Our latest thoughts and inspirations on buying a pharmacy, starting a pharmacy, and ongoing pharmacy operations

You went to School to be a Pharmacist not a Bookkeeper

You went to School to be a Pharmacist not a Bookkeeper
Go back to when you were 18.  You are in college trying to figure out what you were going to do as a career.  You want to help people and enjoy medicine but something about medical school isn't a fit.  Then you discover pharmacy, it checks all the boxes and allows you to still be a healthcare professional.  This is why you became a pharmacist to help people through providing clinical outcomes.  

But you end up at the chain and you can't practice the way you want.  So you buy a pharmacy and suddenly have to become an accountant.  In the beginning you do the bookkeeping because you want to know the ins and outs. 

Was this right and are you still doing the books?  If you are, do you like it, remember you became a pharmacy owner to be a pharmacist not to be an accountant.  Go back to being a pharmacist and let the accountants do the accounting. 

Doing so will make your business grow, be more profitable, create more time for you and make being a pharmacy owner fun again.  Most importantly you can do what you are best at being a pharmacist that helps people.
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The Use of Technology in the Independent Pharmacy World

Pharmacies are relying more and more on technology every day. Technology helps the pharmacy staff create a more efficient workflow by alleviating redundant tasks and solving complex problems. In this article-series we will discuss the different types of pharmacy technology and why technology should not be overlooked.

The power of an IVR system

I often get asked the question “Is an IVR worth it?” and my answer is always “Yes absolutely!” An IVR helps an independent pharmacy in more ways than one. Most pharmacies rely on their IVR to reduce the staff workload every day.

What is an IVR?

IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response. It is technology that allows a computer to interact with humans through the use of voice and “Touch-Tone” inputs via a phone or keypad. A pharmacy IVR usually offers 3 different options or tiers of service.  Each tier is a bit different and I will go over each of them.

Inbound IVR – Inbound IVR refers to the customer or doctor calling the pharmacy and refilling an RX without having to talk to any pharmacy staff member. The option to leave a voicemail, speak to a pharmacy staff member, refill rx, directions to the pharmacy, and pharmacy hours are all other options of inbound IVR. The prescription refills are usually automatically sent to your refill que in your pharmacy system.

Outbound IVR – Outbound IVR refers to the automated calling features of the IVR system from the pharmacy system. For example: Automatically calling or texting a patient to pick up their prescription. Pharmacies also use outbound communication through the IVR as a marketing tool to reach their patients. Example: “Flu shots are now in for $25, stop in today.”

Cloud IVR– Cloud IVR refers to the cloud or online services of the IVR system.  This can include mobile apps designed specifically for your pharmacy and allows your patients to refill their RX directly from their mobile device. Another feature of this service is the ability to refill prescriptions directly from your pharmacy’s website.

Why should your pharmacy use an IVR?

A pharmacy owner's reason to use an IVR service can be explained in one sentence. Patients and doctors expect pharmacies to have an IVR when they call your pharmacy. If that’s not enough, how about the reduction of calls to your pharmacy staff for refills?

As discussed above, an IVR brings a lot to the table. We recommend looking into an IVR if your pharmacy doesn’t have one already. If your pharmacy does have an IVR make sure you are utilizing all that it offers.

Choosing an IVR company

Not all IVR companies are the same. Some are a little better than others. While some offer much better support and stability it really comes down to which system is compatible with your pharmacy software. Below is a list of some of the common pharmacy systems and the IVR companies they work with.

McKesson Pharmaserv / EnterpriseRX IVR

PioneerRX IVR

ComputerRX IVR



Still interested in learning more about an IVR for your pharmacy? Check out the IVR page at ConfigRX - IVR to learn more about IVRs.

Written by - Josh Caskey

Pharmacy Technology Consultant

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The Proper Way to Track Sales on your P&L for a Pharmacy

The Proper Way to Track Sales on your P&L for a Pharmacy
Most likely your financial statements will have one line for revenue. And if not one you have maybe 2, one for Rx and one for OTC.

Is this helpful to you? Does it really demonstrate how the pharmacy brought in revenue? Why is it that your expenses is broken down by every little item yet revenue is just a single line or two.

Now there is no standard accepted accounting practice for how to record revenue for a pharmacy business. But don't you want to know where the money came from. We reccomend recording revenue from each payer: caremark, psao, humana, cash, etc. Now you can readily see who pays you, if the amount is consistent, or has something changed giving you more insight into your business and customer.
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Doing a Budget Makes you More Money

Doing a Budget Makes you More Money
Now that we all have computers in our pockets its hard to remember a time when we needed a roadmap. Some of my fondest memories are sitting in the front seat with the map unfolded and helping my Dad navigate our family trips. Even now we rely on our GPS to tell us where we are going and to get us safely to our destination.

That is what a budget does for your business.

As the famous philosopher, the Chesire Cat once said, "If you don't know where you are going any road will take you there". Without a well thought out budget we can not know where our business is headed and we are destined to allow distractions and bumps in the road to keep us from our goals. We would not think of starting out on a long journey with no directions and likewise we should not conduct our business without a clear vision of expectations.

The staff at Independent Rx Consulting will be glad to work with you to create an effective budget and keep you on track.

By the way, my family only got lost a time or two :)
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Get all your Accounting and Pharmacy System Data Consolidated on your Phone

Get all your Accounting and Pharmacy System Data Consolidated on your Phone
Getting a proper Profit & Loss statement and Balance sheet every month on a timely basis from your accountant is very important. These statements however only provide you half the picture as to how your pharmacy business performed in any given month. You need to pull data from your pharmacy system to really understand the performance of your business.

Data like:
  • how many scripts you filled, revenue per prescription,
  • gross margin per prescription, top payers,
  • brand vs. generic,
  • tech hours,
  • tech payroll dollars per prescription,
  • top drugs and more
tell you why your business performed or did not.

Many owners do not pull this data because they simply do not have the time to pull all the reports and then consolidate the data. The good news is as a pharmacy owner you no longer have to do this because Independent Rx Consulting has an accounting dashboard that pulls data from your financials and pharmacy system for you, consolidates the data and displays the data in an easy to read dashboard on your phone or computer.
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