Data touches every area of our lives. Some of the biggest companies in the world got that way only in part because of their products or services. The secret to their growth has been in combining granular analytics to supply chains, logistics, inventory management, and customer experience. As the owner or manager of a pharmacy, you may not be looking to grow the next Amazon or Walmart, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn a thing or two about pharmacy analytics to maintain your competitive edge. Like our clients, Shelving Design Systems has had to evolve with the times. Here’s some of what we’ve learned about the intersection of analytics and pharmacy shelving design.
Key Pharmacy Analytics
In an article published by Wolters Kluwer, pharmacist Dr. David Fong identifies six key data types that pharmacies should be gathering. These include data on patients, prescription transactions, supply chain management, clinical and insurance data, and information on the external marketplace.
As Fong notes, these data points do not simply lead to better customer retention and better business practices. They’re a vital part of operations and planning, especially as the role of the pharmacy evolves past the traditional roles of dispensary and (in many cases) retail operation, toward an increased role as a locus for community health care.
It’s also worth mentioning that your pharmacy is not an island. There are many stakeholders, from the patients you serve to local doctors, your patients, hospital systems, managed care companies, and more; a proper data management system helps you corral the incoming and outgoing data for each of those stakeholders.
Benefits of Pharmacy Analytics
Let’s say that you’ve taken the leap into pharmacy analytics. What benefits might you reap?
Improved Compliance: As a pharmacist, you’ve probably learned to dread acronyms. But compliance with a host of regulations — ACA, HIPAA, FDA, and countless others — is vital to your survival, and the data you keep can make or break your business.
Cost Control: Medication that’s ordered and not dispensed represents space and money that are wasted. Insufficient stock, on the other hand, leads to frustration and lost customers. Better data management means your patients don’t lose patience, and also helps you maximize precious space.
Better Patient Outcomes: Tracking fill dates and fill intervals can help you improve medication adherence to improve patient outcomes.
Decreased Abuse: Analytics can help you identify usage patterns that indicate the potential for abuse, keeping your patients safer and healthier.
Improved Pharmacy Design: Better data management has a cascade effect that helps you better manage your space through smarter inventory and smarter shelving alike. This improves workflow, but it can also introduce opportunities to increase retail square footage, or to offer new services that space and time might not otherwise have permitted.
Improved ROI: Having the right products in stock, dispensed in the proper amounts and not left to waste, improves margins and ROI.
Improved Retention: Between chain pharmacies and online ordering, the days of neighborhood pharmacies holding a monopoly on patient prescriptions is but a distant memory. Improving the patient experience through careful data use can help you build relationships, the better to retain valuable clients.