Long term care pharmacies, like Senior Care’s Lakeland pharmacy, are always looking for ways to streamline their order fulfillment process. Operating in a regulated industry where profit margins are tight and customer service expectations are growing, increasing profitability and customer service without increasing staff is close to impossible. Evelyn Beach, Director of Pharmacy at Senior Care’s Lakeland branch, is always looking for ways to make the impossible possible. One way of doing that was to use newer document imaging and routing technologies as a way to reduce order retrieval and lookup times. At that time, they were receiving orders by fax and transcribing those orders into QS/1’s PrimeCare pharmacy information system. Once the orders were completed, they needed half to a full time employee to sort and file the orders by date and long term care facility.
If somebody needed to research an order from a prior day, they had to shuffle through all the orders received on that date from that facility. Misplaced orders were problematic “…enough to be a thorn in the side.” Evelyn stated. If something was misfiled, they would end up searching through all the orders for that day. Telephone inquiries were also problematic and a complaint from facilities. If an inquiry came in for an order received that day, it would require searching all locations within the pharmacy that the order may located.
Customer service has also increased. When the facility calls asking for an order or changing an order, the Senior Care staff can respond so quickly that Evelyn quoted one of their clients saying that her staff “…has knocked their socks off…” with there ability to quickly handle phone inquiries.
By reducing the retrieval and filing times, they would reduce employee costs. Fast retrieval times would increase customer service by handling the inquiry while the interested party was on the telephone. Senior Care knew what they wanted, but finding the correct solution was also a challenge. They quickly realized that the number of competing Digital Document Management systems is large. Evelyn recalls that they chose DocuTrack because it was “…tailored to our specific needs”. Other factors playing into their decision was “…their [Integra] commitment to customer service and their [Integra] expertise in the field…” DocuTrack was designed and developed specifically for long term care and institutional pharmacies. Because it is implemented and supported by the company who created the product, there is no Value Added Resellers adding cost to the product and complicating support issues.
Senior Care’s data entry staff no longer has to make trips to the fax machine and is “…more focused and spend less time shuffling and sorting paper”. Instead of juggling paper, orders and other faxes are automatically sent to the data entry workstations indexed by the sending facility and time received. Once the orders are entered into QS/1, they press a hotkey and the prescription is associated to the document in DocuTrack. At the same time, the document number is entered into the QS/1 pharmacy system and stored with the prescription. This helps reduce the pharmacist’s time since they can press a hotkey and load the document for the current order being verified within QS/1. Customer service has also increased. When the facility calls asking for an order or changing an order, the Senior Care staff can respond so quickly that Evelyn quoted one of their clients saying that her staff “…has knocked their socks off…” with there ability to quickly handle phone inquiries. This is made possible because the original order documents are instantly retrievable from within DocuTrack or QS/1. Evelyn states that just the ability to determine “…who is cherry picking”, which is an industry term for picking the easy orders and ignoring difficult orders, has greatly enhanced her ability to manage her staff and made her DocuTrack experience worthwhile.Lakeland, FL - 2006
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