Technology failures cost time and money. For a busy pharmacy, they can mean the difference between keeping and losing a customer. Counting the cost of system outages can be difficult, even the smallest system glitches can affect both employee morale and customer perception.
What happens, for example, when the N3 connection to the NHS Spine fails? A patient comes in to collect a prescription but it hasn’t arrived. They have no interest in why it isn’t ready. They don’t care that the IT supplier has caused a problem or that the service desk isn’t responding. They need their medication and the blame, as far as they are concerned, lies with the pharmacy.
And how many pharmacies have time to spend on the phone waiting for a service desk? Does a busy pharmacy team have the 200 minutes it takes on average to resolve an incidence of IT downtime?
Business Critical Decisions
With over 99.7% of all pharmacies now receiving prescriptions electronically, the quality and reliability of the entire IT infrastructure around the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) is paramount. Making the right supplier decision encompasses more than just the quality of the system, it is about the entire, end to end experience on offer.
Alongside the PMR, there are three components of the IT solution that should be considered for the effective delivery of EPS: Connectivity, Hardware and Service.
For a pharmacy, the link between pharmacies and GP surgeries is essential and the quality and reliability of connectivity to the NHS Spine is vital to business continuity. In 2019 there were over 720 million electronic prescription messages sent through the NHS spine using Cegedim’s MHS accredited message broker, which had 100% availability throughout 2019. Furthermore, there is an option to upgrade to fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) if it is available in your area, to ensure that your connection is as fast and reliable as it can be.
The right hardware is also essential to the smooth running of your PMR system, so it is important to review the hardware package and pricing model for the entire contract duration. Is all peripheral hardware included? And replacement parts? Who is responsible for maintaining, supporting and fixing that hardware should a problem occur? And how long will it take to resolve a problem?
Technology develops fast and if your business is planning to use older hardware, be honest: is it up to the task? It is equally important to ensure that your pharmacy can keep up with the latest advancements in technology and that the performance of your PCs are not slowing you down. One Cegedim customer who recently upgraded their whole network reported saving up to 90 minutes each day, due to the improvements to the speed and performance of their machines.
The fact that it can take 200 minutes on average to resolve an incidence of IT downtime, as mentioned above, is a huge business cost. Busy pharmacies need a support service that is just as fast and reliable as the rest of their IT solution to make sure you can deliver a consistently good customer experience and avoid time wasted on IT incidents.
Phil Doyle, Service Director, Cegedim UK said “We have been working hard on the quality of our solutions and, critically, the speed of response to ensure that both the number of incidents are reduced, and those that are raised are resolved swiftly. The results are clear: our average number of open incidents is down 75% from this time last year. It takes on average just 35 seconds to connect to an available agent and, on average, 20 minutes to resolve open incidents. These incredible time savings for busy pharmacies are significant.”
Take a look at our latest service in numbers below
How is your pharmacy going to ensure the entire IT infrastructure continues to work effectively and seamlessly in the background to support your business?