Wound care is more than just BandAids — it’s a profitable opportunity to make connections with continuing healthcare needs.
For some of your patients, wound care is a one-and-done need. They burn themselves on a hot pan or get scraped up in a fall, so they come into the pharmacy to get something to treat their temporary injury.
But for others, wound care is an ongoing need. Patients with chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and rheumatoid arthritis often need specialized wound care because their conditions make the healing process slower and more complicated. Older patients can also face complications when it comes to healing.
For these patients, especially, you should have a comprehensive wound care section to take care of their chronic issues.
Typically, they will have recommendations from their doctors about what items they need from the pharmacy to take care of their wounds. Establish relationships with local providers to find out what products they are most likely to recommend and be sure to keep those products on hand in your pharmacy.
Be prepared to answer questions about products and how to use them so patients can leave the pharmacy confident about wound care.
Your pharmacy should carry a wide variety of over-the-counter options to treat ongoing injuries and burns. This could include items like:
- General first aid, including medical tape, gauze, adhesive, scar treatments, antiseptics, and wound dressing
- Physician-recommended products
- Companion products like waterproof cast covers; hot and cold treatments; braces; and shoes, socks, and slippers
Wound Care: A Big Market
Market analysis from Grand View Research shows that the wound care market is a big opportunity — and growing. In 2020, the market was valued at nearly $20 billion and expected to grow by 4.1 percent between 2021 and 2028.
A large part of the market includes wound care products that help to prevent surgical site infections. These wounds are often larger and require regular management.
Products like honey and silver are expected to grow in popularity as advanced wound dressings because they have antimicrobial agents that encourage rapid healing and help to prevent infections better than traditional wound dressings.
Because of the increasing rate of diabetes in the US, specialty wound dressings will be in demand, including:
Because patients generally purchase wound care items as the result of an acute need, the products aren’t as price-sensitive as other items. Your pharmacy can rely on wound care for consistent, recurring profits.
Tips for Promoting Your Wound Care Section
Wound care products won’t sell themselves. These three tips will help you educate and engage your patients with your wound care section.
Education is key
Establish yourself as a resource for patients who are dealing with ongoing wound care.
Turn to sources like Medline and WoundSource to educate yourself on the latest developments in wound care so you can provide patients with the most up-to-date information on how to care for their wounds.
Familiarize yourself with each of the different items you carry and how they are used so you can conduct demonstrations for patients who may be unsure about how best to care for their wounds.
Other pharmacy services like medication reviews can also be a huge help to your wound care patients. Be aware of potential drug interactions that could slow down the healing process and work with patients’ physicians to make sure their medications are optimized to their needs.
Rely on referrals
Because many wound care patients require a high level of care, Doctor referrals are a critical part of building up your wound care section.
First, identify the types of patients most likely to have an ongoing need for wound care — elderly patients, diabetic patients, etc. — and then find which physicians in your area are most likely to see those patients.
Contact those offices and introduce yourself. Let them know what kind of products you have to offer and ask them what sort of products they recommend to their patients to make sure you can keep those items in stock. Suggest a formal partnership for patient referrals.
Because people frequently need wound care after surgical procedures, it’s also worth connecting with hospitals in your area. They could be willing to recommend your pharmacy for wound care supplies as patients transition back to their homes.
And don’t forget about urgent care clinics and freestanding emergency rooms, which is where many of your patients will turn when they suffer from an acute injury. Your pharmacy could be their first stop after they’ve had their injury stabilized at the clinic.
When you speak with physicians in your area, demonstrate that you not only have the products to assist patients with their wound care needs, but also the knowledge. Physicians will feel more confident recommending your pharmacy when they know you have the expertise to help manage patients’ ongoing needs.
Use your standard marketing channels
Wound care supplies are usually an immediate need — when you need it, you need it, and when you don’t, you don’t. Use your usual marketing channels to let existing patients know what you have so that when the need arises, they think of you.
Put together a first aid brochure to keep at your pharmacy counter that patients can use as a guide if they aren’t sure what products they need, or create a custom kit of recommended first aid products that you can recommend patients have on hand in case of a household injury.
Use your social media accounts to spotlight wound care products for specific patient conditions — these are the products you recommend for those recovering from surgery, while those are the ones you recommend for diabetics.
While establishing relationships with physicians can bring in new wound care patients, incorporating wound care products into your current marketing campaigns can help activate your existing patients.
An Independently 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 (formerly VAWD) 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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