The world of independent pharmacy is always changing. Every year, pharmacists get new rights and responsibilities, clinical opportunities, and chances to serve their communities.
Whether it be extending prescribing, telepharmacy visits, or operational updates, pharmacies are always innovating. And, to do it, they need an innovative pharmacy software system by their side.
Just like pharmacies, software systems are always changing — offering new features, functionalities, and technologies. In that spirit, here’s what you can expect from pharmacy software in 2024.
1. Even More Artificial Intelligence
In 2023, pharmacies started introducing new and exciting technologies — from artificial intelligence (AI) to machine learning (ML) — in their workflows. In 2024, that trend is only expected to continue, with even more applications in the pharmacy.
One important application is drug interaction management. AI and ML can analyze large datasets to predict potential adverse interactions between medications and alert pharmacists accordingly. Upon receiving an alert of an adverse reaction, pharmacists can adjust medication regimens and reduce patient risk.
In addition, AI and ML algorithms can help tailor medication regimens to individual patient needs, improving their effectiveness and reducing side effects.
To learn more about AI in pharmacy, read our blog, “AI in Pharmacy: What You Need to Know.”
2. Blockchains for Prescription Traceability
Some vendors are working to integrate blockchain technology into their software systems. Blockchains create an unchangeable ledger that records each stage of a drug's journey, from manufacturing to distribution and dispensing.
With blockchain technology in place, pharmacists and other providers can access this ledger to verify a medication's origin and handling, ensuring safety and quality.
Blockchains can also provide transparency, aid in tracking issues, and ensure regulatory compliance — a win-win for patients and pharmacists alike.
3. Telepharmacy and Remote Patient Monitoring
During the pandemic, more and more pharmacies started offering telepharmacy services and remote patient monitoring.
That trend isn’t expected to go anywhere in 2024, especially as software systems start integrating with telecommunications to provide all-in-one services.
With telepharmacy services, patients can receive consultations, medication management, and expert advice without actually commuting to the pharmacy. This convenience is especially important for patients in remote areas and those with limited mobility.
With remote patient monitoring, pharmacists can keep track of patients’ medication regimens, adherence, and vital health information — with the help of wearable devices, smart sensors, and other health-tracking tools.
As software systems start integrating with telepharmacy and remote patient monitoring services, you can expect to serve more patients in and out of the pharmacy.
Learn more about telepharmacy by reading our blog, “What is Telepharmacy?: Challenges, Opportunities, and Outlook.”
4. Enhanced Data Security
In response to rising cyber threats, many pharmacy software systems are looking to increase security measures in 2024.
If you’re asked to rest your password more frequently or take an extra step to access sensitive patient information, know that your software vendor is prioritizing data security.
A few measures you may see in your software system:
- Encryption: Encryption protects patient data from unauthorized access.
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA): MFA ensures extra layers of security by requiring multiple verifications to access the software.
- Data anonymization: Patient data is anonymized by the software, preserving privacy while still giving you valuable insights.
- Regulatory compliance: Pharmacy software adheres to healthcare regulations like HIPAA to protect patient privacy.
- Regular audits: Frequent security audits identify and address vulnerabilities in the software, ensuring ongoing protection against cyber threats.
5. Improved User Experiences
As with any piece of technology, user experience is essential in pharmacy software systems. As such, you can expect pharmacy software vendors to invest in UX this year.
This means your software may become more user-friendly, intuitive, and efficient while maintaining the same level of power.
A few ways that user experiences may improve:
- Simplified navigation: Pharmacy software may offer more simplified and intuitive navigation. For example, a dashboard may offer a clear overview of essential tasks such as prescription processing, medication dispensing, and patient profiles.
- Customization options: You may be able to customize software interfaces to suit your workflow and preferences. This may involve rearranging panels, choosing color schemes, or creating shortcuts to frequently used features.
- Visual clarity: Software systems may invest in clean and organized design elements. This includes easy-to-read fonts, consistent labeling, and color-coding to differentiate information types.
As 2024 kicks off, pharmacy software is poised for exciting advancements — from technological advancements to security measures to user-friendly interfaces.
These changes promise to streamline operations, improve patient care, and protect patient data. In effect, they can help you and your pharmacy reach the goals you’ve set.
If you’re looking to buy a new pharmacy software system this year, read our blog, “The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Pharmacy Software System in 2024.”
And, for detailed information on some of the top software vendors — and how real pharmacists feel about them — visit our Compare Software page.
Finding the right software can set your pharmacy up for success this year and beyond.