Pharmacies have existed since the 1700s when a prescription was not necessary. The pharmacist could prescribe medicine and give it to patients until around the 1950s. Today, they cannot provide medicine without a prescription from a doctor. However, they do provide many valuable services, such as suggesting over the counter medications, giving flu vaccines, or informing patients about certain drug interactions.
Pharmacies in the Past
Many pharmacies, as recently as before the 1980s, were local neighborhood, family owned drug stores. They mixed elixirs and provided medications, but many also had a lunch counter where people could go to get an ice cream cone, a soda, or food. The pharmacies also sold a variety of miscellaneous everyday items.
Today pharmacies use systems designed to simplify many services such as prescription refills, management of inventory, and interactions with patients. A pharmacy can scan patient information into their system, take electronic signatures, receive faxed prescriptions, and ship medicines. They can also send reminders to patients when their medicine is due to be refilled and tell them about upcoming vaccination dates.
Another beneficial feature of today’s pharmacies is receiving prescription refill requests over the phone. BestRx is one example of a company that offers a pharmacy ivr system. These systems can receive refill request through email and text as well. In addition, they provide information, such as pharmacy hours, and allow patients to speak to someone, if needed.
Pharmacies are using inventory management to keep track of more than medications. Since many sell other things, some are using point-of-sale (POS) systems to make it easier to keep track of what they sell, when it needs to be reordered, and what items sell more than others. These systems can aid in keeping track of sale prices, since they can change from week to week.
Pharmacies have come a long way from the ones that were in existence only fifty or sixty years ago. With all the advancements, pharmacists and their staff are better able to provide for patients’ needs.