Funding cuts and changes to working practices are also putting pressure on community pharmacies, which may need to find new ways to increase footfall and engagement in order to survive. According to an article in Pharmaceutical Journal, “For independent community pharmacists, income will probably become reliant on the ability to provide services to patients rather than dispensing medicines.”
Digital transformation in pharmacy
The healthcare industry is constantly evolving, and in the current climate, the role of the pharmacist is undergoing rapid change, driven both by the demands of the Covid-19 pandemic and the fact that patients are taking a more active role in their healthcare.
The Covid-19 pandemic has increased the speed of evolution, with more patients turning to their pharmacists as the first port of call when suffering health concerns. “Pharmacists play an active role in patient care and are becoming the first point of contact for patients with minor illness,” says Sima Jassal, Clinical Director at EMIS.
Fortunately, technology to support and streamline pharmacy services is also evolving rapidly, with solutions aimed both at reducing workload and increasing the range of services pharmacies can offer. “Digital technology offers new ways of delivering services by providing patients quicker access to the care they need,” says Sima.
One solution that can help is Patient Access for Professionals – an online booking platform that equips pharmacies with the tools they need to offer both physical and virtual appointments via video or telephone, something that has proved invaluable for many pharmacies. One London pharmacy reported that it was able to deliver 20% more flu jabs since rolling out the solution.
In order to provide additional solutions, pharmacists should also make the best use of staff time and while also cutting down on unnecessary tasks. Technology can play a crucial role here too. Our ProScript Connect PMR system provides pharmacists with key functionalities designed to streamline existing practices and help you manage your pharmacy more efficiently.
The software also features Service Hub Manager, which enables users to carry out PGDs quickly and efficiently and the addition of Pharmaself24, an automated prescription collection system that provides quick and secure access to medication 24/7.
Looking to the future
As the role of the pharmacy continues to evolve, software solutions to support and deliver new ways of working are being developed. These include Smart Pharmacy, an upcoming feature on Patient Access that enables patients to track the status of their prescription from the point of request through to dispensing.
Changing demands and the rise in reliance on digital healthcare solutions means community pharmacists need to embrace new ways of working. But with the right digital solutions, pharmacies will be able to evolve, streamline and look to the future with confidence.