The PMR system is the cornerstone of any pharmacy. Controlling the ability to dispense items safely and in compliance with NHS procedures and to log reimbursement claims, a major outage can have significant implications both on customer satisfaction and business performance.

Not only does this sort of outage result in an immediate inability to dispense, it also threatens to impact on customer loyalty. If your PMR system is down, but a rival pharmacy’s is up and running, customers can simply walk across the road and place their business in the hands of your competitors.

During a time when community pharmacies are facing more competition than ever before and in light of the impending cuts to government funding in England, the long term harm to a pharmacy’s revenue associated with what could easily become a loss of repeat business can be significant.

And even once the system is restored, lengthy backlogs can persist, affecting your ability to dispense and log reimbursement claims for a number of days if not weeks.

Listening to the needs and requirement of pharmacists across the UK, it’s clear that a reliable PMR system is fairly high on their list of priorities.

Here’s some of the key features required to ensure greater availability:

Limited points of failure
To avoid lengthy outages it is important that central points of weakness in the PMR system’s infrastructure are avoided. If your current service is reliant on a central component within its IT set-up, this greatly increases the probability of a longer period of down time. Using a local message broker set-up to deliver the service, for example, reduces the critical importance of central servers and components and results in a system that is much less likely to be interrupted.

Effective back-up processes
It is possible for PMR systems to be used to dispense electronic prescriptions, even if a problem with the N3 system has occurred as a result of a failure on the side of the NHS spine itself. By downloading electronic prescriptions as soon as they are received and storing them locally within your PMR system, you can then dispense and endorse at a time that suits you, even if the N3 connection is subsequently down.

First class support service
As with any pharmacy IT system, the level of support is key. A reliable service desk can help resolve any issues before they begin to impact on your business. Furthermore, effective service desks can even help to restore encrypted copies of dispensing/prescription data replicated in real time to individual PMR stations. This can be extremely useful when it comes to any lost prescriptions as a result of outages associated with specific terminals.

All of the above features are present in Positive Solutions Analyst PMR offering. For more information click here.