The major challenge a pharmacy face is the management of medical supplies. It is an essential part of every pharmacy for its successful operation, as one needs to keep control over the inventory levels to maintain the bottom line costs and profit margins. Pharmacy inventory systems are important as the industry has seen a large increase in supply costs. Without adequate pharmacy inventory management practices, hospitals are at risk of not being able to provide patients with the most appropriate medication when it is most needed.
What Is A Pharmacy Inventory System
A pharmacy inventory system aims at reducing costs and improve operational efficiency. To make this possible, pharmacies need to monitor their existing inventory levels and make guesswork of the items needed to maintain ideal supply levels. This monitoring is made possible by tracking inventory stores, generated orders, etc all in real-time. An ideal inventory management system is customizable as various pharmacies have different needs. Customizable inventory management systems can also be scalable and can grow with the operation as patient population and services change.
General features of an ideal pharmacy inventory system are:
- Fast and flexible searching for patients, prescribers, drugs, plans, etc.
- Electronic prescription, including controlled prescriptions
- Electronic refill requests
- Highly visible notification dashboard
- ID scanning
- Create customized pricing schedules
- Allergy and drug-interaction warnings
- Document scanning and management
- Automated weekly price updates
- Highly customizable labels that can be modified instantly
And many more such features.
In today’s world, we may need to manage more than a single inventory system. This is because different patient assistance and pricing programs, like 340B, have necessitated the need to treat the same drugs differently depending on supply costs. This makes multiple inventory systems important. Such a system should have the capability to integrate separate inventories into the pharmacy workflow as it presents unique challenges. It also allows the order and inventory system to communicate directly to suppliers and automatically download and access their updated catalogs. They have features like robust reporting and data analytics which is a great addition. These added features will also allow the pharmacy staff to serve patients better and provide the pharmacy with a way to accurately manage the appropriate level of inventories.
We now know that pharmacy inventory systems have gained a lot of importance in recent years. The integration of an inventory system into an overall pharmacy is a challenge as it requires integration into every stage of the tedious process. It must have the ability to work with automated dispensing systems and maintain supply and demand data for multiple inventories.