Trying Out a Pharmacy Software Demo: The Ins, Outs, and Everything In Between
Your time is valuable, especially when trying to figure out what software system fits your pharmacy’s needs.
As an independent pharmacist, the software you choose to help your day-to-day operations will greatly shape the success of your business. Your software needs to be easy to use and intuitive but also able to handle the hectic demands of the holiday season and rush hour. But how can you find the right one for your pharmacy?
That’s where demos come in. Demos allow you to try out a pharmacy software system and see its features and capabilities. Demos are essentially a trial run to help you decide if a given system will help you meet your goals.
Pharmacists all have different goals from one another, so not everyone is going to pick the same software. This makes your choice a unique one, so it’s important to know what to look for when using a demo.
7 Things to Look for When Selecting a Software
1. Ease of Use
Time management and workflow are both important parts of a pharmacy’s day-to-day operations. You need a software system that can adequately achieve these tasks in a timely manner. Visualize yourself using the software right before closing time or in front of a line of customers.
Those few seconds it takes to open a patient’s profile or hear back from an insurance claim can feel like an eternity in a real-world setting, so don’t let the demo fool you. Quickness and efficiency are essential, so explore the software’s features with both an open mind and a sense of urgency.
These features should be readily available at a moment’s notice, always handy for whatever comes next.
2. Customer Support
Taking part in a software demo not only lets you try the program at no cost, but it also gives you a preview into the potential relationship you’ll have with the vendor. The software vendor, primarily its customer support team, will have a huge role in ensuring the software operates smoothly.
Imagine your software crashes for a prolonged period of time and your vendor’s customer support is nowhere to be found. Your productivity will likely suffer as a result.
Communication is an absolute necessity in order to maintain an efficient workflow. As such, the ideal vendor should be open and responsive to feedback, working with you through whatever software quirk may come.
Customer support should work to help and empower the pharmacy, not restrict it.
Finding a vendor that meets your communication needs is arguably as important as the quality of the software itself, so make sure that you really get to know them.
For more information on finding the best vendor for you, visit our Comparing Software page, which breaks down how different software systems compare in customer support.
Demos offer a far more personalized and specific experience with the software in ways that a generic flyer cannot. You want to know how a certain program can either hinder or help you achieve your goals as a pharmacist.
In order to leave no stone unturned, think through specific scenarios and situations that will require the software to operate as optimally as possible.
These tasks can include scanning physical prescriptions, sending and receiving faxes, processing insurance claims, processing vaccination forms, and sending prior authorization requests.
Ask the representative leading your demo any questions you may have, no matter how big or small.
It’s best to express your concerns now than with the consequences later on. The last thing you want is to have buyer’s remorse over your choice of software. You’ll likely be past the point of no return, so take the time to truly familiarize yourself with the software.
Demos are detailed, carefully planned presentations to show what a particular software system is all about. The vendor representative knows the program like the back of their hand, so watching them use it may make it look easy and effortless.
You might even feel like you’re an expert on the software by just watching, but that know-how will often leave your head the moment you leave your desk. That’s why it’s important to take the time to see if the software is intuitive enough for you to use and understand from the get-go.
Intuition is a major part of learning a software system. It’s hard to describe something that feels intuitive, but you know it when you see it. In other words, your software needs to know how to handle problems or situations you haven’t even thought of yet.
It’s important to remember that the software is meant to work for you, not against you.
Another aspect of your relationship with your potential vendor is transparency.
Some vendors might focus their demo on all the software’s nice bells and whistles. These are nice additions, of course, but they don’t mean much if the software doesn’t meet your needs.
You scheduled your demo for a reason: to have a personalized, unique user experience that helps you decide if the software is the right one for you.
The beset vendors know what it means to work in the independent pharmacy industry. They are less like a salesperson and more like a guide leading you to the most optimal pharmacy experience possible.
6. Other Available Options
Choosing which software to go with shouldn’t be an impulse decision. Knowing this, it’s crucial to get the lay of the land and try out as many different software systems as you can.
Trying different systems can also make you notice certain quirks or convenient shortcuts other options might have. This will help you make a more informed decision when it comes time to decide.
7. Input from Your Team
Just about all aspects of pharmacy work are a team effort. The software-selecting process should be no different. Even if you don’t have all the time in the world to make a final decision, it’s important to communicate with the rest of your team about what they think.
Clerks and techs alike have valuable perspectives and ideas as to how workplace operations can improve, so it’s best to have them involved as much as possible.
Make a Decision About Your Software
Choosing which software to buy is one of the most important decisions you’ll face when creating the pharmacy of your dreams. It will heavily shape how your team operates and how your customers experience your pharmacy.
Your decision is also one of great financial consequence, both for the initial purchase and the pharmacy’s economic future.
Make sure you have the resources necessary to know you’re making the right choice.
Many major software vendors are readily available to schedule a free demo, so take the first step in making the right choice for you and your pharmacy: