You may shy away from hosting workshops because of the time and energy they take to put together. But if you’re workshop-averse, you may want to reconsider.
Hosting workshops can boost your pharmacy’s bottom line by increasing word-of-mouth, encouraging community partnerships, driving foot traffic to your store, and improving your patients’ overall health.
Hosting a workshop can help you connect with your patients, engage with your community, and build awareness for your pharmacy. From conventional to unique, here are seven workshops to host.
1. Diabetes education classes
Over 34 million people — or 13 percent of the adult population — have diabetes in the United States. Some of your patients certainly fall into that group, and offering diabetes education classes can help them manage their conditions. It also could draw new diabetic patients from your community into your pharmacy for the first time.
During your workshop, go over basics like blood glucose monitoring, medication management, coping strategies, nutrition basics, and healthy lifestyle changes. You can even get reimbursed by Medicare for providing diabetes education.
If enough people enroll in your diabetes education classes, they can turn a profit. But even if the classes themselves don’t break even, getting people through the door helps all on its own. Someone who visits your pharmacy for the first time for a diabetes education class may turn into a lifelong patient.
2. Nutrition workshops
Most Americans say that they’re always on the lookout for healthy foods, but unfortunately there is a lot of bad nutrition information out there, which makes it harder for them to identify products that are actually healthful.
A nutrition workshop at the pharmacy can teach patients how to sort through the variety of bad nutrition takes to make decisions that are actually healthy. You can also teach them how to read food labels and help them create a basic meal plan for themselves and their families.
Nutrition workshops are also a great opportunity to reach out to other professionals in your area. A nutritionist can give tips on buying nutritious foods within a budget, and a chef can provide healthy recipes.
Plus, you can give out free samples, which are always a big draw.
3. Heart health workshops
Almost half of all Americans have some sort of cardiovascular disease, making it a great opportunity for your pharmacy to step in and provide education and care. Offer “heart health” workshops to educate your patients about blood pressure and cholesterol, and invite local physicians to share their expertise.
Use resources from national organizations like the American Heart Association to teach patients how to manage cardiovascular disease by eating healthy, keeping stress in check, getting enough sleep, and staying active.
You can also offer free blood pressure screenings before or after the workshop and let your patients know you provide screenings in your pharmacy any time.
4. Anxiety and stress relief sessions
Taking care of patients with mental illness is a weak spot for many pharmacies — but that also means it’s an area with a lot of opportunities to grow.
A survey from the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists Foundation and the National Alliance on Mental Illness found that 43 percent of patients taking mental health medications don’t have a strong relationship with their pharmacist. But the good news is that 91 percent said they were very comfortable going to their community pharmacy and 83 percent felt respected by their pharmacist.
Bridge the gap for those patients by hosting workshops on stress and anxiety management that demonstrate you care about their mental health. Bring in a local therapist or other stress-relief experts to talk about tactics for controlling anxiety and immediate stress relief.
5. Meditation classes
Meditation can reduce stress, enhance sleep, and improve immune system and cardiovascular health. While experts agree that meditation can’t replace traditional treatment, it can be a great addition to your patients’ health regimens or just a great way to relax.
Host a workshop about the different types of meditation, and offer a guided meditation session. You can invite a community partner to lead this, or you can do it yourself. There are several scripts to follow available online, such as these from the Inner Health Studio. Hold the workshop at your local community center for better ambiance than the pharmacy.
For more information on the health benefits of meditation, check out this fact sheet on meditation from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
6. Asthma management
One in 13 people have asthma, according to the CDC, and the condition can have a significant impact on patients’ quality of life if it isn’t well managed. Despite that, 30 to 70 percent of adults with asthma report having poor adherence to their asthma medications.
An asthma management workshop can teach these patients how to recognize symptoms, the importance of using a maintenance inhaler, and why to avoid overusing their rescue inhaler. It can also cover how to use inhalers properly and what steps they can take to avoid unwanted side effects like thrush.
Pharmacists can also help patients create an asthma action plan, which details what to do when they experience serious asthma symptoms and what to do if they need emergency assistance.
7. Living with chronic illness
For your patients living with chronic diseases that aren’t as common as conditions like diabetes, heart disease, or asthma, you can host a general workshop to help them manage.
You can cover topics like how to stay on top of multiple medications, how to talk to healthcare providers about concerns, and how to communicate with friends and family about chronic illness.
These workshops can also act as a support group to let patients express their feelings about living with a chronic illness and the frustration and isolation that often comes along with it.
Bonus: Host a non-health-related event
Show off your pharmacy’s personality by hosting a workshop or event that has nothing to do with health or medication. Hosting alternative events such as an art workshop or block party can build your reputation in the community.
These events give patients a welcome break from the stress of their daily lives or diseases, and may even bring new patients to your pharmacy.
They are also a great opportunity to connect with the other local businesses in your area and strengthen your ties to the business community as well as your patients.
A Member-Owned Organization Serving Independent Pharmacies
PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy side of their business. The member-owned company serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, expert contract negotiations, proprietary purchasing tools, distribution services, and more.
An HDA member, PBA Health operates its own NABP-accredited warehouse with more than 6,000 SKUs, including brands, generics, narcotics CII-CV, cold-storage products, and over-the-counter (OTC) products.
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