August 8, 2018

Differentiating Your Drug Store: The Future of Technology in Pharmacies

Written by Garret Weigel

As more companies enter the pharmaceutical market, it will be important to differentiate services to attract and retain customers. One way to do this is to take advantage of technology to get ahead of the curve and improve customer satisfaction. Many pharmacies today are looking for solutions that improve patient outcomes, a goal that should be cornerstone to every pharmacy.

 

On top of the need to differentiate, brands need to consider how a poor customer experiences can influence success. It only takes one piece of bad publicity to tarnish a brand, and building up trust after an incident can be extraordinarily challenging. With advances in IoT, pharmacies can drive greater operational efficiency while protecting their customers and their brand.

 

So how can you leverage technology to differentiate your drug store?

 

Ensuring Vaccine and Medication Efficacy

In-Pharmacy Refrigeration

Vaccines have significantly improved our response to diseases, enabling us to prevent the spread of potentially life-threatening illnesses before they have a fighting chance. The basic concept of vaccination can be traced back to variolation techniques that started in the 1100’s. Despite hundreds of years of development in fighting diseases before they manifest, one simple fact still holds true: improper storage can lead to vaccinations that do not perform their intended function.

 

Recently in China, about two million improperly stored vaccines were sold around the country from an overheated storeroom. Granted, a state-of-the-art facility may not have the same temperature control problems that a dilapidated establishment might have, but this highlights the importance of monitoring solutions that can alert relevant stakeholders to improper holding temperatures.

 

Pharmaceutical Cold Chain

While it is important to monitor temperature on-sight, vaccines can lose efficacy just as easily during transit. The current standard of manual processes is tedious and unnecessary, but also error-prone as compared to a digital solution. Utilizing advances in monitoring technology helps to ensure that vaccines are held at the correct temperature throughout the supply chain. Logistics has become enormously complex over the years, leading to a greater need for enhanced visibility to guarantee product quality. Medications can travel thousands of miles to their final destination, making temperature management an essential piece of the medical supply chain.

 

Easing Compliance Management

Remote monitoring solutions simplify regulatory compliance and improve quality control. Drug stores are under close examination from regulatory agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Vaccines For Children (VFC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Requirements vary state-to-state, but most recommend around-the-clock monitoring at regular intervals. Remote monitoring systems that offer alerts for temperature excursions can simplify the difficulty in meeting quality control requirements.

 

Many pharmacies today are still using pen and paper to log refrigerator temperatures. These manual processes are inefficient and do not provide a complete view into temperature performance, putting unneeded burden on compliance management.

 

Differentiate Your Brand

By supplementing your current operating procedures with technology, you can save time and money and have more visibility into store performance. Modernizing your pharmacy can help you to protect your valuable inventory, enabling you to spend less time on administrative tasks, and more time on ensuring your patients are happy.

 

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Topics: Pharmacy Safety
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