How Digital Pharmacies Will Change the Industry Blog | How Digital Pharmacies Will Change the Industry
Healthcare 04/26/21

How Digital Pharmacies Will Change the Industry

As consumers become more accustomed to purchasing nearly everything they need online, it’s no surprise that the pharmacy industry is following suit. Digital-only pharmacies have been on the rise for years with new businesses trying to set up shop and capture market share. At the same time, traditional pharmacies are working to digitize their operations, streamline processes and hold onto their current customer base. It is the common scenario of industry digital disruption.

The Extinction of Paper Scripts

The movement away from paper-based business systems started decades ago, but the pharmacy industry today is still heavily dependent upon paper prescriptions torn from a doctor’s pad or perhaps printed from the clinic’s iPad. Many patients still bring their scripts to a pharmacy drop-off window and wait for their medication to be filled.

Some providers have transitioned to sending prescriptions electronically to a patient’s pharmacy of choice, and with the rise of telehealth services, medication management can be handled virtually and digitally much more easily. The global pandemic forced existing pharmacies to expand their delivery channels with curbside pickup or delivery options.

This evolution will begin to train patients to expect a more efficient prescription fulfillment process, driving demand for a system that will eventually eliminate the old-fashioned paper prescriptions.

In addition, some state governments are changing paper-prescription rules to help manage the abuse of controlled substances. For example, by January 2022, all medications must be prescribed electronically in the state of California.

Value-Added Brick-and-Mortar Pharmacies

Digital pharmacies, which do not have costs associated with brick-and-mortar counterparts, have the potential to deliver common medications or those used to treat chronic conditions less expensively. Price will certainly drive some market share to make the switch to digital pharmacies.

At the same time, finding ways to deliver medication to homebound patients such as the elderly or to the digitally-raised, such as millennials, will be another critical factor capturing consumers in a competitive market.

Those pharmacies that already have a physical footprint in the existing retail market will be expected to follow suit as much as possible to become more efficient and meet these consumer demands. However, brick-and-mortar pharmacies have the advantage of existing relationships and personal connections that many customers will also seek.

The challenge for existing pharmacies will be to find ways to leverage these advantages and add value to the surrounding community. This may include providing medication counsel, answering specific customer questions or addressing concerns in person. Physical pharmacies may become more of an extension of a local healthcare system, offering patients the softer skills of caring and nurturing that digital pharmacies cannot deliver.

AI in Personalized Healthcare

Artificial intelligence technologies will play a role in helping digital pharmacies as well as traditional ones by adding digital services to personalize the customer experience. As information systems collect and amass customer health histories, digital pharmacies will be able to automatically send refill reminders or potentially suggest complementary products, supplements or services.

In addition, many related AI-driven diagnostic tools are in early adoption stages, which may continue to blur the line between doctor-office visits, virtual care through telemedicine, and services provided through pharmacies. For example, several RiteAid pharmacies provide telehealth services through an in-store kiosk. Customers can obtain a personalized health assessment at their local pharmacy using integrated peripherals that measure basic vital signs through the kiosk, speak with a provider after scheduling an appointment online, and fill any needed prescriptions in one location.

In-home and other patient monitoring devices will rise in the future such as devices that can monitor blood glucose levels, peak flow asthma readings, or blood pressure and heart rates. These devices, used in concert with personal health histories and digital pharmacy records can provide ongoing patient support and health education.

Increased Patient Safety, Reduction of Errors

On the “back office” side of the digitalization of the pharmacy, technological advances have already proven that automated systems can reduce human error and increase patient safety. For example, electronic prescribing systems that have been in use for years at hospitals automate the prescribing, supplying, and administrating tasks and have already been proven to decrease medication mistakes and boost patient safety.

Integration between hospital systems and pharmacies can help streamline discharge procedures, making it easy and safer for patients transitioning from inpatient to home recovery status.

Robotic technology has been used in pharmacies to measure and dispense medications more accurately as well as shift pharmacists and pharmacy techs to manage higher level patient care issues. Robots also maximize space usage in a physical pharmacy and increase efficiency for digital pharmacies.

Allied Healthcare Provider Insurance

Pharmacists, pharmacy techs, and other allied health workers need to be protected from mistakes and errors that sometimes occur in the healthcare field. Mistakes may be the result of medical errors, treatment issues, regulatory failures or legal compliance problems.

NOW Insurance offers comprehensive coverage for allied healthcare workers as well as other healthcare practitioners. Affordable and simple insurance is available to pharmacists, pharmacy techs and others in the industry. Get an immediate quote from our quick and easy online application today.

Blog

Tips for protecting yourself and your business.

Healthcare

8 Malpractice Insurance Terms Every Medical Professional Should Know

Healthcare

Social Worker Insurance: Do I Need My Own Coverage?

Mental Health

Pandemic Pressures Drive Increased Need for Mental Health Technicians

Nurse

Celebrate National Student Nurse Day on May 8

Healthcare

National Nurses Week: Celebrate May 6-12

Healthcare

Why Nursing Students Need their Own Professional Liability Policy

Healthcare

How to Find Affordable Professional Liability Insurance for Home Health Providers

Healthcare

5 Benefits to a Career as a Pharmacy Technician

Healthcare

How Digital Pharmacies Will Change the Industry

Healthcare

How to Become A Pharmacy Technician

Healthcare

Supporting Providers in the Age of Telehealth

Healthcare

12 Keys to Finding the Best Physical Therapist Insurance

Healthcare

When Are Lab Technicians Liable? Five Reasons to Carry Professional Liability Insurance

Healthcare

What Is and Isn’t Covered by Malpractice Insurance?

Healthcare

Why COVID Testing Labs Should Carry General Liability Insurance

Healthcare

Do Occupational Therapists Need Malpractice Insurance?

Healthcare

Can Lab Technicians Be Sued for Malpractice?

Cyber

5 Reasons Cyber Security Insurance Is Becoming More Important Than Ever

Cyber

What Sort of Insurance Will Cover Physical Therapists?

Cyber

Helping Hesitant Patients Embrace Telehealth

Cyber

Why COVID Testing Labs Should Have Cyber Security Insurance in Case of a Data Breach

Healthcare

GI Nurses and Associates Week: Highlight A GI Nurse Hero March 21-27

Healthcare

What Malpractice Risks Do GI Nurses Face?

Healthcare

What Kind of Nurse Should You Be? Check Out the Growing Field of Gastroenterology

Healthcare

6 Risks Lab Technicians Face Without Professional Liability Insurance

Healthcare

Do Contact Tracers Need to Protect Themselves with Professional Liability Insurance?

Cyber

Telehealth Rules Relaxed During Pandemic

Cyber

Telehealth is More Than Just Video Appointments

Healthcare

Pharmacists: Which Specialty Is Right for You?

Healthcare

Sued for Malpractice: A Guide for Nurses and NPs

Healthcare

A Guide to Medical Director Insurance and the Costs

Healthcare

2021 Trends to Look for in Occupational Therapy

Healthcare

Become a COVID-19 Contact Tracer

Healthcare

How Much Does Physician Assistant Malpractice Insurance Cost?

Healthcare

Lab Technicians: Is a Travel Job Right for You?

Cyber

Why Your Agency Needs Home Healthcare Insurance

Healthcare

Covering Covid-19: Is Your Medical Laboratory at Risk?

Healthcare

A Complete Guide to Insurance for Physical Therapists

Healthcare

The Costs of Medical Staffing Agency Insurance

Healthcare

Why Start a Non-medical Home Healthcare Business

Healthcare

IV Nurse Day: Celebrate Jan 25

Healthcare

How to Become an IV Nurse

Healthcare

Charting by Exception: Errors by Omission or The Efficient New Norm?

Healthcare

Are You a Culturally Competent Nurse?

Healthcare

Risks of Abbreviations in Nurse Charting

Healthcare

A Guide to Starting a Home Healthcare Business

Healthcare

Nurses and The Good Samaritan Law

Cyber

Cyber Liability and HIPAA Compliance

Cyber

Why Hackers Love Healthcare Data

Cyber

Ransomware Rampant in Among Small Businesses

Cyber

What is the cost of a data breach?

General

NOW Insurance closes $2.5 million seed round, enhances AI-enabled platform

Cyber

Cost of a HIPAA Violation

Cyber

How to Create a Small Business Cyber Security Plan

Cyber

Small Business and Cloud Storage: Is Your Data Secure?

Cyber

Social Engineering: 7 Common Red Flags

Insurance Basics

Getting Liability Insurance for Events

General

Starting an Event Planning Business: A to Z

Insurance Basics

How Much Does Event Planning Insurance Cost?

Insurance Basics

Insurance for Event Planners: What You Need to Know

Insurance Basics

What’s Included in Event Planning Insurance Coverage?

Insurance Basics

What Can a Tax Preparer Be Held Liable For?

Insurance Basics

Tax Preparer Insurance 101

General

4 Nurse Staffing Issues to Avoid

General

What You Need to Know to Be a Tax Preparer

Insurance Basics

Insurance for Bookkeepers: A Complete Guide

General

How to Start a Nurse Staffing Agency

Insurance Basics

What is Liability Insurance for Bookkeepers?

General

How to Build Customer Relations in Your Business

Insurance Basics

A Guide to Medical Staffing Insurance

General

Developing an Effective Risk Management Plan

Insurance Basics

All You Need to Know About Therapist Insurance

Insurance Basics

What is Malpractice Insurance for Counselors?

Insurance Basics

Benefits of Therapist Liability Insurance

Insurance Basics

What’s the Average Counselor Malpractice Insurance Cost?

Insurance Basics

Risk and Hazards of Being a Massage Therapist

Insurance Basics

Do Nutritionists Need Insurance?

Insurance Basics

What’s Included In Massage Insurance Coverage?

Insurance Basics

Everything You Need to Know About Malpractice Insurance Coverage For Nutritionists

Insurance Basics

Do Massage Centers Need Insurance?

Insurance Basics

How Much Does Nutritionist Insurance Cost?

Insurance Basics

Insurance Plans For Nutritionists: Everything You Need to Know

Insurance Basics

Massage Therapy Insurance: A Beginner’s Guide

General

Coronavirus Outbreak: 3 Tips to Keep Your Healthcare Business Safe

General

Company Working From Home? Stay Safe of Cyber Attacks

Insurance Basics

Business Interruption Insurance and Coronavirus

General

4 Best Practices for Medical Workers During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Insurance Basics

Inside the Hacker’s Mind – Social Engineering

Insurance Basics

Do Consultants Need Insurance?

Insurance Basics

Fitness Center & Gym Insurance: A Beginner’s Guide

General

Should Your Company Work From Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Insurance Basics

Why Your Business Needs Wellness and Fitness Insurance: A Comprehensive Guide

Insurance Basics

What Is the Cost of Gym Insurance?

Insurance Basics

What Insurance Do Consultants Need?

Insurance Basics

How Much Is Insurance For a Consultant?

Insurance Basics

Benefits of Consulting Insurance Coverage

General

Pay as You Go Insurance for Healthcare Professionals

General

You Have Your Physician Assistant’s License: Now What?

General

Why Are You Still Buying Occurrence Malpractice Coverage?

General

What Does Malpractice Insurance Cost?

General

Physician Assistant Malpractice Coverage: A Practical Guide

General

Do Student Nurses Need Malpractice Insurance?

General

Ouch, You Hurt Me! Do Nurse Practitioners Need Their Own Malpractice Policy?

General

What Type of Insurance Do Nurses Need?

General

Understanding Insurance Terms: Back to Basics

General

What Does Professional Liability Insurance Cover?

General

Types of Insurance Available for Small Business Owners

General

Potential Small Business Risks

General

General Liability Insurance: How to Keep your Business Protected

General

Choosing a Business Insurance Provider: Everything You Need to Know

General

Business Insurance Plans – Do I Need One?

General

Benefits of Professional Liability Insurance

General

What Is the Average Cost of Errors and Omissions Insurance?

General

What Is Cyber Liability Insurance?

General

What Does Errors and Omissions Insurance Cover?

General

Cyber Insurance 101: Why You Need It

General

What Does a Cyber Liability Policy Cover?

General

Errors and Omissions Coverage: What Is It & How Does it Work?

General

What Is the Average Cost of Cyber Liability Insurance?

General

Who Needs Errors and Omissions Coverage?