STORES Magazine - February 2009 - (Page 40)

NUTS AND BOLTS / DRUG STORE SYSTEMS Keeping Records and Customers Hardware/software solution helps smaller drug chains automate CMEA logging BY D. GAIL FLEENOR B uying over-the-counter medications for t h e s n i ff l e s became much more complicated a few years back. In its assault on methamphetamine production, the federal government placed medications containing pseudoephedrine (PSE), ephedrine or phenylpropanolamine (PPA) behind pharmacy counters and required stores to maintain records of their purchase. Many smaller pharmacies use manual, paper-based logbooks to track sales of products containing these List I chemicals, but a drug store chain in Washington State has opted for the combination of a handheld computer to scan driver’s licenses and specially designed software to automate record-keeping and speed sales. Most national chains use POS software to track such purchases, but many 40 STORES / FEBRUARY 2009 smaller operations record the information required by the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act (CMEA) in a hard copy journal. In order to reduce the likelihood of illegal sales of these products to the same consumer within a 24hour period, many pharmacies must physically scan the previous three or four journal pages. Family-owned Bartell Drugs decided to try a different approach. The Seattlebased chain has 56 stores and is well acquainted with the paperwork its pharmacy techs would be filling out for List I purchases: Dan Connolly, company pharmacist and pharmacy project manager, served on the governor’s committee for CMEA implementation. Bartell began to search for a solution and chose to pilot ComplyScan software, a wireless automated data capture and management system from Bellevue, Wash.-based Pharmitas. “Of the three systems we looked at, this was easiest to use even though it may be more expensive because handhelds had to be purchased,” Connolly says. It also was easier for Bartell to integrate the solution rather than make changes to its POS system. Bartell Drugs piloted the solution in the 10 stores with highest rates of such purchases. “Our stores love” the new system, which saves 60 to 70 percent of the time previously required to record PSE purchases. “The training took about two minutes,” Connolly says, and Bartell actually drew some PSE sales from competitors who were using hard copy record-keeping because transactions were so much faster. Connolly is a firm believer in the software approach to List I record-keeping and verification. “We like that records are stored off-premises mainly because of HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability] regulations,” he says. “We didn’t want to store records for every PSE purchase and we discovered that Pharmitas would store the records and purge them every 24 months. Another factor we like is that none of our stores can run reports on its own: Reports must be run from a cenWWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - February 2009

STORES Magazine - February 2009
Executive Editor's Page
President's Page
Are You a Pusher or a Puller?
What Shoppers Think
Online Retail Satisfaction
10 Things You May Have Missed
Numbers Worth Counting
Full Price/Markdown
Retail People
Cover Story - Something’s Got to Give
First Look
Online Partners
Inventory Systems
Drug Store Systems
Business Intelligence
Inventory Managment
Online Marketing
Supply Chain - Better Data, Better Decisions
Returns Management - Identifying Fraud
Data Security - Securing Intimate Data
Anti-Shoplifting - Mall of Shame?
Risk Management - Securing Consumer Confidence
Loeb Retail letter
ARTS Update
Point of View
NRF News
Retail Crossword
Retail Industry Calendar
End Cap

STORES Magazine - February 2009