Switching to a new pharmacy software system can be daunting. Between learning the ins and outs of the software, familiarizing yourself with the features, and optimizing them to work smoothly and efficiently in your pharmacy, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed.
Despite the initial challenges it may present, an innovative software system is essential to almost every aspect of your pharmacy — from managing your finances to controlling your workflow to providing quality patient care. In fact, pharmacy software is the single most important piece of equipment you can have. It is therefore essential that you not only learn how to use your software but that you become an expert at it. Once you learn how to make your software work for you, the long-term benefits will far outweigh the initial learning curve. You’ll be able to automate tasks and end up saving time and effort overall - not to mention the other benefits of a robust software.
With the right resources, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Our list of tips and tricks can help you and your team master your software — while eliminating any unnecessary stress in the process. Doing so will help you to stay on top of your business, adapt to changes in your patient base, and see greater success in your pharmacy.
Before you learn how to use your software, though, you have to pick your software. Not sure which one is right for you? Read our in-depth comparison of the top pharmacy software systems, with insights into customer satisfaction scores, conversion rates, market share percentages, and much more. Once you’ve picked your system, get ready to learn. Let’s begin.
1. Get Trained
Whether you are installing your first software system or simply switching to a new vendor, it is important that you receive proper training on how to use it. Pharmacy management systems are complex — offering a variety of features and functions that can address many different needs — so a software specialist should walk you through yours and help you understand what your software can do for you.
When you first purchase your software system, your vendor may offer you a basic training session to walk you through its features. Some vendors, though, go above and beyond. The best of them not only help you to have an understanding of your software, but they work with you to personalize it and make it fit your needs. This is particularly important for pharmacies that offer specialized services, like compounding, med sync, and medication therapy management, which need a system that goes beyond the one-size-fits-all approach.
When you are picking a vendor, pick one that knows your pharmacy is unique and that is willing to help you find the unique solutions you need.
2. Teach Your Team
Whether you are a seasoned pharmacist-in-charge or a new technician, do your part to teach others on your team about your new software — using the knowledge you gain from training and personal research. Host team-wide training sessions, attend seminars and trade show conventions, and encourage collaboration on your team so that everyone can familiarize themselves with the software.
If you have a tech-savvy team member, task them with learning the pharmacy software and teaching it to others, little by little. Or, if you are that team member, take it upon yourself to help your team ease into the new software by becoming well-versed in all its features.
For a more group-based learning effort, delegate different features to different team members, and have them become experts in particular parts of the software. For instance, one team member can learn about and become an expert on the med sync process; another on updating inventory; and another on processing claims. With multiple “experts” in-house, you can facilitate a better understanding of the software and ensure that more of your team learns the functions that are most important to your pharmacy.
3. Get in Touch with Software Support
Even beyond training, your pharmacy software provider should continue to offer you support: answering questions, troubleshooting problems, and navigating you through all of the details of the technology. Whether you have worked with them for two weeks or ten years, the best vendors continue to offer you support — with the help of a dedicated team who knows you, your pharmacy, and your needs on a personal basis.
In order to get the most out of your pharmacy software, it is important to stay in touch with your support team and reach out to them whenever your pharmacy needs it, whether by a phone call, an email, or an in-person meeting or consultation.
Good customer support is one of the most important contributors to customer satisfaction, so choose a provider with high customer satisfaction ratings in order to get the assistance that you need.
4. Talk to Other Professionals
Aside from your software provider and your in-house experts, you can call on other pharmacy professionals to help you master your software. By talking with pharmacists, technicians, and business professionals that use the same software as you, you can get real-time advice, pick up helpful tricks, and gain new knowledge that allows you to optimize your workflow even further.
In addition to helping you with technology, talking with other professionals can make it easier to form business relationships, potential partnerships, and personal connections that will benefit you in the pharmacy world and beyond.
Some vendors help you to stay connected with others in the network via social media, online forums, and industry events and conferences. When picking a new software vendor, choose one that values connections — which enable you to make the most out of your pharmacy software and better your business.
5. Stay Up-to-Date on New Features
In order to be ahead in the industry, you need to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in pharmacy, whether that be in news, new procedures or techniques, or features in your pharmacy software system. As the role of pharmacists continues to expand, more and more services — as well as more and more updates in your software — are being offered.
In fact, the best vendors are constantly offering new feature updates in order to optimize the software, improve your workflow, and help you spend more time with patients. In order to make the most of these features, and to become skilled in your software, you should be aware of new updates and implement them into your practice whenever possible. And, if you want to stay ahead of the game, choose a pharmacy software that does the same.
Maximize Your Pharmacy Software
Mastering your software requires time and dedication. It can take months, if not years, to understand all of the ins and outs of your technology. Even then, new updates are always on the rise. Your software matters, though — to your business, your team, and especially your patients — so you owe it to them to not only learn how to use your software efficiently, but to maximize it and make the most out of all of its capabilities.
With the right technology, a bit of patience, and a lot of persistence, you can take your pharmacy to new heights and see results that last.
Ready to get started? Take the first step and find the software that’s right for you.