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Why you need to integrate tech in your retail pharmacy

Healthcare access and delivery faces significant global and local challenges. Funding restraints in health care practices means that there is now even more need to ensure technology is available to better integrate services, to allow swifter delivery clinical care and pharmacy for patients in community. Technology has great potential to improve medicines safety; the use of existing Pharmacy Management Records (PMR) technology in routine use does allow better care and prompt management of patients in community. However the evidence-base for this technology has been insubstantial. Examples of technologies advocated for use in relation to medication management include electronic prescribing systems, automated dispensing technology, patient bar-coded verification, and electronic transmission of prescriptions. Where further integration of pharmacy services through technology are now required to enhance safety and the delivery of care to patients. In addition, there is a need for technology to enhance multi-disciplinary working, efficiency, and quality. Invatech seeked to investigate real issues in Pharmacy by conducting a mixed-method investigation

Community pharmacy services are continuously facing issues in the delivery of more efficient practice. It was suggested that smarter technology could be used to empower the pharmacist and allow them to provide better patient care. There is a push for using swifter technology to bridge knowledge gaps in healthcare. The major piece of technology used to support pharmacists in delivering pharmaceutical care is the Patient Medication Record (PMR) system, which is now widely used. Therefore, this study aimed to explore the perceptions of pharmacists and the community pharmacy team on current PMR systems and identify key improvements that need to be implemented to support the community pharmacist in providing better quality care

Despite the potential benefits of novel technology in community pharmacy, it cannot be introduced overnight. Community pharmacy and their teams will need support to maximize their potential, and appropriate training must be provided to all staff. Learning itself is a highly individual process, so no one formula will be suited to every individual, and individual preferences will influence uptake. It is also important to accommodate the needs of all staff in practice, as demographic features such as age, gender and voluntariness to use technology, this will differ.

With the anticipation of a more clinical role for community pharmacists approaching, technological support is becoming increasingly paramount. It is evident that community pharmacists’ clinical knowledge is being utilised by numerous patient centred services and the role is expanding within the primary care sector. However, as community pharmacies are paid by the number of items dispensed and recent changes resulting in a decrease in funding by 7.5% since 2016, the strain on pharmacists to undertake these new clinical roles is overwhelming. Although the pharmacy profession is revolutionising, the community pharmacy environment is not, as it still concentrates on the dispense and supply process.

Ongoing Concerns
There are many areas of health to any one individual patient and this care ranges between primary and secondary care. Pharmacists have a unique role to play to improve health outcomes (or Patient Reported Outcome Measures – PROMS) and care is optimized more effectively through use of PMR. More research and development is required to tailor technology to better pharmacy practice in Nigeria. It is also critical that PMR technology is assessed on the impact of medication safety to create an evidence base for their use, rather than presuming that quality and error will accumulate.

PMR systems are not integrated with General Practice (GP) or other healthcare professionals’ records, which seems to be a major limitation as literature shows that primary

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The 3 Main Benefits of Technology in Healthcare includes:

1. Improved Care Coordination.

2. Improved Population Health Management.

3. Improved Patient Education.


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