Perpetual Inventory Systems – A Pharmacy Perspective

By definition perpetual inventory systems allow a user the ability to see a record of every sale, purchase, remaining inventory and that inventory’s cost in real time on a daily basis. This process has been greatly affected by the improvements in computer software and hardware and is rapidly ingraining itself in a variety of industries. The healthcare industry typically lagging behind the business sector is now seeing more and more efficient use of this technology. With a focus on the hospital pharmacy setting inventory management has made great strides in the last few years.

Typically a full-time purchaser would be designated to order medications on an as needed basis, which would require physical monitoring of inventory on a daily basis. This process usually involved creating an arbitrary par level and ordering medication replacements once an item fell below that level. While this concept was not only in efficient from a labor force perspective it was also an issue of patient safety. Infrequently used medications could tend to be overlooked in the daily monitoring process and in time of need may not have been available for dispensing. Issues also arose from a dispensing standpoint where some medications would be incorrectly stocked and subsequently re-stocked incorrectly in automated dispensing machines at nursing stations. However, with the implementation of Talyst inventory management systems these issues have all but been eliminated.

The concept behind the Talyst machine is the ability to store, monitor, dispense, and control all inventory from a singular location. Inventory can now be tracked in a perpetual way enabling instantaneous reports displaying inventory par levels, costs, and suggested purchases direct from the wholesalers. In addition manufacturer backorders are now known instantly along with their estimated release date enabling pharmacy management the ability to ration remaining inventory and better plan for use of alternatives. As added bonus of functionality the Talyst system incorporates bar code scanning capabilities to further enhance it’s control on inventory.

New items are thus scanned into their specific container and also scanned out during the dispensing process. This system has proved to be an invaluable tool in the management of pharmacy inventory by not only providing a better and more efficient use of the labor force but also has increased patient safety with it’s medication scanning functions and real-time inventory management ability.

From an accounting perspective the utilization of perpetual inventory management systems has also enabled management to better grasp the associated costs. Reports can be generated instantly depicting a snapshot of a period over a few months or a day depending on what information is needed. This information is imperative to the operational budget and how the pharmacy is performing within it.

In the end it seems that perpetual inventory management systems have substantially benefited pharmacies with a regard to improved control and immediately available information.

Does a Pharmacist Career Offer Flexibility?

Pharmacists play an important role in the healthcare field. They are trained in the dispensing of medications which requires an understanding of how drugs work such as drug interactions, the effects of the drugs on the body, dosages and strengths, and the side affects. As the role of pharmacists evolved in the healthcare industry, this medical career has become much more flexible and lucrative.

Pharmacists are now taking on more roles and responsibilities in the field of healthcare. They are involved in such areas as taking people’s blood pressure, performing tests for such conditions as diabetes, checking cholesterol levels, educating people on different medications (prescribed and non prescribed,) smoking cessation programs, diet and nutrition, weight loss programs, and other health and wellness programs.

There are many different places where a pharmacist can work. They can be found working in a variety of areas in hospitals. They assist physicians and other healthcare professionals with drug formulation and dispensing techniques. They will also be educating patients and families about medications and how they work. Pharmacists can also be found working for pharmaceutical companies. Their function is to research drugs to determine their effectiveness as well ensuring that drugs are safe for people.

Pharmacists can also work as sales representatives for a pharmaceutical company. You can also find pharmacists working in government institutions. They are normally employed in the area of drug safety and education. They ensure that drugs submitted for approval for humans are safe. Compounding pharmacy is another area where pharmacists are employed. These pharmacies specialize in preparing drug for the unique needs of a particular patient. These drugs are not normally manufactured on a mass basis.

Pharmacists can also teach in Universities and Pharmacy Schools. There are also pharmacists that freelance. For instance, these pharmacists will travel to various locations and medical facilities to fill in for pharmacists who are on vacation or have to take a leave of absence for a personal or professional reason. It is a good choice for people who like to be self employed and love to travel.

There are also pharmacy positions in nursing homes, assisted living centers, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers. A pharmacist can even train to work in the veterinary pharmaceutical field.

Pharmacy is a medical area where one can earn a very lucrative income. As well, one can take advantage of flexible work schedules, working with the community, and working in a variety of geographic locations and medical areas. When compared to other medical careers, pharmacy has a less stressful work environment.

A career in pharmacy is more than just filling and dispensing medical prescriptions. Pharmacists play a major role in all areas of the medical field. There are now many career options available for those seeking a career in pharmacy. Those who become pharmacists enjoy the flexibility that comes with choosing what medical area that they will gain employment. Pharmacy is a rewarding and lucrative healthcare career that is in great demand. If you enjoy working with people and enjoy science and medicine, working in Pharmacy may be the career for you.

The Purpose of Pharmacy Management Systems

Pharmacies are complex businesses. Even a minor pharmacy in a small town has a substantial amount of responsibility and moving parts. In fact, big pharmacies and mom-and-pop pharmacies a like wouldn’t be possible today without the advent of pharmacy management systems.

What is a Pharmacy Management System?

The pharmacy management systems are a type of computer system, often called a pharmacy computer system. These systems are not a single piece of software but rather a unified collection of components that can be added to and removed from the system on a plug-and-play basis. An essential component of any such framework is the point-of-sale (POS) system, which is similar to the POS found in a grocery or hardware store.

Legal and Ethical Responsibilities:

A pharmacy, however, has important responsibilities that a hardware store or grocery generally does not. A pharmacy, for instance, is charged with ensuring that customers get their prescriptions precisely how they are prescribed by their doctor. Mistakes can result in loss of life. For this reasons, pharmacies seek to limit the opportunity for human error. One of the primary ways they do so is by integrating a prescription dispensing system into pharmacy management systems. A prescription dispensing system is robotic and computerized, and it ensures that the prescription is filled precisely how the doctor ordered it.

Billing of Claims:

The vast majority of money that enters a pharmacy’s coffers comes from insurance companies or Medicare and Medicaid rather than directly from the customer. In this way, a pharmacy is a lot like a health organization, and pharmacy computer systems must integrate that aspect as well. After a prescription is filled, modern systems automatically process and track the insurance claim.

Compliance with Laws and Regulations:

A pharmacy must also comply with all local, state and federal regulations. The pharmacy cannot rely on the medical professionals for compliance because there can be extenuating circumstances in play, such as two separate doctors unknowingly providing a prescription to the same client. A modern pharmacy system will automatically check any request before it is processed, and if that request is in violation of a law or regulation, it will deny it.

Health Care Network:

The modern pharmacy management systems must also be connected to the health care network that provides services to its area and even throughout the country. Imagine a scenario where a pharmacy needs further instruction when filling a prescription for an out-of-state customer. Modern systems ease that burden by automatically providing the pharmacy with all the contact information and alternative contacts that it needs.

Why Use an Online Pharmacy?

Why buy from an online pharmacy when there are many local places to purchase medication? Are online pharmacies unethical? This article will attempt to discuss these questions and hopefully provide some conclusive answers. Since the beginning of online pharmacies there has been ongoing discussion and some action as to banning the use of online pharmacies altogether in the United States from both people using them and also for the online pharmacies, by implementing harsh fines and punishments.

Unfortunately for the online pharmacy industry there are some online pharmacies that are complete frauds which sells who knows what as medications to make steep profits for themselves. For the most part though there are many legitimate online pharmacies that sell the highest quality FDA approved medications, a careful online search done on the pharmacy you are considering buying from is an excellent idea so you don’t get ripped off. There is a particular usefulness of an online pharmacy that should be considered and examined before a wholesale banning of online pharmacies, either governmentally or personally. Before making an uneducated decision a person should critically examine both sides of the arguments of both the pros and cons of an online pharmacy.

Some pros of an online pharmacy are the following:

– A person suffering from embarrassing ailments such as erectile dysfunction for example, can receive proper drug treatments without the embarrassment of a local doctor and pharmacy visit

– In our extremely busy lifestyles the ease of buying from an online pharmacy is a huge benefit in saving time, effort and money, the relative speed and ease of ordering needed medications online are second to none

– Along with the above point purchasing medication online is able to be accomplished at anytime during the day or night, 365 days a year, you can buy your medications when you have time to do so

– If carefully planned, buying medications online are the most cost effective ways to purchase medications

– A shut in or disabled person requiring medications is able to order their needed drugs online when it is far too much effort or far too costly to make a personal visit to a doctor for a prescription

Some cons of an online pharmacy are the following:

– Government authorities like the FDA have a very difficult time regulating and checking up on the amounts of certain restricted medications being sold to individuals

– Government authorities like the FDA have a very difficult time discovering where an online pharmacy is receiving its source of medications from and whether or not these sources are pure

– If the proper research is not done an online pharmacy could be selling impure medications or even sawdust packaged as a certain approved medication and thus ripping off its customers

– An online pharmacy if left unchecked and unrestricted could be shipping out medications that are possibly restricted or dangerous without a proper prescription

A person deciding to purchase medication from an online pharmacy can take several precautions to help to insure a safe, honest and positive experience using an online pharmacy and minimize the risks of ordering from an online pharmacy.

Some precautions to take are the following:

– Search online forums and consumer review sites discussing the particular online pharmacies that you are considering making a purchase from

– One idea in safety is obtaining a prescription from your doctor before ordering from an online pharmacy, and then you have some assurance that you are receiving the correct medication for your ailment

– Always examine carefully the privacy policy and the legal terms and conditions of the online store that is selling the medication before ordering

– Be positive that online pharmacy’s credit card transactions are SSL secured (the lock on the bottom of the screen is there when ordering) before ordering

– If the site you are visiting seems to have lots of missing web pages, errors, etc. this could be a sign that this site is not the most reputable for ordering medications from

– If you have a funny unsafe feeling when going through the ordering process from a particular website perhaps decide on another and/or perform some of the above tests on the site

Now it is up to you, the consumer as to whether or not you will purchase your medications from an online pharmacy or purchase your medications from a local drug store. Considering all the pros and cons a person can easily make up their minds as to which route is the best to choose. Remember precautions always minimize the risks.

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