How You Can Stick the Landing When Changing Pharmacy Software Systems
Change is slow. It’s tedious, patience-testing, and at times frustrating. However, it’s necessary to progress and improve our lives.
Working in the pharmacy industry is all about taking on new challenges head-on, and having the best pharmacy software system will make things a little easier.
Change is scary, especially when it concerns your pharmacy’s software. Jumping ship to another software is more than a mere facelift: it will lead to your pharmacy changing, both in subtle and grand ways.
Deciding to change your software is a step in the right direction: you’re honest that the previous software isn’t helping your pharmacy the way you thought it would. You’re able to recognize that there is a better way, and here we are.
Here is some food for thought when switching pharmacy software systems.
Growing Pains are Inevitable
Changing pace can be difficult. It’s quite contrary to the hectic day-to-day tempo of pharmacy work, where you’re truly in the groove of things. It’s occupational cruise control, matching the chaotic rhythm of the work with peak efficiency.
When you get a new pharmacy software system, everything changes. Even if you have time to familiarize yourself with the new programs, you’ll have to make even more adjustments come game day.
As such, your workflow will be disrupted as you make sense of your pharmacy software system. There are certain quirks and charms that you can only learn about when working with your system for an extended period of time.
Demos are indeed helpful, and you should make full use of them, but you can’t get fully acquainted with your software until you’re on the pharmacy floor.
Take it as a learning experience. Sure, it may cause frustration as you navigate through a different layout during peak rush hour, but it’ll inform you for the future. Before you know it, you’ll reclaim that occupational cruise control, and then some.
Be Open to New Possibilities
The pharmacy industry thrives on innovation and thinking outside the box. The only way to truly do this is to be open to new ideas, even concerning things you thought you’d mastered.
Maybe the process to fill or visually verify a prescription — something that has become second nature to you at this point — now requires an extra step or is entirely different.
It’s way too easy to be outraged over the extra step. It almost feels sacrilege to have to do something with the slightest modification.
That’s just an inevitability of working with new software. However, in this new, foreign way of doing things lies the potential for greater efficiency.
Maybe that extra step mitigates a later part of the process that used gnawed at your heels. The checkout process becomes more streamlined and less convoluted, and your patients are even happier with our service.
Keep in mind that pharmacy software systems are meant to empower your pharmacy. It’s supposed to work for your pharmacy, not the other way around. Though you have to adjust initially, be open to new avenues for innovation when offered.
Make Sure Your Patient’s Information is Safely Stored
Switching pharmacy software isn’t an overnight process. It requires painstaking care and attention for an extended period of time. We’ve established how rocky the road to change can be, but now it’s time to look into the data — specifically patient data.
As an independent pharmacist, you’re responsible for safeguarding extremely sensitive and confidential information. The slightest leak of said information can result in legal action and even your pharmacy license being revoked — but you already know that.
The process of changing pharmacy software systems to another can feel like you’re in freefall. It doesn’t need to feel like that, thanks to the power of cloud-based services.
Whether it’s provided by the current or new software, cloud-based services will be a necessity when making the jump to new pharmacy software systems.
This will make the transition much smoother, effectively safeguarding your patient’s information so you can give proper attention to the other aspects of changing software.
Safeguarding patient information is a vital topic as of late. Check out our 6 Essentials in Protecting Patient Information blog for more ways to protect your patient’s information.
Talk to Your Patients
It’s all about communication. You’re bound to encounter roadblocks when using new pharmacy software. You might have to close your pharmacy for a few days because you’re changing pharmacy software systems.
What matters is you let your patients know ahead of time that they won’t be able to pick their prescriptions up for a few days. This will let them plan ahead so they won’t be without their medications.
It’s also important to tell your patients about the growing pains of changing pharmacy software systems. Not only are you and your staff going through the breaking-in process, but so are your patients.
Those early days might make your independent pharmacy operate at so-so efficiency, so tell them it’s simply because you’re getting used to the new software.
Convenience is of greater importance than ever before, and the slightest hint of inconvenience can cause your patients to drive over to the competition.
Be transparent that, just like anything in life, this is a work in progress. They will appreciate your honesty, for it is the best policy.
Listen to Your Staff
It takes a village to make a successful independent pharmacy. Your clerks and techs are the lifelines of the whole operation, so their input is always vital in times of change.
It never hurts to get another perspective. It’s another catalyst for innovation and creative thinking. Your staff is actively using the new software throughout the day, going through their own versions of the early growing pains.
Ask them what they like, dislike, or generally feel about the new lay of the land. With this open dialogue, you all can collaborate and come up with various methods of success.
Adjust to a New Way of Success
You’re changing your pharmacy software system for a reason: to further enhance your pharmacy’s workflow and success. No one starts hitting a home run on the first swing, so patience is key here.
As you make the leap to a new software system, know that long-term success is theirs for the taking. Before you’ll know it, your good independent pharmacy will be one of the greats.