When you pick up a Monday morning coffee or purchase a new pair of shoes, you make a familiar transaction.
You swipe your card, enter your information, and receive a receipt detailing each of your expenses. In a few seamless steps, you can get out the door as quickly as you came in, toting along all of your new items. This transaction — now a staple in the lives of most Americans — is made possible by one powerful tool: the point-of-sale system.
Point-of-sale (POS) systems have been around for the last 50 years, replacing manual cash registers and revolutionizing the way that business takes place every day. Today, point-of-sale systems are used by restaurants, retailers, and even independent pharmacies.
For most businesses, point-of-sale systems manage transactions and generate valuable financial reports. For pharmacies, though, they do so much more.
The Capabilities You Need
1. Inventory Management
Inventory is essential to any business, especially a pharmacy.
In your store, you keep tabs on a number of items, which range from drugs to equipment to retail. Every day, you order, arrange, and count each of these items to ensure that your patients get what they need, when they need it.
As most pharmacists know, though, inventory is tedious and often tricky. With your POS system, you can discover inventory-specific solutions designed to simplify your life. On your POS system, you can keep a perpetual physical inventory, monitor your best-selling products, accommodate price changes, and automatically reorder items.
2. Workflow Integration
Point-of-sale is the last step in a pharmacy’s workflow, in which patients make payments and receive prescriptions.
To make this transaction as seamless as possible, your POS system can integrate with the rest of your workflow, ensuring that the necessary steps are taken to finish the fill.
To begin with, your POS system can take information from your pharmacy software system — like prescription number and price point — while the prescription is still in workflow and prepare it for pickup ahead of time.
At the time of pickup, your POS system can determine which of your patient’s prescriptions are ready and which ones may be stuck in workflow. If the items are refrigerated or need to be bagged, your POS system can prompt you to take action. With these alerts, you can stay on top of each prescription and prepare to make a sale.
3. Transaction Tools
At the time of sale, your POS system can take care of all of your transactions.
It can read credit cards and accept mobile payments from platforms like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Amazon Pay. Cards can be securely stored within the system, keeping you PCI compliant. As an added bonus, your POS system can collect electronic signatures and store them alongside credit card information to protect patients’ privacy.
And, to keep you in compliance with state laws, your POS system can also prompt patients to sign up for prescription pickup, patient counseling, and HIPAA. With this capability, you can be sure that all of your bases are covered.
4. Accounting and Reporting
Accounting is the bread-and-butter for most point-of-sale systems, and it’s especially important for your pharmacy.
Your POS system can enable you to manage A/R accounts, house charges, and send out monthly statements. Internally, it can pull past transactions to generate financial reports that help you boost your bottom line.
Aside from financial reports, your POS system can generate insights on overall store performance, clinical opportunities, and customer loyalty. With these measurements, you can develop new ways to improve.
5. Delivery Services
If your pharmacy prides itself on prescription delivery services, your POS system can make it all the more proactive (and profitable).
With a mobile POS system, you can get all of the same capabilities as a standard POS system, except on the go.
In many cases, you can sync up your store’s system with your mobile system so that all transactions can be stored together. On a mobile POS system, you can collect payments and signatures that you can bring back to the pharmacy and manage accordingly.
Which Integration is Right for You?
There are countless point-of-sale systems currently available, including options from popular vendors like Square, Shopkeep, and Shopify. However, in the case of independent pharmacy, it’s best to find a POS system that’s designed to meet your unique needs. Pharmacy POS systems can give you all the capabilities you need to succeed, and many times, without tacking on any additional stress.
Cue your pharmacy software system.
Most software systems support a number of integrations, and a point-of-sale system is one of the most important integrations to consider. Instead of having two separate systems, you can add your POS to your software and operate on one platform instead of two.
With this capability, you can cut out the middleman and manage all of your pharmacy’s finances with ease. At the same time, you can keep your data safe and secure — protecting financial reports, patient data, and other sensitive information.
Not all integrations are alike, though. To get the most accurate information, reach out to your pharmacy software vendor to find out which POS systems they support and at what cost. The best vendors will work to accommodate your needs and find the right fit for your pharmacy.