In October 2023, three of the nation’s leading pharmacy organizations – the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), and the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP)– convened a multi-day summit in Arlington, Virginia to discuss the very serious issues of “high stress levels and occupational burnout across pharmacy practice settings.”

An overriding theme of the summit was the sense that pharmacists have too much to do, and simply not enough hours in the day in which to get it all done. And for many pharmacists, the volume of work precludes them from taking time to focus on mental health issues – both their own well-being as well as that of staff members.

Summit participants included representatives from independent pharmacies, health-system pharmacies, boards of pharmacy, school and colleges of pharmacy, and professional pharmacy associations. The discussions focused on five specific areas: practice advancement, mental health, workforce, regulatory requirements, and technology and workflow efficiencies. A takeaway from the conference was an impressive list of action items, detailed in an accompanying report titled “Implementing Solutions: Building a sustainable, healthy pharmacy workforce and workplace.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, technology is cited repeatedly as integral to addressing the current crisis. A few technology-focused action items include:

  • Leverage technology efficiency to enable pharmacists to focus on high-value pharmacy services.
  • Standardize and automate the prior authorization process.
  • Enable the exchange of electronic health records across the care continuum.
  • Maximize central fill and shared service models, where feasible, to allow more time for patient care services.
  • Leverage existing payment models and processes used for medical billing so that pharmacists are reimbursed for pharmacy services.

In fact, these time-saving/efficiency-boosting suggestions are already possible through the PrimeRx pharmacy technology system. Helping pharmacists recapture time has long been the purview of PrimeRx. The system was originally developed more than 40 years ago, back in technology’s “early days”. While PrimeRx has always targeted the unique needs of the pharmacy industry, today it is an industry leader, providing innovative, end-to-end solutions for pharmacies’ changing needs.

Thousands of pharmacies across the U.S. and Puerto Rico rely on PrimeRx as a vital part of their pharmacy operations. All workflows are automated, which means core functions operate seamlessly with little need for staff involvement. This includes dispensing, refills, inventory, and claims management, among other processes.

But PrimeRx goes beyond with additional time-saving capabilities. Some of these features include the following:

Audit Assistance

As pharmacies are painfully aware, audits are an unavoidable part of today’s retail pharmacy environment. For most pharmacists, the question is not if they will be subject to an audit inquiry, but how many.

Good record keeping and document management are essential to minimizing the intrusiveness of an audit, which is a key PrimeRx capability. Pharmacies can rely on PrimeRx to seamlessly manage and store all patient and pharmacy documents and records, with all information easily accessible.

With just a few clicks, pharmacies can locate prescriptions, payment transaction receipts, copies of checks, invoices, and all other types of information requested in the course of an audit. This replaces previous processes in which pharmacy staff would spend hours combing through boxes of records, looking for a specific document.

Clinical Services

As pharmacies have taken on more responsibility in providing clinical services, an unpleasant result has been an increase in administrative work to document, track, and seek reimbursement for these services. PrimeRx allows pharmacists to quickly update patient records, with automated entry for services including immunizations, POC testing, patient counseling, and medication therapy management, among others.

Prescription Intake

Regardless of how a prescription arrives at the pharmacy, PrimeRx seamlessly manages the intake process. The system integrates directly with Surescripts Electronic Prescribing, which is the industry’s premier electronic prescribing solution.

Prescriptions arriving via fax, as well as those dropped off manually, are scanned into PrimeRx and automatically converted to electronic files.

Pharmacists no longer need to spend time manually keying in prescription information – a valuable time-saver and an effective way to reduce data entry mistakes.

Prior Authorizations/CoverMyMeds

The prior authorization process is regularly cited as a pharmacy pain point – for pharmacists as well as patients. Patients are left in limbo, often for multiple days, waiting to hear if a prescribed medication has been approved. And pharmacists must spend significant chunks of time on phone calls between payers and prescribers, trying to obtain needed approvals. Technology has solved this problem though, with the CoverMyMeds solution which automates the process. The CoverMyMeds solution offers benefits that include:

  • Faster turnaround times: 62% of PA requests submitted electronically receive a determination within two hours.
  • Improved processing for specialty medications: Electronic prior authorization for specialty medications reduces time-to-therapy on average, from 17 days to as few as 1.5 days.
  • Reduced administrative burdens: According to Fierce Healthcare, manual prior authorizations can take an excessive amount of time to complete. Meanwhile, an electronic PA requires just 1-to-3 minutes.
  • Once a payer decision is received, it can be quickly transmitted to providers, eliminating the need for time-consuming telephone calls.

CoverMyMeds is available to pharmacies and prescribers at no cost. PrimeRx enables direct integration with this helpful solution.

Real-Time Prescription Benefit

PrimeRx provides direct integration with the Real-Time Prescription Benefit by Surescripts solution. The solution connects pharmacists to patient-specific prescription cost and prior authorization information direct from the payer. The result? Information that used to take 15-20 minutes to track down manually is now immediately available. In addition to time-savings, pharmacists have an effective tool in ensuring patients leave the pharmacy with effective medications they can afford.

Intuitive Text/Drop Down Menus

Pharmacists give high marks to PrimeRx’s user-friendly format, which expedites key processes and saves valuable time. A few features include:

  • Intuitive Text: Certain fields are auto-populated based on intelligent analysis of prior data entry. This speeds routine data entry tasks and helps avoid data entry mistakes.
  • Drop Down Menus: Multiple drop-down options are included throughout the system, allowing users to simply click on the desired information field.
  • Dashboards: Pharmacies can customize dashboards within PrimeRx that allow easy-access to most-utilized information. This allows a pharmacist to monitor important pharmacy operations – dispensing queues, wait times, etc. – without having to juggle multiple screens.


Although the refill process qualifies as a previously-mentioned workflow, PrimeRx provides such a high level of efficiency that it’s important to point out the system’s time-saving capabilities. Not only does PrimeRx automate the entire refill process, but it gives pharmacists options for ordering refills, which include:

  1. Directly from a patient’s record
  2. Via the prescription number
  3. By scanning a barcode 
  4. By responding to a PrimeRx-generated “no medications remaining” notice, which will automatically generate a prescription update request to the prescriber.

a woman working in a pharmacy – PrimeRx

As participants in the October “Implementing Solutions” summit made clear, pharmacists are at a breaking point in terms of managing their growing workloads. From the moment they open their doors in the morning, until long after the day’s last patient has left, pharmacists run from task to task, often with little opportunity to catch their breath or take a moment for reflection. Unfortunately, the situation is poised to become even worse, as pharmacists take on increasingly bigger roles in patient care.

One source of relief though, will be the PrimeRx technology system, which will continue to offer time-saving solutions that help pharmacists manage and thrive. 

Schedule a demo now to discover how PrimeRx can elevate your pharmacy operations.