Multiple market forces are driving retail pharmacies to perform at peak level. And if pharmacists sense that the industry peaks are climbing higher, they’re probably right.
The prescription drug environment is a complex and dynamic ecosystem, with PBMs, insurance companies, and pharmacy metrics all impacting the way pharmacists provide care. Not only do they dispense prescriptions—often a lot of them—pharmacists also juggle various other responsibilities: from direct consultation and vaccine administration to more mundane roles like making phone calls and managing the drive-through window.
Regardless of what’s on a pharmacist’s plate, distributing the right prescription from the right provider to the right patient is a top priority. Pharmacies pay close attention to how pharmacy workflow is structured to meet multiple demands for properly dispensing medication. It takes time, focus, and effort, and manual processes not only decrease productivity but leave room for error.
That’s why technology investment is such a fruitful strategy to employ: from e-prescribing to automated provider verification to universal patient identification, we’re seeing industry-wide gains in both safe practices and efficiency as a result.
Automatic Prescriber Verification to Free Up the Pharmacist
Take, for example, the demands for prescriber verification to meet countless federal and state requirements as well as growing restrictions on controlled substances. A real-time, compliance-driven prescriber verification solution can be integrated into the pharmacy workflow to automatically perform these compliance checks on all transactions, helping improve patient safety while reducing regulatory risk.
It’s designed for pharmacy workflows to integrate with filling, billing, and claims processes—including audit capabilities—to ensure pharmacists are complying with regulations. Most importantly, the solution takes the multi-level verification burden off the already-busy pharmacists’ plate, enables safer prescribing, and more face-to-face time for the pharmacist and patient.
Patient Identification to Dispense the Right Drug into the Right Hands
Patients expect and deserve to receive the correctly prescribed medication. When a patient mistakenly receives another patient’s prescription or has a drug-drug interaction, something clearly has gone wrong in the pharmacy workflow. Perhaps, it is because a patient has not been identified correctly or the pharmacist did not have access to a complete medical record. As is the case with duplicate patient profiles, critical patient information may be spread across files, making an entire patient’s health record history unobtainable.
There’s no place in the pharmacy for inconsistent or mismatched patient records. Incorrect data can originate at any point during a patient’s healthcare journey, stemming from a clerical error, lack of standardization, or interoperability challenges among providers, hindering safe practices and optimal care coordination. Pharmacy—and healthcare at large—can do better.
Making Progress to Improve Pharmacy Workflow
As we’ve seen through the leadership efforts of the National Council for Prescription Drug Plans (NCPDP), the industry is moving toward the establishment of a unique code for patient identities across the U.S. in the form of the universal patient identifier (UPI).
LexisNexis® LexID® is one UPI that will help NCPDP members to manage patient data accuracy and prevent avoidable errors. Through a cleansing and linking process tied to our extensive data assets, LexID assigns a UPI to each patient to enable one accurate record for all medical and prescription information.
Built into pharmacy workflows, these practical technology solutions hold great power for better care provision and fewer errors. By leveraging technology efficiencies, pharmacies can reach that peak performance.