ScriptPro streamlines will-call, documentation pain points
As pharmacies fill more prescriptions, while also needing to provide specialty clinical services, pharmacy technology company ScriptPro is positioning itself as a provider of solutions that will ease common pain points that come with increased script volume and the influx of paperwork from clinical services. ScriptPro’s CEO Mike Coughlin shared two forthcoming innovations from the company with Drug Store News, one of which addresses pharmacy documentation needs, and the other of which will help with pain points in the will-call process.
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“With central fill and IVR and medication synchronization, there’s a lot of pushing of patients to phone in early and get their prescription filled in advance, but with that comes more prescriptions waiting for pickup,” Coughlin said. “All these automated technologies are extremely important, and they solve problems that are fundamental to getting the work done, but they also push other things downstream that can cause problems.”
Two problems Coughlin identified that plague the will-call process are the potential for errors that are the result of staff picking up the wrong prescription from a bin and the possibility for diversion that will-call prescriptions represent.
To solve these issues and other pharmacy workflow difficulties, ScriptPro is developing its Storage and Retrieval System, which Coughlin said will begin alpha and beta testing in the fall, with a launch expected at the beginning of 2017.
“Our approach is to design an automated will-call system that allows the bags to be stored routinely as they’re filled, and then they can be dispensed to the service line staff that are serving the patients, or to a kiosk for a patient who wants to pick them up without waiting in line ... or even at a drive-up window,” Coughlin said. “Instead of having an approach where you have to decide where to put the bags to be picked up, our system will robotically hold those bags and make them available wherever they’re needed.”
The SRS reduces the footprint of a typical will-call area and, because of the robotic management of filled prescriptions, it reduces the possibility for errors. Coughlin said it also can be used to keep track of high-cost medications outside the will-call process. The SRS can help identify prescriptions that haven’t been picked up in order to streamline the return-to-stock process, or even allow the pharmacist to use those medications to fill more immediate prescription needs.
The SRS will be able to integrate with third-party software platforms and solutions, as well as with ScriptPro’s platforms, which Coughlin said can play a big role in combating diversion.
“It’s important to integrate these systems because anytime there’s a gap between two systems, there’s an opportunity for people to game these situations, confuse the interfaces and set up diversion schemes,” Coughlin said.
In addition to the SRS, ScriptPro is developing the Advanced Pharmacy Clinical Services tool, or APCS. This Web-based solution is currently in alpha testing at a major health system pharmacy, and it’s aimed at helping pharmacies manage documentation in various forms, pulling together patient health records from multiple sources.
Coughlin said APCS is designed to do high-level documenting for specialty pharmacy. Treatment plans are complex and must be organized and visible to be successful. He noted, “Our system will enable specialty pharmacies to build programs that combine pharmacy patient, dispensing data and clinical program documentation.” Other uses for APCS include medication therapy management and pharmacist prescribing.
“The basic tool can be used in a number of different ways that can be totally structured by the pharmacy to meet their needs,” Coughlin said. “These are things that, frankly, they’re either going to have to do on paper or ... use an electronic tool — and the tighter the electronic tool is integrated with their pharmacy management system, the better results they’re going to have and the more efficient they’ll be.”
HQ: Mission, Kan.
President and CEO: Mike Coughlin
Specialty: Software platforms, automation, telepharmacy