August 19, 2015
Change is a difficult, but a necessary part of running any business, and your pharmacy is no exception.
Without change, your pharmacy can fall behind the times, your systems will end up out-of-date and your business will suffer. Whether you’re switching computer systems, introducing your procedures to new location, or initiating a new service, making a change can be challenging. Old habits are hard to break, and change requires a lot of work from you and your staff.
Here are five steps to follow to successfully institute change at your pharmacy.
Changes should be framed and introduced to your staff as a solution to a problem.
For example, if you’re investing in a new robot that will change your pharmacy’s workflow, introduce the change to your staff by explaining that the robot will help improve efficiency for everyone.
Taking the time to explain the problem to your staff may seem unnecessary, but defining the problem helps explain why the change is necessary, and it can help get your staff on board.
Create, share and follow a schedule for instating the change.
Some changes have to happen overnight, such as installing a new machine if an old one breaks, but other changes happen over time, such as introducing your policies to a new pharmacy location.
By creating a plan, your staff will be prepared for the type of change and how long it will take. If your change is going to effect patients, such as an adjustment in your pharmacy’s hours of operation, be sure you share the information, plan and schedule with your patients, too.
Make sure your staff and patients are on the same page about the problem and the approach you’re going to use to fix it (the change.)
Communicate regularly with your staff and patients to make sure they understand the change, why it’s necessary, and what their part in it is. If you have to make any adjustments to the schedule you’ve laid out, made sure you let anyone who it affects know.
Put the change into action in your pharmacy and reinforce it.
In accordance with your schedule, institute the change at your pharmacy with enthusiasm. Give positive feedback to staff members who are embracing the change well, and correct staff members who don’t adhere, or who are struggling.
Reinforcing the change, especially in the beginning, helps make sure staff members don’t slip back into old habits.
Go back every month, or year, and reaffirm that the change you’ve introduced is solving the problem. It’s easier to make tweaks and small adjustments as you go rather than waiting several years until a problem grows and requires a large-scale update.
Change is never easy, but sometimes it’s necessary. Use these tips to smoothly institute a change in your pharmacy.