An Interview with ComputerTalk Magazine.
’09 Hospital Buyers Guide
ECRS®, Leslie Atkinson, Pharm.D.; Pharmacy Clinical Coordinator High Point Regional Health System High Point, N.C
CT: Tell us about the pharmacy operations.
Atkinson: We just opened in February of this year. We’ve built a beautiful pharmacy and we’re proud of it. I came aboard in October of last year and was involved in all the organization, like licenses and contracting with third parties. We serve our employees with prescriptions as well as OTC medications. We also fill prescriptions for patients leaving the emergency department and discharge patients, as well as for doctors in the area. We aren’t trying to compete with pharmacies in the area for walk-in patients. We started the pharmacy in order to try to save money. We started off doing about 30 prescriptions a day and have reached up to 99. We’re seeing more prescriptions for specialty items, as well. We’re now filling about 25% of employee prescriptions, which I think is pretty substantial considering how long we’ve been open.
CT: How long have you been using ECRS?
Atkinson: We opened the pharmacy in February with ECRS POS in place.
CT: What motivated you to select ECRS?
Atkinson: ECRS was one of the POS companies recommended by our pharmacy system vendor and it is a North Carolina company. Someone on the committee spoke to a pharmacist in Boone who has their POS system and was very pleased with it. There are a few other reasons, too. First, it has the capability to do all the newly required things for flexible spending accounts. And second, ECRS specializes in POS for pharmacy.
CT: What are the top two or three features/benefits that you like best?
Atkinson: We check out all our prescription items and all our OTC items by scanning them at the POS. Because we do this we are able to put all that data into great reports. We are really looking to reporting to save money. I was really impressed when I saw the variety of reports we can print and the graphics, like pie charts, that we can include. We track not only the prescriptions we are filling, but the OTC items we are selling. We can look at percentage breakdown between the two. This is great because it helps us to see where we are. Our VP, she loves these reports and I print them for her monthly.
Another thing is that this POS is just really user-friendly. It’s a touch screen. You can’t beat that. In 2009, people’s phones are touch screen. ATMs are touch screen. Anyone can use this thing. You look at the screen and follow along and you can’t mess up. Even when we train volunteers to use it, it is so easy to do and it makes your life so much easier when you have a system like this. It’s also very easy to enter inventory for OTC items and the cost. We do this manually because we don’t have a whole lot of OTC items and we’ll order items our customers ask for and have them delivered next day. So we might add a few items in every week.
Finally, when it comes to troubleshooting, a good example is when I want to know if a particular report exists. When I call ECRS someone gets back to me right away. There’s always someone there who can talk with us and help and actually answer the questions. In a pharmacy, you can’t wait half a day for someone to get back to you. CT
From ComputerTalk for Health-System Pharmacists Buyers Guide • Fall 2009