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Flavor of Engagement: Personalizing the Medicine-Taking Experience

Flavor of Engagement: Personalizing the Medicine-Taking Experience by Elements magazine | pbahealth.com


September 14, 2015


Offering to personalize the taste of a medication can do more than make your patients more compliant. It can help you engage with your patients by transforming a simple purchase into a meaningful interaction.

“We want pharmacists to go beyond just waiting for the customer to ask them for tips on how to make medicine time less stressful,” said Chris Cielewich, vice president of independent accounts at FLAVORx, a company that allows customers to personalize the taste of their medication in pharmacies. “We want the pharmacist to start that dialogue.”

Some pharmacists hesitate to suggest this service to patients because it’s an added charge, and they don’t want to feel like salesmen.

“But if you start to think about personalizing the taste as a solution, then it becomes a way that the pharmacy can help deliver a less stressful medicine-taking experience for both parents and their children” Cielewich said.

From commodity to service

Cielewich suggests pharmacies engage with patients by turning a commodity purchase into an experience.

“Amoxicillin is the same drug in 60,000 pharmacies across the country, but the pharmacies that choose to engage with customers, by asking children to choose how their medication will taste, they’re turning that commodity into a service,” he said. “And, ultimately into an experience.”

Improving the medicine-taking experience for kids—and making parents’ lives easier—can help build trust and loyalty between patients and pharmacists, Cielewich said.

Achieve common goals

Besides improving the experience, changing the medication’s taste can help you work with parents to achieve a common goal—getting kids to simply take their medicine.

“A lot of times parents are embarrassed to ask, ‘How can I get my kid to take his medicine?’” Cielewich said.

Don’t wait for parents to ask. Suggest it to them. “Letting children choose the taste of their medication helps kids take control of the situation, which improves their willingness to complete the whole course of the medication,” Cielewich said.

Offering additional suggestions is another way you can help parents. For example, suggest they reward their child with a small prize for finishing the medication. Cielewich said this advice can help achieve the real objective.

“You’re really, genuinely looking for patients to get better—and stay better,” he said.

Create allies

By including customizable taste as part of your pharmacy’s service profile, you can create mutually beneficial relationships between you and your patients.

“Promote these services to really get customers to become advocates for your pharmacy,” Cielewich said.

“Offer patients an experience that’s above and beyond their expectations, and then ask them for reviews,” he said. “The more you can interact and engage with the customer, the more you’re going to build value for longterm loyalty and success.”

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