7 Aug 2020
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Curbside Pickup and Delivery Increase Pressure on Pharmacy Staff and Cash Flow. Datarithm® is Here to Help.

Has the pressure on your pharmacy staff increased since the outbreak of COVID-19? Has your front of store revenue declined? Are you facing new costs associated with curbside pickup and / or home delivery? Has your overall pharmacy cashflow decreased? Not to worry, Datarithm® is here to help streamline tasks and improve pharmacy profitability, cash flow, liquidity, and fill rates via optimization of prescription drug inventory management.

The growing need for pharmacies to adapt to COVID-19 conditions through curbside and delivery services is key to assuring financial stability; however, they come with the cost of investment dollars and workflow change. It can feel like the very thing that will keep pharmacies afloat will also hit them hard financially and operationally.

How does a pharmacy take on the additional costs of implementing a curbside pickup and home delivery plan when they have already seen a cash flow hit, particularly from their front of store business volume? That’s where Datarithm® and our advanced algorithmic solutions step in. We right-size inventories through re-order point optimization, convert overstocked and dead Rx inventories to cash, and reduce financial carry costs, expired returns, and inventory investment levels by 20+% on average. We also improve inventory turns by an average of 4 points. And because of those solutions, your pharmacy will be able to provide better customer service levels.

If your pharmacy has not already implemented a curbside delivery and pickup strategy, there is excellent information to help you create one. First, careful precautions to protect patient data is needed, and different states have provided specific rules. A patient can confirm a receipt of medication through a contactless process instead of providing a signature through a simple phone call, email, or text message.

This adopted method is likely to change business practices going forward even after the pandemic’s worst comes to a close. Pharmacies who have implemented curbside pickup and delivery services through COVID-19 are likely to find lasting benefits. These services present an added layer of convenience to the modern-day pharmacy. Patients who would otherwise rely on a caregiver to pick up their medications can now have their prescriptions delivered right to their door. Creating a curbside pickup and delivery service enables pharmacies to provide care and cater to a broader range of customers that they may not have reached before. And no matter the setting — rural or urban — these types of services are beneficial.

If your pharmacy has not adopted curbside pickup services yet, it’s not too late to begin doing so. While it does take some planning, the following tips can help your pharmacy continue to serve patients during the ongoing pandemic and even after.

  • Be sure to review the COVID-19 guidelines for your state to ensure compliance with local government rules and regulations.
  • Consider how to schedule your employees, especially if your hours have changed. Be mindful of how many employees can work in your store layout while still maintaining social distancing practices.
  • Map out a workflow for picking orders, assembling items, and delivering orders to customers.
  • Designate spots outside of your pharmacy for curbside pickup orders without disturbing the flow of traffic.
  • Be sure to communicate with your patients and the community about your curbside pickup process.
  • Determine which communication channel you will use to alert customers when their order is ready for pick up and how they will communicate with you when they have arrived.
  • Utilize contactless payment methods such as cards on file in your POS system.

Finally, implementing Datarithm’s inventory management system can help your pharmacists and technicians focus on the task at hand — serving their customers safely and quickly while improving efficiency and profitability. Our proprietary forecasting tool enables inventory management to be more efficient and on top of supply-demand changes and reordering. Advanced analytics provide insights into inventory trends, movement, opportunities, costs, customer service, and task completion. Moreover, Datarithm’s system allows your pharmacy to continue to support your community’s growing demands by easing the workload of your already busy pharmacists and reducing overall financial stress.