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Must-Have Features and Functionalities in Pharmacy POS Systems

By: John Bailey

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When it comes to supplying pharmacies with point-of-sale (POS) systems, there are a few key considerations regarding the capabilities and features your systems include.

Here are a few of the most important functionalities to include in an optimized POS system to provide your clients with better internal accountability, assistance with HIPAA and legislative compliance, and overall improved pharmacy management.

System Interoperability

a diagram illustrating interoperability between mobile devices, technology systems, and data

To avoid data silos, linking different information technology systems enables direct communication between systems and the exchange of usable data. This allows for the streamlining of pharmacy processes such as creating prices, ordering products, and coordinating prescription histories.

A POS system should be interoperable with other software and systems that a pharmacy utilizes to streamline important work and exchange information through Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Systems that can communicate with an interoperable POS system and improve the pharmacist-patient care process include:

Additionally, providing POS systems that can utilize add-on services can enable pharmacies to accomplish business improving tasks such as listing their products in search engine results to reach new audiences.

Signature Capture

Electronic signature capture has many practical and mandatory applications in a pharmacy. A POS system that integrates electronic signature capture allows customers to sign for multiple prescriptions simultaneously. This saves patients and pharmacists time while reducing the likelihood of medication mix-ups.

Reducing a pharmacy's legal liability by making it easy to comply with applicable state and federal laws, signature capture can be used for:

What's more, electronic signature capture allows pharmacies to streamline workflows by updating and automating accounting processes. Further integration with popular accounting programs, including QuickBooks, Sage, SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft Dynamic GP, can automate accounts payable/receivable programs that are integrated with vendor databases and short-term credit management modules.

Inventory Management

at the point of sale, the integrated pharmacy POS system updates and tracks inventory in real time

Through the aggregation of data from POS systems to pharmacy information systems (PIS), inventory management integrations aid in enabling mandatory drug compliance. For example, US pharmacies are required to comply with a host of regulations regarding the proper inventorying of drugs which is detailed in various laws enforced by the FDA, DEA, and EPA:

Differing patient assistance and pricing programs, such as the 340B drug pricing program, require that pharmacies maintain and integrate multiple inventories into their workflow. With EDI-enabled interfaces, a POS system’s inventory management can be linked directly to suppliers to automatically download and access their most up-to-date catalogs.

As patient populations and service needs change in the area that a pharmacy is located in, a customized and scalable inventory management integrated POS system can also account for necessary inventory adjustments that impact bottom-line costs and profit margins.

Payment Processing

Since pharmacies must also adhere to many different standards of compliance, multifaceted payment processing support with assured security is an absolute requirement. Below are the most important payment processing capabilities for a POS system to possess.

this image displays three different payment methods for cards POS systems should be programmed to accept.

Merchant Services

The ability to accept different payment methods such as debit cards, credit cards, EMV chip cards, and mobile payments is imperative in an age where many people don't carry cash. An integrated payment processing system greatly improves the security and safety of pharmacy customer’s account data while allowing for a broader range of payment options.

It also saves time for pharmacy staff who will no longer need to manually input information to the POS system to complete transactions or reconcile accounting at the end of the day.

Inventory Information Approval System (IISA)

When processing payments, benefit program administrators require that an IISA is in place—as per IRS guidance—to process transactions that are paid via Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), Health and Savings Accounts (HSA), and Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA).

Through access to these networks, pharmacy POS systems can delineate which products being purchased are covered and provide a remaining total for the products that must be paid for out-of-pocket. Further, the ability to verify item eligibility when paying with FSA, HSA, and HRA requires certification through The Special Interest Group for IIAS Standards (SIGIS).

Compliant Credit Card Storage

Every business that accepts credit card payments is required to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This allows POS systems to securely store a customer's sensitive payment data and retrieve it when needed.

A PCI compliant POS system can use that stored data to manage accounts receivable data and create statements for each customer, streamlining monthly billing. And all of this can be completed while avoiding data breaches and fines associated with non-compliance.

Staying Current with POS Functionality

Demands in the pharmacy industry are constantly evolving. With the escalation of multiple pandemics in recent years—including ones that are viral and opioid-related—every system used by pharmacists requires that they follow strict compliance guidelines to better protect their patients (and their practice).

To stay at the forefront of these demands, technology can be utilized to provide solutions to the pharmacy industry’s most pressing needs. Managing pharmacy workflows in the most efficient manner possible, maintaining the highest degrees of data security, complying with local and federal laws, and ensuring optimal patient care can all be accomplished by when POS systems include all the right functionalities.

Disclaimer:

Chetu, Inc. does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of specific names for software, companies or individuals does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. All case studies and blogs are written with the full cooperation, knowledge and participation of the individuals mentioned. This blog should not be construed as legal advice.

Chetu was incorporated in 2000 and is headquartered in Florida. We deliver World-Class Software Development Solutions serving entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 clients. Our services include process and systems design, package implementation, custom development, business intelligence and reporting, systems integration, as well as testing, maintenance and support. Chetu's expertise spans across the entire IT spectrum.

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