Managing medication supply is a challenge for all pharmacies. It’s also an essential part of every successful pharmacy operation, as keeping control of inventory levels has a major impact on bottom line costs and profit margins. In a highly competitive industry that has seen large increases in supply costs, it’s vital to manage inventory as effectively as possible. How can pharmacy operations better understand the importance of inventory management, and how can they best meet the challenge of keeping control of costs?
Elements of pharmacy inventory management
The goal of inventory management is to reduce costs and improve operational efficiency. To do this, pharmacies need complete visibility into their existing inventory levels in order to take some of the guesswork out of maintaining ideal supply levels. This involves being able to track inventory stores, orders being generated, inventory receiving – and all in real time. Ideally, the inventory management system will be customizable, as different pharmacies have different inventory needs. For example, the needs of government institutions will differ from the unique needs of ambulatory or retail pharmacies. Customizable inventory management systems can also be scalable and can grow with the operation as patient population and services change.
Multiple inventories management
There is also a need to manage more than one inventory in today’s pharmacy setting, as different patient assistance and pricing programs, like 340B, have necessitated the need to treat the same drugs differently depending on supply costs. Maintaining multiple inventory centers presents unique challenges, so it is important for an inventory management system to have the capabilities to integrate separate inventories into the pharmacy workflow. Ideally, this system will also support direct EDI interfaces, allowing the order and inventory system to link directly to suppliers and automatically download and access their updated catalogs.
Advanced tools for managing 340B programs also include robust reporting and data analytics that help ensure pharmacies remain fully compliant with rules and regulations that govern these programs. Features such as virtual tracking of separate inventories, orders, and reports, as well as 340B claims processing functionality helps to maintain levels of separate stock to comply with government regulations.
Regulations have made 340B prescription processing more important, and complicated, than it has ever been. So, the ability to make a 340B status determination as a prescription is being processed plays a vital role in reducing audit risk. This will also allow pharmacy staff to better serve patients and provide the pharmacy with a way to accurately manage the appropriate level of inventories.
We have seen how pharmacy inventory management has become even more important in recent years. The ability to integrate an inventory system into an overall pharmacy workflow can be a challenge and requires an integration into every stage of the process. It must have the ability to work with automated dispensing systems and maintain supply and demand data for multiple inventories. ScriptPro Inventory Management and 340B Management Package were designed to meet the challenge that pharmacies face when trying to gain control and insight into their inventories. Contact us today for more information.