From its beginnings in 1911 as a trust established by Bertha Lindau Cone, Moses Cone Health System has grown into one of the premier health care institutions in North Carolina. Today, the health system consists of five hospitals: LeBauer HealthCare, Penn Nursing Center, and numerous freestanding outpatient facilities, including Moses Cone MedCenter-High Point and Moses Cone MedCenter-Kernersville. A member of The HealthCare Alliance, the health system is a not-for-profit health system. In 2007, Moses Cone Health System provided $90 million in uncompensated care.
The recently opened Moses Cone Outpatient Pharmacy, located on the Moses Cone Campus, services all health system employees and their dependents, who use our prescription plan. We plan to service outpatients from various clinics and dependents from other third party payors in the near future. It was fairly clear from the onset that we would need a robust point-of-sale solution to handle this increasing workload going forward.
Challenges of a New Pharmacy
Opened in early February 2009, the outpatient pharmacy is still brand new. We currently have 1.5 full-time staff pharmacists and four full-time technicians. The pharmacy is open Monday through Friday, 7:30am to 5:30pm.
After opening, we quickly realized a need for a point-of-sale solution to help process the high volume of employee and dependent prescriptions for some 10,500 clients across the spectrum of Moses Cone Health System. In an initiative driven by the pharmacy, we chose MerchantSoft from Emporos for a couple of reasons. First, MerchantSoft’s ability to handle and store credit card and other identification information for immediate retrieval, negating the need for redundant and lengthy paperwork submitted by the patient, was very attractive to us. Furthermore, Emporos offered security features for tracking more sensitive medications, such as Sudafed, and storing this data on our local server, thereby addressing one of our more challenging regulatory issues. These combined factors, along with ease of use and functionality, drove our decision to use MerchantSoft as our point-of-sale software solution.
Implementing the Software
Emporos worked with us leading up to the opening of the outpatient pharmacy to ensure all implementation processes were compatible, including firewall security and interoperability with our PIS system. They had representatives remain for a few days after we opened to make sure we worked out any bugs and to help bring our staff up to speed operationally.
Implementation of MerchantSoft required several network connections and coordination with our IT department to ensure proper network-system utilization. Fortunately, the Emporos point-of-sale system is pretty straightforward. The method for processing prescriptions for checkout is easy to follow on the screen and easy to accomplish with the system’s touch screen capabilities. We also use the credit card-on-file feature, which gives us the option of delivering prescriptions to outlying hospitals. Prescription information is passed from the PMS to POS in real time allowing a technician to process prescriptions and answer customer questions immediately.
We also are able to keep detailed tracking reports of our sales volume broken down by item, including OTC items, total co-pay input, total revenue, etc. This is a great benefit to our accounting and human resources departments.
Through the use of MerchantSoft, our customer service representatives can quickly determine the status of prescription fills, where they are in the process, as well as physical location, and then quickly and efficiently process payments. Our bar code system also gives us peace of mind when processing a great many prescriptions every day.
The Emporos MerchantSoft system has had a positive impact on the pharmacy services we are able to provide. The ease of use, customer support, and functionality make prescription processing seamless. The credit card-on-file feature allows us to minimize interaction with outlying customers at off-site hospitals and eliminates much of the paperwork and payment validation that would be necessary otherwise.
Darrell Haymore, PharmD is the pharmacy manager at Moses Cone Outpatient Pharmacy. Darrell is a 1998 graduate of Campbell University School of Pharmacy. He has worked for CVS/Pharmacy, Walmart Pharmacy, and Annie Penn Hospital in both staff pharmacist and management positions. In his current role, Darrell ensures compliance with state and federal laws, conducts quality assurance programs, advises customers about prescriptions, and ensures financial viability of the outpatient operation.
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