The future is here today, it seems. You might hear the beginnings of a trend and then BOOM—the idea goes from “might happen” to “happening right now and you better catch up because you’re already behind.”
At least, it seems that quick.
Here at Elements, we’re looking into the near future. We’ve settled on a total of 10 solid trends that can (and already are) affecting independent pharmacies. Here are the first five, not ranked in any order. Check our next blog post for the next five.
More Clinical Services
You already know: specialized services is the way to go. It wasn’t long ago that patients wouldn’t expect you to offer vaccinations or health screenings. Not anymore. Rare is the pharmacy that doesn’t offer cholesterol tests, blood pressure screenings, or A1C checks for blood sugar.
It will take upfront planning, changes in workflow, and perhaps some investment to evolve your pharmaceutical practice toward offering more clinical services. However, the long-term benefits will be worth it. Patient satisfaction will increase right along with your profits.
Technology can be your friend, even if your relationship can be contentious at times. If you have the right technology handling the right tasks, you and your staff will be able to deliver better, more personalized service to your patients.
From refill requests to prescription status updates, make sure your pharmacy’s phone system offers automated services for convenience—for your customers and you.
Speaking of convenience, your pharmacy better make life as easy as possible for your patients. If you don’t, they’ll likely take their business elsewhere. Do you have a mobile app? Or at least an easy-to-use, clearly organized website? Your competition, including mail-order options, are tempting alternatives to patients who may be overworked, overstressed, and overwhelmed.
More Global Health Focus
Think global. Act local. Before March 2020, could you have imagined the effects of a virus like COVID 19? A new disease might hit Moscow, Russia, and pop up in Moscow, Idaho just a few days later.
No matter where you’re located, your customers see your community pharmacy as a trusted, local source of knowledge. So, you and your staff members must be educated and aware of global events, especially global health crises. As you stay current on current events, stock up on masks, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizers, and other products that can treat or prevent an illness.
You might even want to think about adding travel vaccinations to your immunization offerings. It’s a smaller world, after all.
Make that more virtual reality.
Some providers are already using virtual reality technology to treat patients experiencing chronic pain, avoiding highly addictive pills. And studies using VR to treat anxiety, fear, and depression have offered promising results, according to Harvard Medical School.
While it may be difficult to predict whether something becomes a passing fad or a lasting staple, you and your pharmacy will benefit from your knowledge.
A Member-Owned Company Serving Independent Pharmacies
PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy-side of their business. Founded and owned by pharmacists, PBA Health serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, wholesaler contract negotiations, proprietary purchasing tools, and more.
An HDA member, PBA Health operates its own NABP-accredited secondary wholesaler with more than 6,000 SKUs, including brands, generics, narcotics CII-CV, cold-storage products, and over-the-counter (OTC) products — offering the lowest prices in the secondary market.