September 26, 2014
As a pharmacist, you already have a wealth of expertise at your fingertips. But as a busy medical professional, you don’t always have a wealth of time to share this knowledge. Bridge that gap by transforming a corner of your pharmacy into a health information center.
A space dedicated to providing technology and resources to educate patients enables them to get answers to health care questions and to study up on their conditions without a pharmacist’s immediate assistance. Providing this free education also helps reinforce your pharmacy as an authority on health in the community.
So where do you begin creating one? Here are a few ideas.
While brochure stands might lack originality, they’ve endured for a reason. They’re an effective way to communicate a large number of ideas at once and patients can take the information with them. Plus, setup is cheap and easy, and once you assemble a stand, it requires little upkeep. Be sure to provide brochures on a variety of topics, such as diabetes, cold and flu, allergies, asthma, depression, anxiety, pediatrics, women’s health, men’s health, vitamins and nutrition. The American Pharmacists Association offers 18 free printable brochures on its website. Some are also available in Spanish.
Set up a tablet (like an iPad or a Microsoft Surface) for patients to browse health information. With thousands of health care apps available for download, a tablet system is customizable and versatile. Check out our list of the best apps to use in your pharmacy. However, tablets can be a theft or damage liability, so be sure to invest in a lockable, shatterproof stand (available at any number of online or retail stores.)
Promote monthly giveaways in your health information center to increase interest in the space and to reward loyal customers. For example, you could do a drawing for free vitamins during National Nutrition Month in March. Patients who enter your health information center to sign up for the giveaway will then be more likely to hang around and check out the resources you provide.
Hang up a bulletin board in your health information center to create a forum for discussion and promotion of health-related events. It’s a great area to post announcements about guest speakers at the civic center, diabetes education classes at your pharmacy or free yoga classes in the park. Encourage community members and local businesses to use the board.
Don’t have the space to devote inside your store? Take your expertise to the Internet. Develop a resources section for your patients on your pharmacy’s website. It could be as simple as compiling a section of links to useful websites or as complex as writing your own health blog. By transforming your pharmacy into a savvy health resource, you’ll increase web traffic to your site while also providing value to patients.