It’s no secret that the software you choose greatly impacts the way that you run your pharmacy. In fact, your pharmacy software is the single most important tool that you can have in your storefront: it enables you to treat your patients, monitor your team, and keep track of your finances in one convenient location. Not all systems are created equal, though. The best software systems continue to grow and evolve with your pharmacy in order to keep it running at the optimal level. They are regularly updated with new tools and features; they prioritize customer service and listen to your feedback; and they take the time to offer individualized solutions for your pharmacy.
If you find that your pharmacy software system is lacking in one of these areas, it may be time to switch to a new vendor. One of the biggest drawbacks of switching, though, is the perceived difficulty involved. Often, pharmacists and technicians are reluctant to switch from one software to another, even if they know that it will ultimately benefit them, because they don’t think they have the time or skills needed to learn how to use a new software. Especially when they are short-staffed and weighed down with other responsibilities, pharmacy staff may settle with a “good enough” software. In the process, though, they limit themselves in what they can do.
Investing in the Future
The truth of the matter is that a “good enough” software is, in fact, not enough. Because your pharmacy software system manages almost every aspect of your business, it is essential that it has all of the capabilities that your pharmacy needs. Whether you focus on dispensing prescriptions or turn your attention to clinical services, you need a pharmacy software system that can record, monitor, and interpret the information that matters most — you need a system that is more than enough.
Finding, purchasing, and learning a new software system is an investment in the future of your pharmacy. While there is always an initial learning curve with a new system, your willingness to learn can facilitate growth for both you and your business. And, while it may take some adjustment, the process of switching doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, with the right system, it can be a simple, streamlined process.
Making the Switch Simple
As you search for a new pharmacy software system, find a vendor that values ease of use — and that can help make your switch easy, too. Try these best practices to take the hassle out of switching:
- Schedule a free demo — Before deciding on a new software system, schedule a demo with the vendor you are interested in. Demos allow you to see the software in action and help you to become acquainted with all of its features and capabilities. A demo can also give you a better idea of how a system might work in your pharmacy and lead you to make a more informed buying decision. And, when you do make the purchase, you will be able to learn more quickly if you already have a basic understanding of the software.
- Rely on support — Even with the right preparation, though, you will more than likely need guidance in making the switch — whether for dealing with technical difficulties, fixing user errors, or figuring out how to optimize your system. With this in mind, it is important to find a software system with a highly-rated support team — one who knows their software inside and out and will help you get to know it as well. In addition, find one that you can feel comfortable asking questions and that can help you find solutions to any problem you face. Good support is your number-one tool in switching systems, so find a vendor you can trust.
- Make learning a team effort — When you make the switch, you don’t have to make it alone. In addition to your software vendor, you can call on your team to help collectively learn how to use the software. From within your pharmacy, you can delegate certain features of the software to certain staff. As they learn how to use it themselves, they can teach others on your team to do the same. Outside of your four walls, you can get in contact with others who use the same software as you do; and get tips and tricks on how they use it best. The best software vendors will help you make these connections via forums, social media, and other networking opportunities.
- Speak up and ask questions — While you have many resources available to you, they can only be helpful if you use them. As you shop around, decide upon, and get familiar with a new pharmacy software, communicate your struggles and your needs with others around you. When you have a question, ask. When you experience difficulties, say something. When you need additional support, let someone know. This doesn’t just apply to the beginning weeks or months of using your software, but to every step of the way. The majority of vendors and pharmacy professionals want to see you succeed, and they will do their part to help you get there.
Picking the Right Pharmacy Software
The benefits of switching to a new and improved software system can far outweigh any difficulties that may arise. And, with the right system and resources, switching can be made easy. The question remains, though: which system should you switch to?
As you browse your options, it is important to consider the opinions of other pharmacy professionals just like you. To help you weigh your options, Direct Opinions surveyed 2,000 pharmacy professionals who recently switched software systems to find out which vendors they switched to. The results can be seen here:
According to the survey, most pharmacies convert to PioneerRx — based on factors like ease of use, customer support, and robust features. Rx30 follows PioneerRx in leading conversions, with Micro Merchant Systems, ComputerRx, Liberty, and QS1 falling behind. The “All Others” category includes but is not limited to Pharmaserv, Enterprise, Best Computer Systems, AbacusRx, QuickSCRIPT, HBS Systems, QS1/SharpRx, and PDX.
For more information on these vendors — including their functions, capabilities, and place among the rankings — look into our Compare Software page and our other software-related blogs. With these tools, you can take the first step to make the switch.