repeatedly.
Trend #3: Saving Time with Appointment Scheduler Tools
Gone are the days of a packed waiting room or store lobby. Due to COVID-19, pharmacies streamlined their workflow to improve the patient experience, servicing patients quicker.
An appointment scheduler tool within your pharmacy management software can save time and provide a better customer experience. The TDS scheduler offers pharmacists the digital tools to manage their busy schedules 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
Trend #4: Boosting Revenue with Inventory Management
Finally, the pandemic taught us the importance of analyzing our business operations and adjusting as the world evolves. Pharmacists will rely on technology now more than ever 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 pharmacies.
Increase traffic and profitability, set up automated ordering, 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
Maintaining digital trends will be vital for pharmacies as a new influx of patients will come with vaccine distribution. As unique patient needs arise, the right pharmacy management system will work for you, not against you.
Contact us today to learn more about the digital tools a pharmacy management solution from TDS can provide for your independent pharmacy.