Wegmans pharmacies will soon have new computer software that will allow all of its pharmacies to share prescription information.
Customers will be able to pick up prescription refills from any Wegmans pharmacy, not just the one where the original prescription was filled.
“The next-generation pharmacy software will result in faster processing time and more efficient handling of prescriptions,” said Ann Hyatt, consumer affairs manager for Wegmans. “It’s a better software system that basically just became available to us.”
The software will allow Wegmans pharmacy staff to track all prescriptions and will allow the transfer of prescriptions between stores.
“It also allows us to better track for drug interactions if a prescription was filled at another Wegmans,” said Hyatt. “If a customer has prescriptions filled at two or more Wegmans, the pharmacist can see with this system if they shouldn’t take something because it will interact with something else they’re taking.”
Taft Road to be first
The first store to launch the software will be the Taft Road location in Liverpool. The rest of the stores will get the software between now and November.
Hyatt said that the Taft Road store volunteered to be the testing grounds for the new software.
“They’ll be the training site,” she said. “All of the other stores will train there.”
Why the Taft Road site?
“They have a relatively large department,” said Andrew Feltzer, head pharmacist for Wegmans’ Syracuse division. “They can accommodate more people as they’re in training.”
Before heading into the stores, pharmacy employees will have significant instruction in the program, first instructor-led at the grocer’s Onondaga Boulevard store in a classroom setting, then computer-based training in-store at Taft Road. As more stores get the program, they will train at Taft Road before having it installed at their own stores.
The next store to premier the software will be the John Glenn store, which will kick off the new program on Sept. 12. Feltzer said he hoped all Syracuse area stores would have the program by Dec. 2.
New innovations to improve customer service
The new software will not only allow for better tracking of prescriptions, but for better customer service in general. Feltzer said the move was made to give more support for the individual pharmacies. In order to ensure that, the stores made sure every glitch was anticipated and corrected before rolling the program out to the stores.
“A lot of planning went into this,” Feltzer said. “We were very keen on making sure to plan this out properly. We wanted to roll it out with minimal disruption, both to the customers and the employees. It’s a marriage between using the best technology and taking care of the people.”
Already, the program is doing well. Feltzer said it has gone into effect in four stores in New York state, starting with Pittsford outside of Rochester.
“It’s gone very well,” he said. “It’s a testament to the fact that we planned it out very well.”
Feltzer said the new software will free up more pharmacists to consult with customers and will offer more technical support to the teams in each pharmacy.
“It will free them up to interact with the customers more,” he said. “That’s what separates us from the competition. We went to school for this stuff because we have a passion about counseling. That’s what our goal is.”
And Wegmans isn’t done there, Feltzer said. The retailer will continue to look for ways to improve customer service and incorporate new technology into its business.
“It’s a very exciting time,” he said. “There’s a lot of change going on, and it’s all going to help us to better serve people. At Wegmans, we never rest. We’re always about continuous improvement.”
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.