Pharmacy Management Software Development
Companies show interest in this area and want their own mobile applications but often find it difficult to answer what tasks to set for them.In the pharmaceutical business, mobile applications are primarily considered as a tool for automating the sales process, remote control of employees, more efficient work with medical representatives, and product presentation. Below we have tried to collect tasks that can be solved using mobile applications.
What Is A Pharmacy Management Software?
As the name suggests, a pharmacy management system is a platform that digitizes workflows and functionalities in pharmacies. People who visit pharmacies often rely on pharmacists to help them understand medication parameters and even interpret doctors’ recommendations.
Additionally, pharmacists must dispense medication, complete insurance formalities, and manage sales and day-to-day administrative activities. This is where a pharmacy software system comes in handy.
Before proceeding to the study of proposals from companies specializing in information technology, the head of a pharmacy or pharmacy chain needs to answer 3 questions:
- What is the budget for enterprise automation?
- What functionality of the program do you need in the first place?
- What business processes will you need to automate in the future?
The further success in choosing the program that would best meet your requirements will largely depend on how clear your answers are, because, as you know, “to choose which road to go, you first need to know where you want to go".
When choosing software, there are two options: to purchase a ready-made program or to order an individual development. Both the first and the second path have their advantages and disadvantages.
By purchasing a ready-made program, you immediately receive a working product. At the same time, it is quite possible that such a program, in terms of its functionality, will not fully meet the requirements of your enterprise. By ordering individual software, you get a chance to purchase a product that will suit you completely.
However, you should be prepared to develop such a program, and its debugging will take at least 6-12 months. In addition, it is necessary to consider regular improvements, which are additional costs and constant dependence on the contractor. As a result, ready-made programs are cheaper than custom-made ones. If a decision is made to purchase a ready-made accounting system, then the next step will be an analysis of the software market. Needless to say, as a rule, a company offering its product will focus on its advantages and not talk too much about its disadvantages. Since we do not yet have an institute of independent software experts, we will have to make a choice on our own, in which your colleagues who have some experience with this software can provide invaluable assistance.
How Pharmacy Management Software Helps Optimize Pharma Business
At Ardas, we design pharmacy management systems with your needs in mind and not our technical ability. Our PMS has modules to automate drug dispensing workflows, create patients’ master index, manage lists of approved medications & supplies, handle inventory, and process orders & claims. Our PMS fully complies with all the regulatory needs with all reports demanded by regulators to help you manage compliance. Our analytics engine can give you insights into the trends of sales, patients’ behavior, and access to leading formulary databases like Lexicomp, RxNorm, First DataBank, Medi-Span, and the National Drug Code.
Who Should Implement the Pharmacy Management System?
- The PMS designed by Ardas is suitable for both individual pharmacy stores and for a chain of pharmacy stores. Your chain could be a local chain within municipality limits, or it can be a multi-city, or even a multi-state chain, with different rules applicable to each store.
- The workflow at each store, whether individual or part of a chain, is quite similar as they are governed by the same set of regulations. The difference comes in analyzing the data at the individual or group level. Our PMS has extensive reporting and analytic capabilities for each business.
- Moreover, the PMS would allow you to add stores to your chain easily, merge stores if you acquired one, or start a chain of stores from an individual store. The store creation process is straightforward and economical compared to buying a new software license for each new store.
- In addition to retail stores, large businesses dealing in drugs in large quantities, such as B2B businesses involved in pharmaceutical distribution, warehousing, and manufacturing, can also immensely benefit from our Pharmacy Management System.
When is the Right Time to Deploy a Pharmacy Management System?
The right time to start something new and use something efficiently is always NOW. If you are already fed up with the inefficient, error-prone, and leaky system; if your customers get irritated because of the long queues and frequent complaints of medicine shortages; if your records, data, billing, and inventory management have gone out the window, then now is the right time for you.
As a pharmacist, you are very aware of the fact that timely medication and treatment can be a game-changer. Similarly, the all-in-one medicine for your all business ailments is a feature-rich PMS that caters to your needs and is user-friendly.An efficient pharmacy management software can solve challenges such as
- Pricing, billing, and payments.
- Medicine classification and choice.
- Stock ordering system.
- Pharmacy labeling and dispensing.
- POS integration.
- Insurance claim, credit, and cash balancing.
- Online pharmacy store management.
- Prescriptions, patient records, and document management.
Benefits of Implementing Pharmacy Management Software
A properly customized Pharmacy Management System that serves all needs of a pharmacy store can help achieve multiple goals simultaneously. You can deliver the highest level of personalized care, maximize profits, save costs, and comply with all regulations.
Among the many benefits of a Pharmacy Management System, some of them are as follows.
Every aspect of a pharmaceutical business – manufacture, distribution, and sales – are governed by strict guidelines such as HIPPA, FDA, DEA, etc. the PMS from Ardas is easily customizable to meet the strict legal requirements from all major regulators and government agencies controlling the trade of drugs and medicines.Our PMS also meets the standards set by many accreditation standards and regulators, including:
- NCPDP – National Council for Prescription Drug Program
- USP – United States Pharmacopeia
- HHS – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- EMA – European Medicines Agency, European Union
- MHRA – Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, UK
- HITECH -MU – HITECH’s Meaningful Use specifications
- HIPPA – Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
- HL7 -Health Level 7 International
- FDA21 – The Food and Drug Administration’s Title 21 CFR Part 11 rules.
These regulatory bodies require a pharmacy to send multiple reports in different formats and need direct access to your records. The PMS design can produce the desired reports and records and let a limited set of authorized users access the system for external audits.
In addition to selling prescription medicines, a pharmacy store can sell many other related supplies and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. A customer will come to visit your store if they can get all their requirements in one place.
A loyalty system can offer customers of your non-prescription articles an extra advantage in coming to your store, giving a boost to your sales. You can open the loyalty program for all customers and let all customers win redeemable loyalty points on all their purchases.
Adapt New Business Model
You may be a walk-in pharmacy store, or you may be a fulfillment center for an online pharmacy. You may be dealing with end customers directly or you may be dealing with other stores as a B2B business. Whatever your business model, you can get to start an added line of related business if you have our PMS for pharmacy management. Our strong foothold in the end-to-end value chain of pharmacy storage, distribution, and sales can benefit you enter any of the segments you are not present in now.
- Economical and affordable solution.
- Increasing productivity of staff.
- Lesser errors mean lesser time spent on finding & fixing them.
- Flexible system customization to suit your requirements.
- A large number of modules for all processes & workflows.
- Separate user logins with differentiated rights and duties.
- Integrated barcode scanner for faster prescription reading and billing.
- Integrated POS module for faster checkout.
- Integrated delivery tracking, shipping, and order processing modules.
- Expiry date and minimum stock alerts.
- Detailed and summarized analysis report based on multiple parameters.
- Centralized & secure data storage system for easy retrieval by authorized users.
- User-friendly with intuitive UI design.
Must-Have Features of Custom Pharmacy Management Software
There are numerous advantages of using the Pharmacy Management System. It also has a number of features that are required for high-efficiency operations. The following are the most important elements to add to your pharmacy management system software:
The pharmacy management system with inventory management sanctions assists in making data-driven decisions for updating drug varieties, selecting the most popular ones, handling stock supplies, placing timely orders, refilling prescriptions, recording prescription filling, and monitoring unauthorized and obsolete medicines.
E-prescriptions significantly reduce the chance of errors and provide patients with a user-friendly alternative. E-prescriptions assist pharmacies in managing refills by allowing doctors to transmit fresh refills straight into the pharmacy management system. As a result, drugs are disbursed more quickly.
Document and data management
The pharmacy management system with inventory management sanctions assist in making data-driven decisions for updating drug varieties, selecting the most popular ones, handling stock supplies, placing timely orders, refilling prescriptions, recording prescription filling, and monitoring unauthorized and obsolete medicines.
Dispensation Workflow Management
This functionality allows pharmacists to stay informed and coordinated. The stock reaches its lowest point at one point. The product can be reordered using the system. It has an impact on profit margins and differs depending on the patient demographic. For inventories, the system keeps automatic demand and supply records. It is a deliberate strategy to achieve better results. The system determines the resource’s long-term viability.
Analytics & Dashboards
The user management module is another important aspect of the pharmacy management system. It enables pharmacists to set access restrictions for distinct user groups. The goal of adding this module is to allow users to reserve features for easier management. Authentication can indeed be applied in a variety of situations. The administrator user, for example, can handle the listing of medicines, stock monitoring, and other activities.
This feature greatly simplifies the work in the case of invoicing for bulk purchases or when it comes time to change the prices of goods.
Despite custom development, modern applications include the use of third-party services, for example, to implement payment for purchases. And the quality of work in your system depends on how such services are configured. We advise you to trust only reliable and trusted partners.
Custom Pharmacy Management System vs. Ready-Made Solutions
Ardas is an excellent choice for pharmacy management software development since we have both the skill and years of professional experience needed to achieve exactly what our clients and their end-users want. We are dedicated to developing top-of-the-line, high-quality, yet cost-effective pharmacy management systems.
On the other hand, you can use ready-made solutions, but you must understand that in this case, the functionality will not be as flexible, and in the end, you will have to give up some of your requirements. In addition, the use of ready-made systems of high quality is quite expensive. In this case, it is better to consider the option of a custom system that will belong entirely to you.
When to Choose Generic/Ready-made Pharmacy Software
- You are a small business (like an independent pharmacy) with pretty typical business processes and no need for a large database.
- You don’t have sufficient resources to invest in the development of a custom pharmacy system (the cost of custom software development is pretty high.)
- You are okay with trying multiple solutions from different vendors before you finally discover the best package for your needs.
When to Opt for Custom Pharmacy Management Software
- Your business is at least mid-sized, and you consider a custom software investment to be a worthwhile choice.
- You have specific business processes that cannot be facilitated with the help of existing readymade software.
- You want control over every element of your software, including security factors, to make sure none of your business data can ever be hijacked.
- You want to scale up your business, and you don’t want to be held back by limitations.
How to Develop a Pharmacy Management Software
Follow the below-mentioned points, in order to build the best pharmacy management software:
Gather your Requirements
This step focuses on developing, gathering, and assessing all of the software product’s requirements. This usually entails exploring:
- Who will be your end-users?
- What features do you want in your online pharmacy management system software?
- What problem do you want to solve?
- What technologies do you want to use?
The feasibility of putting the pieces combined into the final product is reviewed and carefully studied once you have the solutions to these questions.
Once the requirement analysis is finished, i.e., a blueprint of the entire system is created. Design encompasses not only the appearance of the software but also its general functionality and user experience. At this point, teams may use fast prototyping to test alternative concepts and discover the best match.
When the design is complete, you should study it and gain feedback and ideas from other individuals.
A minimum viable product (MVP) is a tried-and-true technique for launching a new product. It is widely used not only by start-ups but also by well-established businesses. MVP is regarded as the most important and vital step in the development process. With their project, companies frequently have anticipated targets and conditional expectations. MVP enables a full-scale test of the product in its simplest form in real-world market circumstances. It will allow you to test, experiment, and evaluate how well your product engages with your target audience. It also aids in the measurement of user interaction, with a focus on ultimate goals and desires. The best and safest approach to developing and launching a new product is to start with an MVP. By using MVP, businesses can reduce the difficulties and dangers of investing in the wrong concept or going over budget.
This stage of the pharmacy management software development process begins only after everyone has agreed on the specifications, design, and features. The healthcare developers begin programming after the development team has the specifications and design papers in hand. The developers who work on putting the idea to reality carry out this phase. This is the phase in the software development life cycle where the real solution is created, and it is by far the longest.
The pharmacy management system development process should be quite simple if you correctly follow all of the previous procedures!
Once the development is complete, it must be tested against the specifications to confirm that the software product answers the end-user’s problem
You can expect a variety of functional testing during this phase, including integration testing, test automation, system testing, acceptance testing, design implementation testing, and more.
This procedure is required because it is critical to thoroughly test the product against all accessible parameters. The testing step reveals all of the product’s potential problems, which are then fixed if necessary.
Technology Stack for Pharmacy Management Software
We always use the best tech stack for SaaS, so the technology stack for PMS that we use is highly efficient and used by the best developers to build secure apps and web applications.
- Front End: Angular, HTML, CSS, React, Kotlin/Java, Swift
- Back End: Node.js, Laravel, Python
- Payment Gateway: All leading including PayPal API, Stripe API, Credit cards
- Location Tracking: MapKit Framework, Google Maps, Radar.io
- Notifications: Push notifications, SMS, In-app messaging, email alerts
- Database: PostgreSQL, MongoDB, MySQL, Redis
- Analytics: Google Analytics, Apache Spark, rapid miner
- Mobile App: Swift for iOS app, Kotlin/Java for Android
- Cloud Host: AWS, Google Cloud, Azure
- Social Login: Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
Cost To Build
Development of a custom pharmacy management system can be a pretty expensive undertaking, with prices ranging from $30-40k to unlimited heights (starting at three months of project duration). It all depends on the complexity of the software design and implementation.
We wrote the whole article on the cost of SaaS product where you can learn more. However, the price tag is critically affected by the following factors:
- Number and skill set of IT specialists involved: different types of developers, testers, UI/UX designers, project manager(s), and others
- The complexity of the project’s technology stack (platforms, languages, and framework)
- Location of team members: U.S.-based or remote, outsourced or full-time/in-house.
The cost to develop a scalable solution depends on the following factors:
- Integration of ERP and CRM modules
- Third-party API integrations
- Robotics/hardware integrations
- Mobile app development
- Desktop and/or web application development
- Data migration charges
- Maintenance and support.
The cost of the software can be calculated with a proxy by the cost of the technical man-hours devoted to developing the solution.
A team made up of a Project manager, mobile app developers, database & cloud engineers, UI/UX engineers, quality assurance & testing engineers, and data migration engineers will be devoted to the project. We expect they will need between 625 to 700 man-hours.
Pharmaceutical Document Management SaaS [Case Study]
Our team has been working on the creation of systems for pharmaceutical companies for more than 10 years. One of these collaborations began in 2014 and continues to this day.
Our client wanted to create the one and only pharmaceutical document management system that handles everything that happens with pharmaceutical documents within their endless life cycle. Pharmaceutical production companies use a combination of many CRM, ERP, and document applications poorly integrated and not optimized for pharmaceutical specifics. Using them is difficult, they are very slow and non-intuitive. Alternatives are either unusable or cost a lot.
The biggest part of employees in the pharmaceutical industry who manage document changes is 50+ years old. They still use and like standalone applications of the previous age and don't recognize modern web UX standards. They use an older version of MS Windows and don't update them. We created a web application that utilizes MS Windows UI style and all their favorite UX components such as trees, tables, etc. They accepted UI and workflow we created.
The goal was to develop a system that will horizontally pierce the whole manufacturing process and handles every stage, task, and state of any document minimizing human labor and hassles. We studied the full document flow and the job of each and every employee and completely redesigned this process. We made it totally dedicated and optimized for pharmaceutical needs.
The new solution was used for one of our early adopters in the UK and we helped this company to migrate all their documents and data into the new platform in the meantime polishing it and implementing feedback from employees. Stabilizing MVP and shifting all employees to the new principles took 6 months. This system awaits more investments now to proceed with development and sales.
Among other features that we have mentioned above, we implemented:
Document Storage and Management
We have developed a database and storage for files and documents related to pharmaceutical products. During the development and life of a pharmaceutical product, the documentation is regularly updated and new ones appear, and all records are unique for each product. Consequently, this requires a lot of storage space.
From our side, we did everything from planning to implementation. The application provides an interface that allows you to access any of the files and watch all changes in the process of product development.
Version Control and Tracking
Each pharmaceutical product document has a large number of versions. This is due to the fact that everything in this document must undergo a certain verification by various medical structures. Because of this, a large number of versions arise.
We have developed a version structure specifically for pharmaceutical documentation since it is very different from other industries. Documentation change control is carried out using an interface where you can track the entire history.
We have solved the problem of updating the process of confirmation of pharmaceutical products since the standard CRM systems are not adapted to this unique process.
We have set up all the accounting for this process, including discussions, comments between the agents of this process, status updates, and the appointment of those responsible for the implementation of this process.
You can also check our case study about developing drug store software.
Any software system is as good as it is used and with the right inputs from your side, we are certain that the expert team of Ardas can meet and exceed all your requirements. We strive to deliver the right fit to match your needs for today while keeping enough scope in the system to handle the increased pressures of tomorrow.
With the 24×7 support, that the Ardas team can offer nothing can go wrong, and even if it does, then we can fix it in no time. Then what are you waiting for, fill out the form below and fill in your query so that our custom medical software expert can connect with you and gather your requirements?
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