Inside: How to save time by outsourcing important non-pharmacy work to the pros.
The reason you became a pharmacist is to care for patients. But think about all those extraneous management and administrative tasks that eat up your time and prevent you from giving your patients the attention they deserve.
If you find yourself tired of looking at spreadsheets or fiddling with technology, it might be time to outsource.
Lots of pharmacy tasks can be easily outsourced by hiring an outside professional. In addition to saving you time, professionals can often perform certain functions better and more efficiently than you could on your own because they’re focusing on their specialty.
Here are eight functions you could take off your plate with outsourcing.
1. Human Resources
Making sure your employees have all the pay and benefits they are entitled to is a huge task — and if you don’t have time to devote to it, you could find yourself in violation of federal and state employment laws.
Because of all the intricacies that come along with employment, human resources tasks are well-suited for outsourcing. These are some of the HR functions that can be easily outsourced:
- Compensation, including taking care of tax obligations, managing PTO, and getting employees their paychecks
- Benefits administration, including identifying which benefits programs suit the pharmacy’s needs
- Employee records management and other administrative tasks related to employment, like answering employee questions about their benefits and compensation
2. Information Technology
Your pharmacy is full of technology, but you’re not a computer scientist. When a computer isn’t working like it’s supposed to, you can either drop everything to fix it or call in the professionals.
Outsourcing IT services can help you maintain all of the technology in your pharmacy without a hassle. A managed IT service provides services like a help desk you can call when you need someone walk you through a fix, off-site data storage to keep your pharmacy’s computer backups secure, implementing safety protocols in case of a cyberattack, and developing an emergency plan so you can recover your data after a disaster.
Since cyberattacks are on the rise and breaches can prove costly, having an IT professional on your side can save you pain in the long run.
3. Website Optimization
Having a polished website is one way that you can make a great first impression on potential patients. But if you don’t have coding or graphic design experience, that can be a tall task.
Hire a professional to create a good-looking, easy-to-use website for your pharmacy. A good designer will know what information you need to include on your website, what pages patients will be looking for, and how to optimize the site for both desktop and web.
You should also hire someone with experience in search engine optimization (SEO). Well-done SEO will help people find your site on search platforms like Google, but the algorithms search engines use to prioritize certain websites aren’t straightforward to laymen. An expert will help you find the right keywords to make your site more Google-friendly.
Unless you just love looking at spreadsheets, outsourcing your accounting and bookkeeping tasks to a professional is a no-brainer.
A pro is more likely to know the latest state rules and reporting methods to keep your finances nice and organized, and they will be more informed on new QuickBooks features, making them more efficient than you would be on your own. What is a time-consuming task for you is second nature for a professional accountant or bookkeeper.
And this year, because of coronavirus relief, your taxes are going to be more complicated than ever. To make sure you’re maximizing your potential refund, let a professional take the reins.
If the concepts of “A/B testing” or “clickthrough rates” make you feel dizzy, it could be a sign you should outsource your marketing efforts. Your pharmacy needs effective marketing in order to grow, but when you do it yourself, you have to be a graphic designer, a copywriter, and a strategist all in one.
When you outsource your marketing needs, you don’t have to worry about all the stats and messaging. A marketing professional will help identify your target audience and determine what kind of marketing will work for them. They can manage email campaigns, print advertising, social media, and more, and you can reap the benefits without all the stress that goes along with it.
6. Administrative Tasks
Think about all the tiny administrative tasks that eat up a moment here and a moment there. When you add up all those small moments, that can turn out to be a big chunk of your day.
A virtual administrative assistant can help you take care of the more tedious task. From managing your email and calendar to setting up appointments with patients, a digital assistant can keep these tedious tasks off your plate.
To cut down on phone calls that interrupt your workflow, consider implementing an interactive voice response (IVR) system. IVR can field calls and take care of basic tasks so the phone won’t ring as frequently.
Bringing a new employee onto your pharmacy team can be both costly and time-consuming. Posting on job boards, sorting through dozens if not hundreds of resumes, and then conducting interviews.
The good news is, you can outsource recruiting to a professional — either a staffing agency or a professional recruiter. You tell them the position you are hiring for and what qualifications are required, then they solicit applications and vet the best candidates.
You still get to conduct that final interview and choose the person you think is the best fit for the job, but you don’t have to go through all the administrative hassle that comes before.
8. Purchasing Decisions
Between finding the lowest prices and figuring out how to maximize your contract incentives for the biggest rebate, keeping your pharmacy inventory stocked can be a tall task.
Fortunately, ProfitGuard® by PBA Health can take those difficult decisions off your hands. ProfitGuard’s Navigation report arrives in your inbox every day to help you make smarter purchasing decisions. Using proprietary technology, it continuously calculates your purchasing information, including every incentive and commitment in your wholesaler contract, and advises you on which NDCs to purchase from which suppliers so you can maximize your wholesaler rebates and take advantage of low prices.
With ProfitGuard, you won’t have to think twice about your purchasing, and you’ll save more money than you ever could on your own. Many ProfitGuard pharmacies who take advantage of the Navigation tool have achieved an average savings of 6 percent on their total prescription volume. For a pharmacy that has the NCPA-average cost of goods of $2,768,280, that’s a savings of $166,096 straight into your pocket.
When Huy Duong, RPh, owner of Dale’s Pharmacy in Fort Lupton, Colorado, discovered ProfitGuard, he couldn’t believe how long his business had gone without it. “What have we been doing all these years?” he asked. “It’s like it opened our eyes.” (Read his success story here.)
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.