A few years ago, large retail chains were a huge threat. They introduced consumers to numerous conveniences. Now, pharmacy customers expect such luxuries as longer pharmacy hours, online refill requests, flexible delivery options, and prescription alerts.
Today’s post-pandemic world has its own set of challenges. The struggle is finding the right solutions to solve them. Here are a few of the biggest challenges you will encounter and solutions to help you along the way.
Decreasing Profit Margins
The challenge here is the Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). PBMs determine the drugs covered by an insurance provider. They decide the drugs’ prices, too. The three largest PBMs are in control of nearly 80 percent of the medicine market. Their profit grows; your reimbursements decline. Pharmacies like yours are constantly searching for ways to offset your shrinking bottom line.
Have you reviewed your margins and other performance numbers lately? If not, you should do this regularly. It will tell you if you’re operating efficiently and cost-effectively.
You can save a lot of time and money with pharmacy management software. And, you can avoid expensive mistakes. Pharmacy software offers access to auditing tools that help you validate prescription benefits electronically. You can:
- reduce paper clutter
- reduce time on calls
- maximize reimbursements
- easily track claims
Strained Economic Conditions
Ongoing supply-chain issues have affected product demand and pricing. Plus, working short-staffed has been an additional burden.
Are you maximizing your resources? Transition some of your daily, time-consuming, repetitive tasks to your pharmacy software. For instance, your software can offer great support. Some systems have features that will:
- verify designated prescription queues
- submit claims to payors
- bill copays to A/R
- print prescription labels
With these features, you and your staff can put your focus on other tasks.
Your Growing Role in Patient Care
Your role has expanded in recent years. For example, you’re much more involved in such things as:
- patient education
- safety metrics like medication adherence
- care team collaboration
- point-of-care testing
More responsibilities along with the recent labor shortages mean a busier, stressed-out pharmacy.
Find ways to lessen some of your workload without sacrificing the care you give to your patients. For example, look into a pharmacy software system that can streamline your patient communications. Doing so will give you more time for other tasks.
Staying Up to Date
You have to keep up with the Joneses to compete in today’s digital world. With a small budget, though, it can be difficult. However, implementing new technologies and offerings is important. Software solutions can reduce dispensing errors, boost medication adherence, and increase quality assurance and efficiency each day.
Software solutions can reduce dispensing errors, boost medication adherence, and increase quality assurance and efficiency each day. So, invest in technology that will best suit your needs and goals. For instance, a pharmacy mobile app and online refill options can help you reach more patients digitally. Plus, it’ll provide the same level of service as the big-box stores.
Building and Maintaining a Patient Base
Adopting digital tools and platforms for the success of your business is a necessity in your pharmacy. Therefore, make the most out of digital demands by creating your own methods to increase the growth of your business.
It’s your pharmacy, which means you can do whatever you want to attract more customers. But to be successful, you’ll want to pay attention to what’s new and what’s working for other community pharmacies. Here are some ideas for increasing business growth:
- Use a digital marketing strategy to attract online audiences. This can include a website, social-media presence, and/or online reviews.
- Do you have a pharmacy mobile app or cloud-based IVR? Maximize efficiency and offer your patients a convenient and easy experience.
- You need in-demand services to support adherence. So, why not offer services such as medication therapy management (MTM), telehealth, and medication synchronization?
As an independent pharmacist, you frame services and products around your patients’ wants and needs. That said, take a second look at what you offer. Then find what you can change up in your pharmacy for extra business. You may have to move things around a bit. For instance, rearrange things based on the most-used health products or adjust services to meet current demands. Staying competitive will keep your pharmacy alive with the sound of patients.
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.