5 Pharmacy Hot Topics You Should Know About in 2017

Transaction Data Systems About The Author

Jan 5, 2017 1:11:38 PM

Future Pharmacy Trends

It’s a new year -- the season of new beginnings, colds, flu, and, if you’re from Oklahoma, wicked winter allergies. I think it’s safe to say that you’re busy.

However, in the ever-changing world of pharmacy you always have to have one eye on the future if want to continue to grow and succeed. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of 5 hot topics you should know about going into 2017.

Clinical Pharmacy

The pharmacy model is moving toward providing a full suite of patient healthcare. Insurance companies now understand that pharmacies can and should play a larger role in patient health.

At one time, mail order was thought to be the best model, but providing medication without patient education or clinical service isn’t the best method. Insurance companies are now learning that if they will reimburse based on performance, community pharmacies that care about their patients will thrive , making the entire payer system cheaper while improving patient health.

This is an excellent opportunity for community pharmacy to grow. However, this requires adaptation on your part.

Pharmacies that are not adapting -- closing MTM cases, offering clinical services, and paying attention to star ratings -- are being hit hard by low reimbursements and DIR fees. The fact of the matter is that if you’re not molding to this new model, you may not be able to keep your doors open much longer.

Pharmacy software should make integrating clinical functions into your workflow seamless by interfacing with MTM companies and immunization reporting services. Moving forward into 2017, you should expect even more advancements in the integration of clinical functions into your pharmacy software. Fingers crossed -- you may even be able to receive more insight into those DIR fees.

Mobile Technology

By showing us how much we move, things like smart watches and pedometers have helped us track and improve our health. Mobile apps and web portals allow us to request prescription refills with the click of a button. Video chatting makes it possible to consult with a physician from your couch or the office. To best serve your patients you need to be accessible to them wherever they are.  

Smart phone apps, web portals, and email notifications let your patient monitor their own health and request refills. They can notify them when a prescription is ready for pickup, when they’re overdue for a refill, or of their adherence percentage. It’s important that your pharmacy software partner can provide you with this technology as this trend continues to grow.

Ultimately, putting the patient in charge of their health and providing them the tools to be successful leads to better health results. 


Telepharmacy technology is continuing to be more widely accepted. In rural cities and regions that cannot support full pharmacies it’s is a great option.

Your pharmacy software partners should be able to provide you with your state’s telepharmacy regulations to ensure that your state is approved. They may also be able to put you in contact with a telepharmacy vendor that can integrate with your software system. This will streamline processes and help you provide healthcare solutions to all patients in thriving metropolises and rural America. 

Collaboration between Healthcare Professionals

Whether it be reporting to a database or sending a fax, pharmacies have needed to collaborate with prescribers on some level for many years now. We know we can’t always rely on patients to remember or tell the whole truth when faced with questions about their medication adherence.

Integrated med history patient profiles will help bring some light to the real problems with adherence. This will automatically export patient prescription and medication history from your pharmacy software and pull it into a database that can be accessed by hospitals and other healthcare providers.

With access to medication history, prescribers can see if their patients have been taking the medications they’ve prescribed and view a full medication list.  Allowing prescribers to identify potential problems, collaboration improves safety and patient care.

Data Security

Most small businesses believe that they are not at risk for a security breech. However, this is not the case. Cyber intruders can and do steal millions of patients’ health and credit card information from small businesses. These risks continue to increase with the advancement of technology.

Recently, the responsibility of these breeches in security have moved from the card processor to the merchant. Therefore, it important that you continue to take measures to protect your pharmacy data.

Since all of your information goes through your pharmacy software and POS system, you need to ensure that your pharmacy software partner is HIPAA compliant and offers a PCI compliant card processing solution. They may even offer additional protection services. So the next time you speak with your software vendor ask them about these crucial areas where you might be vulnerable:

  • Credit card processing (Point to point encryption, EMV processing, tokenization)
  • Switch transmission
  • Escript claims processing
  • Internal data storage

Now that you know what’s going to be on every community pharmacist’s radar this year, you can use this information to help you meet the goals you’ve set for the coming year. You may even want to set some new goals. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help you meet your goals or break into a new niche, let us know. We’d love to talk with you!

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