Inside: Discover the simple innovative pharmacy ideas that you can implement in your business right away. See how small changes can make a big difference.
National chain pharmacies pop up on nearly every street corner. And they’re only multiplying.
They have the resources to pave new paths, to invest in the latest technology and to stay on the cutting edge.
If you want to keep up with them, your pharmacy has to continually innovate. But you don’t need to invent the next world-saving solution.
You can find simple innovative pharmacy ideas and implement them in your business. Small changes can make a big impression. In fact, here are 15 innovative pharmacy ideas you can use to set your pharmacy apart from the competition right away.
These Are the Best Innovative Pharmacy Ideas for Independent Retail Pharmacies
You don’t have to look far to find innovative pharmacy business ideas.
Think about the products or services you can offer to improve your patients’ lives.
Do what’s best for your patients and innovation will come naturally. Because at the end of the day, your patients are what matters.
1. Build unusual partnerships
Partner with unexpected businesses on mutually-beneficial projects.
Form community partnerships to:
- Craft innovative health programs
- Sponsor charity events
- Develop community outreach projects
For example, an independent regional chain in Ohio partnered with a physical therapy practice to help patients. Pharmacists screen patients before they begin rehabilitation or work with a physical trainer.
2. Adopt the newest technology
Technology and innovation go hand-in-hand.
Stay ahead of the curve when you use the latest technology to improve the patient experience.
How to stay on top of technology:
- Subscribe to industry publications
- Attend conferences
- Talk to your colleagues
3. Redesign your store
Your store design can change the way patients think about pharmacy.
Use your store’s design to change up the typical patient experience. Make it more than a drug transaction.
Here’s an innovative idea to try: Take the focus away from the drug counter.
For example, create a natural products sample area or a wellness bar in the center of the pharmacy. Add a lounge for patients to spend time in. Keep the drug bays behind closed doors, so patients can’t see them.
4. Embrace your provider role
Change the way you think about your pharmacy’s role.
Instead of acting primarily as a dispenser of goods, think of your pharmacy as a service provider.
Consider offering new services that your local competitors don’t.
Make your business stand out with services like:
5. Streamline your workflow
Reimagining your pharmacy’s workflow can make your day-to-day procedures more innovative.
Look for ways to reduce the chance for error, improve the patient experience and increase efficiency.
In particular, robotics continue to pave paths for efficiencies that can take your business to the next level.
6. Reinvent your aisles
Test out new ideas in your pharmacy’s aisles.
Offer innovative front-end products to set your pharmacy apart from big box retailers. Choose products that showcase your pharmacy as forward-thinking.
For example, The RefreshinQ Co.’s supplement dose packs provide unique, personalized products that the national chains don’t offer.
7. Call your pharmacy a “practice”
Language can affect the way you and other people view your pharmacy.
When you call it a “practice,” you show patients a new way of looking at your pharmacy.
And, it showcases your focus on treating the patient, not on selling commodities.
8. Test patients’ genes for better care
The latest medical innovation your pharmacy can adopt is pharmacogenomics testing.
Offering this service can reinvent the way you dispense medication. And, it will paint your pharmacy as a pioneer.
Pharmacogenomics studies how genes affect a person’s response to drugs. It pinpoints what medications will and won’t work. And, it shows which ones have the potential to improve that patient’s outcomes.
9. Offer employees original perks
Don’t simply innovate for your patients. Innovate for your employees, too.
Make your pharmacy a place where people want to work.
For example, burgeoning startups have started giving their employees unlimited vacation. Why? It shows you trust them and it increases their engagement and productivity at work.
Can’t offer unlimited vacation? Try these ideas:
- Encourage break time
- Create a workplace health program
- Promote physical activity, like offering a discount to a local gym
- Offer flexible schedules
- Create a mental wellness program
10. Change your mind
Coming up with great ideas often involves being open to new points of view.
That means you may need to revise your original thought process.
And nothing stifles innovation like stubbornness
These Are the Most Important Pharmacy Metrics to Measure
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11. Seek out negative feedback
Most people avoid negative feedback, which is why seeking it out makes you innovative.
Negative feedback is one of the best ways to improve your business and produce creative solutions.
Foster an environment that encourages feedback from patients and from your employees
12. Adopt a front-end niche
Whether you offer pet products or diabetic shoes, developing a front-end niche can reinvigorate your front end.
Commit to offering a great selection of niche-specific products. New, fresh products can set your pharmacy apart from the competition.
And be ready to offer guidance to help patients choose the right products for them
13. Embrace digital
Many independent pharmacies are slow to adopt digital trends.
Don’t fall behind.
People use their mobile devices for everything today. And they want their local pharmacy to keep up.
Use digital refills, text reminders and email rewards to keep the next generation of patients loyal to your pharmacy.
14. Don’t be afraid to fail
No one likes to fail. But with innovation comes the risk of failure.
But if you aren’t failing, you aren’t innovating.
Develop a mindset that accepts failure and learns from it as you continue to grow your pharmacy. And, give your employees the same freedom to fail when they take risks for your business.
15. Make wholesalers compete for your business
What could be more innovative than doing something that other pharmacies aren’t?
Most pharmacies work with one wholesaler to negotiate a contract for buying pharmaceuticals. Whether they negotiate on their own or through a buying group, the majority of pharmacies get a bid from one wholesaler. That means they’re stuck with the offer they’re given, with no knowledge of what they could get elsewhere.
Don’t let this un-innovative approach hurt your bottom line.
Get a better contract with ProfitGuard®, a primary wholesaler contract negotiation and management service from PBA Health.
ProfitGuard is one of the only GPOs that isn’t tied to a single wholesaler. ProfitGuard forms regional groups of pharmacies and bids their business across several different national wholesalers. This approach drives competition to get better contract terms for everyone, getting you a deal that can’t be matched by a GPO committed to one wholesaler.
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 run 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 warehouse 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.