How Your Pharmacy Software System Might’ve Overstayed its Welcome

You should never settle for less, especially when it comes to your pharmacy software system. Much is asked of you and your independent pharmacy, so you’ll naturally want your pharmacy software to help handle whatever comes your way.

Choosing a pharmacy software system shouldn’t feel like you’re settling for “second best” or “good enough.” You should want to go above and beyond the call of duty, which means you’ll have to be brutally honest about whether or not your software is really working.

Parting is hard, but sticking with lackluster software doesn’t do you any good. Here are some telltale signs that it’s time to move on to greener software pastures.

1. Your Software Can’t Pick Up the Pace

Working at an independent pharmacy requires a great work ethic and a brisk — but precise — attention to detail. It’s hard enough to keep up the pace, but a slow software will stop everything dead in its tracks.

Whether you’re a pharmacist or a tech, you likely wear a lot of different hats beyond the expected filling or selling of a prescription: processing insurance claims, looking at prior authorization requests, inputting brand new scripts, processing vaccinations, and the list goes on and on.

You probably have to change tasks at a moment’s notice and you need a pharmacy software system that is ready and able for anything. It’s time to jump ship when waiting for your system results in a line of customers staring a hole through you.

The industry emphasizes speed and efficiency, and a slow-to-respond software will eventually leave you in the dust behind the competition.

2. The Software’s Vendor Support is Nonexistent

An often overlooked aspect of selecting pharmacy software, the customer support team plays a major role in ensuring the software operates smoothly. If your vendor has shoddy communication or seems reluctant to iron out certain quirks on the software, it’s time to go.

No piece of software is perfect, and your vendor is meant to address any and all concerns you have with the program, as if you don’t already have a mountain of work to accomplish.

A pharmacy software system is only as good as its vendor, so don’t be afraid to see things for what they are and make that change when necessary.

Vendor support is among the top three factors that contribute to a pharmacy’s satisfaction or dissatisfaction with its software. Check out our Compare Software page to see how different vendors stack up with one another regarding customer satisfaction.  

3. Your Software Keeps Crashing

It’s hectic enough trying to get everything on your day’s to-do list.

Now imagine, in the middle of peak rush hour, your software crashes. Your computer screen freezes, the cursor on your mouse is stuck in place, all while there’s a line at the drive-thru and a ton of vaccinations you need to administer.

You literally can’t do much without a properly working software system. It’s generally frowned upon to do “IOU” fills nowadays, so the best thing to do is tell your patient to come back later that day when the software is (hopefully) back up and running.

One time is bad enough, but for it to be a regular occurrence? A red flag if ever there was one.

An unreliable software system — and a radio silent customer support team — spells certain disaster for your pharmacy. It’ll also make your pharmacy appear less dependable and trustworthy, sending your customers out the door.

4. You Can't Stay Ahead of the Game

It’s no secret that pharmacy is always changing and evolving. Naturally, your independent pharmacy is bound to change course at one point or another. Maybe it’s to accommodate your growing customer base or (sadly) the exact opposite. Whatever it may be, you need a software system that reflects your direction and ambition.

Want to include more clinical services? Get software that lets you conduct them seamlessly and naturally. Want to expand your vaccine supply? You’ll need a system that knows the ins and outs of each vaccine, including which ones can’t be administered with one another.

This is hardly the time to accept your software for what it is. Pharmacy is becoming increasingly clinical, making your workplace a true medical hub. The advancements in the industry should be met with advanced software, so don’t hesitate to broaden your horizons.

5. You’re Still Paper-Filing

Efficiency and innovation are the names of the game, and the industry hardly has time for the analog.

That’s not to say your independent pharmacy can’t have paper at all (though the environment would thank you for it). You’ll always receive paper prescriptions and have patients fill out paper vaccine forms. In some situations, the oldest way is still the best.

The same cannot be said for logging or documenting important information. Gone are days of manually logging Schedule 2 medications or manually writing down the updated inventory of a hydrocodone bottle after a fill.

Your pharmacy should be free of those thick 2-inch binders overflowing with information that a computer can hold with no problem.

In short, if your hand is cramping up from writing down prescription information, you’re long overdue for a software makeover.

6. Too Much Bang for Your Buck

Owning and operating an independent pharmacy is a hefty investment and you’ll want to spare no expense when picking the right pharmacy software system. You also don’t want a sense of buyer’s remorse with something that shapes and dictates your pharmacy’s workflow.

Whether you’re paying monthly or annual bills for your pharmacy software system, it shouldn’t be taking too big a chunk of your profits. Sure, the ends justify the means but to a certain extent.

Measure how much power your software requires from your computers. Software with more demanding features naturally use more energy but shouldn’t require an arm and a leg. This would also be a good opportunity to see if you need to get newer computers. Older pieces of hardware use up way more energy than newer ones so that off-white desktop might be on its last legs.

How You Can Make the Right Decision?

The relationship between you and the pharmacy software system you use is a sacred one. Your ability to adapt to the changing tides of the industry will determine your independent pharmacy’s success, so keep an open ear to anything that can improve your workflow.

Schedule software demos with other vendors and learn how different companies approach familiar scenarios. The difference might be subtle but can do wonders for the success of your business.

All in all, never settle for less than the best. The future of your independent pharmacy depends on it after all.  

To learn more about how other pharmacy software systems, visit our Compare Software page.

If you feel it’s time to make a change, here are the top software vendors most independent pharmacies switch to — along with their level of customer satisfaction.