Can data analytics contribute to the improvement of pharmacy management?
Business intelligence solutions are increasingly in demand in various sectors, as companies and businesses continually explore strategies to improve their profitability, stay ahead of the competition and position themselves. This is the case of data analytics technology that aims to have a greater impact on business.
We have been hearing about Big Data for some years now. In an attempt to explain it simply, the objective of Big Data is to analyze large volumes of data and multiple variables to convert them into valuable information. With it, decision-making in management processes can be facilitated and streamlined (often even in real time). In the field of community pharmacy, mass data analysis could be a useful tool with multiple applications. Within this framework, there are other areas in which the technology is used:
1. Operational purposes in pharmacy management.
Monitoring the vast amounts of data generated in a company's network is important to optimize its business operations. Much of this data is related to costs, employee productivity, operational efficiency, among others, to ensure that resources are used effectively.
Controlling product stock and managing with wholesalers, differentiating from other pharmacies in the market more nimbly, even against more generalist competitors (with respect to OTC, cosmetics, etc.) and controlling costs is one of the main challenges for pharmacies.
Pharmacies must take advantage of the latest technologies to find new ways of streamlining their management while at the same time making it easier to build customer loyalty. To this end, having the right team of pharmacy professionals is becoming increasingly important. For example, in the case of ApoTalent, we have decided to take advantage of the benefits of technology to create an application that puts pharmacies and candidates in contact with each other quickly and easily, making it a "win-win" for both.
2. Customer/patient data analysis
The management of data such as those coming from the access to part of the EHR (Electronic Health Record), especially for treatment and medication follow-up, can be very important data. This would allow constant monitoring and the data generated from them could be used in an advanced way to improve the health of the population.
"Community pharmacists should be able to have permission to update electronic medical records, if necessary, to identify and address potential medication or patient safety issues," Ilaria Passanari, secretary general of the PGEU. (*)
3. Marketing objectives
Every year, community pharmacies would like to know their sales forecast, and what actions they could take to increase sales. Tracking data on sales performance and consumer behavior is essential to improve marketing and merchandising strategies.
4. Financial analysis
Every company's performance translates to management. Financial data is an important part of any company or business and it is inevitable to monitor it closely to control the return on investment and what additional results it is generating.
Business intelligence solutions help companies and community pharmacy monitor their financial transactions and predict needs and issues in advance. This proactive approach will help the company avoid or be prepared for any adverse situations.
There is still a long way to go in this field, but technology continues to advance at a rapid pace.
- Position Paper on Big Data & Artificial Intelligence in healthcare - PGEU.