Breaking Down the Cost of Technology for Pharmacies

Breaking Down the Cost of Technology for Pharmacies

Posted on Jun 29, 2023

Nowadays, we’re utilizing technology constantly, whether it’s to track our health on a smart device or the tiny chips needed to operate the cars we drive. Pharmacies are no different, relying on technology for everything from electronic communication tools to workflow automation. Although technology is all around us, there are still a lot of misconceptions and unrealistic expectations about it. Especially when it comes to the cost that’s associated with advanced functionality. To help, we’re sharing what it takes to build and manage new features and integrations, breaking down the cost of technology for pharmacies.

Like most store owners, you probably want your pharmacy software to “do it all” but may push back when it comes to paying for advanced functionality. While it’s understandable to want to keep costs down and receive maximum value from the system you’ve invested in, it’s not always reasonable to expect everything to be included in the base price. Here’s why:

New technology takes time (and money) to develop.

Although the end result may look simple, it doesn’t mean developing it was. In fact, that’s the purpose of technology – to make performing certain tasks easier. However, even things we consider to be “basic” functionality requires a lot of technical expertise and coding to bring it to life. For example, an app can take between two to nine months and anywhere from $10,000 – $70,000 (or more) to build, depending on its complexity. When you compare that to everything your pharmacy software can do, it puts into perspective the amount of time and resources required to maintain and enhance it.

There’s a rigorous Quality Assurance process.

Once the initial development work is completed, a whole new team of experts is brought in to test it. This ensures the new feature or integration functions the way it’s supposed to, and any glitches are identified and addressed before it reaches the end user. Depending on the complexity of the feature and whether any issues are identified, quality assurance testing can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to complete. While it may be frustrating to wait for new solutions and system enhancements, this phase in the development process is critical. By taking the time to thoroughly test new features before they’re rolled out, it minimizes the chance that you’ll experience bugs that could impact your pharmacy operations. At the end of the day, we’d rather get it right, than get it out fast.

Compliance and security requirements add complexity.

Unlike some of the technology used in our personal lives, your pharmacy software is held to a higher standard. Not only does it need to fulfill your workflow needs, but it must meet several compliance and security requirements as well. This includes HIPAA-compliant measures to protect your store and patient information, as well as certain workflow processes needed to adhere to local, state, and federal legislation for pharmacies. These factors add a whole other level of complexity for developers to work through. While this may mean some of these features cost extra, not only will you ensure your store remains compliant, but you’ll wind up saving a significant amount of time automating these required steps in the long run as well.

Ongoing technical assistance is needed to support the technology and your store.

The work doesn’t stop once a new feature is developed either. Just like other forms of technology, you may experience issues with certain functionality in your software from time to time. When this happens, you rely on a technical support team to help troubleshoot and quickly resolve the issue. Plus, there are other people working behind the scenes to provide you with other support resources as well, including written software documentation and training videos. That means even after your software provider has launched a new feature, they’re continuing to invest in not only the software itself, but the team of people needed to support it – and your store, too.

Technology provides value.

Although we may take it for granted sometimes, technology provides significant value, by saving time by eliminating manual tasks and providing easier access and added convenience. Not only will you be able to process more scripts throughout the day, but your pharmacy software also frees up your staff’s time. That way they can focus on more important tasks, like caring for patients. This in turn increases customer satisfaction and loyalty, which means repeat business and increased profits for your store. The bottom line? Just because it may not always be easy to see the monetary value tied to the increased efficiency your software provides, doesn’t mean you aren’t getting a daily return on your investment.

As technology continues to evolve and become more ingrained in our daily lives and businesses, it’s important not to overlook the amount of work it takes to develop and maintain. Just as we wouldn’t expect architects, engineers, and contractors to spend months building a home and then turn around and give it away, we need to reframe our expectations of technology and the cost that’s associated.

Bonus Tip:

When investing in technology for your pharmacy, resist the urge to cut costs by skimping on your internet service, workstations, or other hardware. Using a strong internet connection and up-to-date hardware enables your software to function at its fullest capacity.

Interested in learning about some of the latest enhancements and advanced functionality available in BestRx and BestPOS? Request a free demo today.