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Check34 – A new tool to help with prescription analysis

Another successful EBI solution goes live this month.

A new online system to help community pharmacy contractors to analyse the prescription data they receive every month from the Pricing Authority is being launched by PSNC this month. A unique collaboration with the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) means all NPA members will gain access to the service, called Check34, without paying a separate subscription fee.

Check34 will enable pharmacies to monitor their monthly prescription payments as notified on the monthly FP34 Schedule of Payment they receive from the Pricing Authority. It will also provide the sort of prescription data trend analysis which until now has only been available to larger companies with substantial IT resources.

Check34 has been developed by EBI Solutions for PSNC. The application uses data and processes derived from the prescription audit work that PSNC carries out on behalf of its members.

Pharmacies who use Check34 will be able to view trends in a number of key performance indicators (KPIs) for their prescription business and look back at historical payment data. They will also, for the first time, be able to compare their individual performance against collated regional and national data.

KPIs include:

  • Items dispensed per month
  • Average item value
  • Fees and drug costs
  • Working hours (to ensure correct Practice Payment)
  • Switched prescriptions (incorrectly filed as exempt and not signed) and value of fees lost

Check34 is a great example of how EBI are creating new value and even revenue streams by augmenting existing systems with cloud and web technologies.

Mark Burdon, independent community pharmacy contractor and Chair of PSNC’s Resource, Development and Finance Subcommittee, said: “PSNC is delighted about the launch of Check34 which we believe will bring real value for community pharmacy contractors. The system will give contractors a much clearer view of the payments being made to them and the trends in those. They can also use it to assess key performance indicators and to benchmark their performance against regional and national data, giving valuable insight for their business management and planning. We are pleased to be working with the NPA, who are in a position to make this system accessible to independents at scale due to their large membership base.”

Ian Strachan, NPA Chairman, said: “For a small business like me, without a big head office resource, this is of huge practical benefit. A typical independent owner has to keep all the plates – business, regulation and practice – spinning, so to have the business data side taken care of is a great help. Cash flow and margins are tight in many independent pharmacies. It is important for us to be in control of our business processes and planning, as well as to be certain that we are being accurately remunerated by the NHS. I am delighted that the NPA is working with PSNC in such a practical way. It makes sense for us to work together in pursuit of the common purpose of helping pharmacies to thrive. We are marrying a PSNC core competence of data capture to the NPA’s uniquely expansive coverage of the independent sector.”

Patrick Grice, Check34 Project Manager at PSNC said: “Check34 has been developed by PSNC after consultation with a number of contractors and pharmacy businesses, and we believe it will give contractors a better understanding of their businesses as well as more visibility around NHS payments. The system turns NHS payments data into real business knowledge, and for many people, particularly independents and smaller businesses, this may be the first opportunity they have had to analyse and interpret their payments data in such a useful way. The system has been designed to be as easy to use as possible so we hope that Check34 will very quickly start to bring real value to contractors.”

Kirit Patel, Chief Executive of the Day Lewis Group and Vice-Chair of PSNC, said: “As I and all contractors know only too well, getting to grips with your NHS payments, what they mean, and how and why they fluctuate as they do, can be a frustrating process that is not helped by the pricing issues we continue to see. At PSNC, we are constantly considering how we can best represent and support contractors and we believe that Check34 is a welcome addition in this area. Of course PSNC will continue to audit pricing accuracy and to work with the Pricing Authority to correct systematic errors where we find them; but Check34 will give contractors the tool they need to start thinking about their NHS payments in more detail themselves as well.”