November 1, 2016
How are you helping patients with diabetes manage their condition?
Twenty-nine million people in the U.S. have diabetes, according to the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014.
And, from 2006 to 2013, the number of adults with diabetes who were maintaining healthy blood sugar levels declined, according to a study published in September 2016 by the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
For patients with diabetes, proper care may start with filling prescriptions, but there’s so much more that goes into living with the disease—and staying healthy.
Help your pharmacy’s patients manage their diabetes with these five ideas that go above and beyond providing prescriptions.
Many patients with diabetes struggle with adherence, lifestyle changes and self-care, which prevents them from getting their diabetes under control.
By hosting diabetes education classes in your community, you can educate more people living with diabetes and help them manage their conditions.
And, offering a diabetes education class can attract new patients with diabetes who haven’t visited your pharmacy before.
Form partnerships with diabetes educators, nurses and physicians who can help market your diabetes education program to their patients. They may also be willing to speak at your classes and provide additional educational materials.
Patients with diabetes tend to visit your pharmacy more regularly, to fill prescriptions and pick up supplies.
Promoting supplementary diabetes products can help these patients manage their conditions while improving your pharmacy’s bottom line.
Create a special section in your front end for diabetes-related products, and be prepared to make recommendations. For example, if a patient with diabetes is struggling to find a skin care product that works, you can point him in the direction of your diabetes section and recommend one that may be more effective.
Additionally, provide brochures or educational materials that will help patients navigate your diabetes section and choose the products that are right for them.
It’s important for patients with diabetes to regularly check their blood sugar to keep blood glucose levels in their target range.
Offering blood glucose testing at your pharmacy is a quick and convenient way to help patients ensure their blood sugar is under control. And, it gives patients the ability to speak with a pharmacist in real-time about what their results mean.
These screenings also present an opportunity to form a relationship with patients with diabetes and inform them about your diabetes education classes or supplementary diabetes products.
Many patients with diabetes take multiple medications, likely prescribed by multiple doctors.
Conduct medication reviews for these patients that include prescriptions as well as over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Be sure to discuss any medication interactions and inform them about possible side effects.
If a patient is taking an OTC medication, use your expertise to recommend a drug that may be more effective or less expensive.
World Diabetes Day is an annual day dedicated to building awareness about diabetes. The celebration takes place on Nov. 14, during National Diabetes Month.
This year’s theme is “Eyes On Diabetes.” It focuses on the importance of screening to ensure early diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and treatment to reduce the risk of serious complications.
World Diabetes Day is the perfect opportunity to promote your pharmacy as a diabetes care provider.
Ideas for celebrating World Diabetes Day in your pharmacy include:
Take a look at these additional patient care services your independent community pharmacy can offer to become a health care destination.