A point-of-sale (POS) system is a technology that provides a platform for your customers to pay for goods and services. POS systems comprise hardware and software that allow businesses to receive payments, track sales and inventory, and perform other critical operational tasks.
POS systems are a crucial component of daily operations and ultimate success. They make the checkout process more efficient by automating it, and they get rid of the human mistakes that come with keeping records and doing accounting by hand.
POS systems also allow for and provide multiple payment methods to customers, as well as assist you in keeping track of your sales and inventory.
POS systems can be categorized based on hardware, operating system, or other criteria. Mobile POS, legacy POS, tablet POS, and cloud-based POS systems are POS systems used by different businesses today. But which of these is best suited for a pharmacy?
This article explains how pharmacy POS systems work, their advantages, and how to select the best POS system.
Overview of Pharmacy POS Systems
The point-of-sale system is an essential component of retail pharmacy operations. But pharmacy point-of-sale systems do more than just process payments; they also have a number of important functions that are only useful in pharmacies. The POS hardware in a pharmacy could include a barcode printer, cash drawer, receipt printer, scanner, and other devices.
The best pharmacy POS systems value customer relationships and thus perform functions such as hosting customer loyalty programs and notifying when a patient’s nutrient levels are low. The point-of-sale software for a pharmacy should be made for the industry and work well with the other pharmacy software. You should incorporate it with insurance billing services and pharmacy management systems. An integrated POS system makes for patient or customer satisfaction and ensures that human errors are eliminated or minimized.
Depending on the needs and preferences of the business, a pharmacy POS system can be of various types. Such systems can run on operating systems like Windows, iOS, and Android and on devices ranging from computers to tablets and mobile devices.
Every product a pharmacy stocks or sells passes through its POS system. So, POS systems in pharmacies keep track of what products are in stock and what products are out of stock. Most importantly, because the industry is so sensitive, a pharmacy POS helps your pharmacy follow federal and state rules about health. That includes HIPAA compliance, controlled substance purchase tracking, ID and signature capture, etc.
Essentially, a robust pharmacy POS system changes the dynamics of your business and helps you automate several processes and better serve your customers and patients.
The right POS system does more than just process payments. It also keeps track of staff schedules and important sales data. But the full set of features and functions of a pharmacy point-of-sale system depends on the merchant software you choose.
Key Features and Benefits of Using a Pharmacy POS System
There are several advantages to using pharmacy POS systems. This section highlights the essential features and benefits of using a pharmacy POS system.
One good thing about pharmacy POS systems is that they are designed to meet the specific needs of pharmacies. At its most basic level, point-of-sale (POS) helps businesses, like independent pharmacies, handle payments.
There are many ways to pay with these systems, including credit and debit cards, chip cards, and even payments that don’t require any contact. A pharmacy POS system makes it easier for customers to buy things and keep track of money at your pharmacy. You can also add loyalty programs to your pharmacy’s POS system. Rewarding customers is a good way to boost sales and get them to come back.
Signature capture is vital in pharmacy retail, as it has several mandatory applications. Logs for picking up patients no longer need a lot of paperwork because they can be signed electronically. Several kinds of transactions in a pharmacy require signatures to be collected.
Some signatures, like HIPAA, have to be collected safely and separately, but a single electronic signature can cover more than one transaction. Given the amount of time that could go into collecting individual signatures, the signature capture feature of pharmacy POS systems helps to save time and aid the efficient running of your pharmacy.
Inventory Tracking and Management
Just like other businesses that sell a wide range of products, pharmacies need to keep good track of their stock in order to run smoothly. In the past, inventory management involved manually inputting data into spreadsheets or on paper.
Managing your inventory by hand can be time-consuming, and mistakes are more likely to happen. Inventory management has a lot of moving parts. Using the right automated tools can make it easier for your pharmacy to keep track of its inventory. Since all your inventory goes through the POS system when entering or leaving your pharmacy, the system always has up-to-date information about the state of your inventory. The system’s advanced inventory management tools also make it easier to see and understand trends in inventory. This helps pharmacies make better decisions about what to stock and how much money to spend.
Automated inventory management helps you know when your pharmacy is running low on some products or if you have overstocked others. It can also give you some insight into sales trends. Some POS software also notifies users about expired and nearly expired products in stock. Insights like these can help reduce your risks of losing sales due to depleted goods and let you know what customers are buying or not buying.
Under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act, the Controlled Substances Act, and other laws, pharmacies must keep specific amounts of certain items in stock. Since many inventory laws and rules exist in the US, a POS system that helps pharmacies follow them is a great investment.
How to Choose the Right Pharmacy POS System
Talk to Your Merchant Processing Representative
Contact a representative from your merchant processor before purchasing to ensure that the system you choose is the right choice for you. Doing so can help you prevent compatibility issues or having to purchase extra hardware.
Go Over Options With Your Merchant Processing Representative
It is essential to talk to a merchant processing representative about your options and what they offer. This ensures compatibility and provides access to all necessary payment options. Small businesses can use POS terminals that aren’t too expensive, and larger businesses can offer better customer service by using portable or Wi-Fi options.
Compatibility With Other Pharmacy Software
Before purchasing a new POS system for your pharmacy, ensure it can work seamlessly with other necessary pharmacy software, like your pharmacy management system. This ensures smooth workflow and efficient management of your pharmacy.
Payment Processing Capabilities
Ensure that the POS system can accept various types of payments, including Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), and other forms of payment. The system should also be able to take signatures to comply with legal requirements.
Prescription Management and Inventory Tracking
Choose a POS system that lets you manage prescriptions and keep detailed inventory records. This feature will provide you with valuable insights and make it easier to plan for your pharmacy.
Integrated Payment Processing Systems
Talk to your merchant processing representative about integrated payment processing systems for your pharmacy. This can enhance the security of your patients’ data and streamline payment processing, resulting in a smoother overall customer experience.
Data Privacy and Security
Ensure that the POS system you choose has proven data privacy systems and a track record of security. The system should comply with industry standards to protect your business and your patients’ sensitive information.
Ease of Use and User Reviews
Choose a POS system that is easy to use and has no steep learning curve for your pharmacy employees. Compare user interfaces between different software to find the best fit for your business. Also, consider revisiting user reviews to gain deeper insights into how customers rate a product. Investing time in research can help you make a more informed decision when choosing pharmacy POS software.
Pharmacies are unique enterprises and, as such, require tailored approaches for their efficient running. Investing in a reliable pharmacy POS system is not only a good idea but also a must for the success of a pharmacy. With the right pharmacy management software, you can be sure that your pharmacy will run more efficiently.
Although they are simply called point-of-sale systems, modern POS systems’ functionalities extend beyond just payments and receipts. With some POS systems, you can add an online store for ordering and delivery. This integrated eCommerce solution can help boost sales in your pharmacy.
The right pharmacy POS management software could be a game-changer for your pharmacy. Its features let you run a super-efficient pharmacy by getting rid of extra work and human error. Go through our brief guide in the section above to choose the right POS software for your pharmacy. There are a few free POS service providers in the industry. But with that said, you need to do a lot of research to make sure you buy useful software that fits the needs of your business.
Paul Martinez is the founder of EcomSidekick.com. He is an expert in the areas of finance, real estate, eCommerce, traffic and conversion.
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