As a large community pharmacy with 12 staff, the Llanidloes branch of Dudley Taylor has long played a vital role in supporting a dispersed, rural community. In a post-Covid-19 world, the pharmacy has become ever more important. Dylan Jones, Pharmacy Manager, Dudley Taylor, says, “There has been a surge in people seeing pharmacies as the first place to come for advice. Any improvement to Pharmacy Manager that can make the day to day processes easier and quicker is incredibly useful.”
Technology is playing a vital role in supporting Community Pharmacy during these challenging and changing times. Dudley Taylor pharmacies have been using Pharmacy Manager from Cegedim for over ten years and earlier this year upgraded to the latest version – version 11. “Cegedim gave us a talk on the product before we upgraded, and we also spent time discussing how the NHS Wales’ requirements for pharmacies differ to NHS England. It was good to see those discussions reflected in the way the product has evolved,” says Dylan Jones.
A key aspect of this has been the ability of Pharmacy Manager to read, recognise and automatically print script directions. Rather than typing individual directions for each script, as each 2D barcode is scanned the directions are mapped and appear immediately on the label.
“As a 7,000 item pharmacy we dispense around 300 scripts each day. Pharmacy Manager enables us to dispense and generate the label with just a click - saving around 30 seconds each time is a significant improvement in efficiency,” says Dylan Jones.
He also cites the new functionality within Pharmacy Manager that splits owings and instalments into two different tabs as extremely useful. “In the past, when prescribing to methadone and addiction patients we had to click through several tabs to open a new screen – now we just click straight to the correct screen, it is much quicker,” he says.
Pharmacy Manager’s modernised user interface has also improved day to day activity making it more intuitive and easier to navigate and with monthly product updates providing regular improvements. He says, “For example, in the last update the system now highlights the boxes being completed with a blue border, which makes it much easier to see exactly where you are, and the information being filled in.”
Another important benefit of the new version has been the introduction of the dashboard, providing immediate visibility of a number of key aspects of day to day pharmacy management. Critically for pharmacies in Wales, the dashboard provides an at-a-glance view of the current percentage of ETCs (Electronic Transmission of Claims) – enabling the pharmacy to track the progress towards transmission targets. Additional information includes the number of items owing as well as the number of unclaimed prescriptions.
The pharmacy also uses the fridge temperature recording facility on the dashboard to prompt daily checking and ensure this essential task is never overlooked. Dylan Jones adds, “We are also able to leave notes on the dashboard, which is very useful.”
Looking to the Future
In these times of change it’s important that the technology has to continue to adapt and Cegedim’s commitment to the continual development of Pharmacy Manager is vital. He predicts the impact from the pandemic will see a shift towards remote customer support and only seeing patients face to face when required.
“The monthly Pharmacy Manager updates from Cegedim are essential to supporting Community Pharmacy at a time of unprecedented change, while the level of customer demand has settled down since the extraordinary pressures of the first three weeks of Covid-19 lockdown, the role of Community Pharmacy has changed for good.” he says.