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Windows Server 2003 Migration – Things to Know

Many pharmacies have put off the Windows Server 2003 migration of their pharmacy software, and the time remaining for this migration is running out. In fact, some pharmacies may not be able to migrate prior to the End-of-Life date of July 14th, 2015. If your business already runs on a newer platform – Congratulations! If not, consider these important details:

Computer Hardware

End of Life – Microsoft will end extended support for the Windows Server 2003 operating system on July 14, 2015. That date is fast approaching! If you have not already migrated or even started planning, it is time to take action. Upgrading from Server 2003 will be one of the most important IT steps your business makes in 2015; continuing on with the operating system after July 14th is highly inadvisable.

Security Vulnerability – The importance of migrating to a stable, supported server cannot be understated. Users may think that if a server is working properly now, there’s no need to upgrade. This line of thought can place a business at risk of being compromised. Once Microsoft stops support for this version of Windows Server, there will be no more patches or updates for the operating system. After any server operating system reaches its end-of-life, hackers attempt to find as many exploits as they can since they know that the exploits they find will not be fixed. This is in addition to known issues with the system that require direct intervention to cover, while updates to newer operating systems help to protect these issues by default.

Server Hardware – You will need new hardware. As a business grows, so do server demands. Newer operating systems that have more capability only add to the need for a more robust hardware platform. New server platforms have more processing power, larger storage options, increased memory and better redundancy.

Migration takes time and planning – A move to a new server does not happen overnight. While the actual migration can take just a few hours with proper planning; failure to do so can lead to unforeseen issues. Is all software installed on the old server compatible with the new operating system? New server operating systems are all 64 bit. What hardware peripheral devices are present? Older devices may need to be replaced as well. It is important to take an inventory of devices in use to avoid potential problems with a printer, router or other device.

Non-compliance could cost your company significantly – In addition to the security risks you could face by continuing to use an unsupported operating system, you also run the risk of compliance violations. Using software past end-of-life is a fairly significant risk and constitutes a compliance violation under many regulatory and compliance standards. For some industries, including finance and health care, failure to maintain business on supported systems could be considered non-compliance. A company that loses compliance may be hit with expensive penalty fines and lost business if audited.

Interested in Pharmacy Management Systems?

If you are setting up a new pharmacy, or are looking to revamp your existing one, investing in a pharmacy management system is the way to go. These systems are now an essential component of any pharmacy that wants to remain competitive, and deliver better care to their customers through an efficient, automated process. Pharmacy management systems help pharmacies customize and streamline their workflow with a range of features and functions that improve efficiency, safety and profitability. Here are some of the many common features included in pharmacy management systems.

Pharmacy Management Systems

Advanced Reporting: This enables your pharmacy staff to create reports faster, with an extensive easy to use library of built-in reports, as well as custom reports based on specific information that you want to track and include.

Barcode Verification: Barcode scanning and verification is an important component of management systems, and helps with various aspects throughout the system including retrieval of refill information, verification of the dispensed product, and Point of Sale (POS) scanning for increased accuracy and efficiency.

Electronic Signature Capture: This is a useful feature which allows you to track acknowledgment for each prescription electronically. Signature capture interfaces enable pharmacy staff to save time at POS, where the prescription sale and credit/debit card can be signed in one transaction.

Electronic Prescriptions: This enables your pharmacy to receive new and refill prescriptions directly into your pharmacy management system from doctors for review, and help complete the dispensing process faster.

Inventory Management: This is one of the most useful features incorporated in pharmacy management systems, and helps improve efficiency and reduce pharmacy inventory costs through perpetual usage-based purchase decisions. By tracking inventory through an automated system, your pharmacy employees are free from hours of labor-intensive inventory activities, and can use their time more efficiently. In addition, this feature helps to improve security by controlling access to medications in the pharmacy and promoting medication dispensing accuracy.

Pill Imaging: Pill imaging software is useful as it helps prevent incorrect dispensing of medications. During quality assurance checking, pills are displayed and compared with bottle contents to ensure that the correct drugs are available. This adds a valuable control point to ensure the quality and accuracy of dispensing prescriptions.

RxKey® Pharmacy Management Software offers a wide range of functions to boost your pharmacy efficiency, safety and performance. This user friendly, intuitively designed management software is easy to learn and navigate, and incorporates the features above, as well as dispensing verification, reimbursement monitoring, advanced query tools, accounts receivable intelligence and much more.

What to look for in a Pharmacy POS System?

A pharmacy is a place of business that carries more responsibility than an ordinary retailer. Therefore, as a pharmacy owner, it is important to make sure that you are running a streamlined, efficient and reliable operation. Your pharmacy’s Point of Sale (POS) system should be the front-end manager who helps complete customer checkout with the utmost accuracy. There are a number of POS systems on the market promising varying options, but how to do you select the one that fulfills a pharmacy’s business and customer needs with no hassle?

Pharmacy POS System

PA-DSS certification: While there are several crucial elements a POS system needs in order to provide responsible solutions, the most important one is its PA-DSS certification. The Payment Application Data Security Standard or PA-DSS is the global security standard created by the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council. It was implemented to provide the definitive data standard for software vendors that develop payment applications in order to prevent developed payment applications for third parties from storing prohibited secure data.

IIAS Compliance – With more than 13 million FSA accounts held within the U.S., it is critical for pharmacies to be able to accept FSA cards from their customers. A pharmacy POS should be IIAS Compliant, enabling the pharmacy to become SIGIS certified for accepting FSA cards.

Ease of Use – While seeking ease of use sounds like common sense, many pharmacy POS systems require complex setup and costly training. An efficient and reliable POS system should be intuitive, user-friendly, limit keystroke and reduce pricing errors, all while speeding up customer checkout times. Pharmacy software system integrations and OTC catalog imports ensure that you have the most up-to-date information for your customers and for the business at your fingertips.

Reporting Capabilities – Actionable data provides powerful information to guide business decisions. POS systems that come with detailed reporting tools can easily streamline business operations, accounting and inventory management.

The flexTRAX POS system by KeyCentrix is IIAS compliant for accepting FSA cards and PA-DSS certified for meeting PCI standards. It offers the most effective business management solutions with a highly credited pharmacy software interface and detailed reporting tools that help you make the right decisions for your business, in addition to taking the hassle out of accounting. The flexTRAX POS system also has multi-register synchronization, clerk codes for auditing, and electronic signature capture.