September 29, 2016
Are you getting excited for American Pharmacists Month?
American Pharmacists Month (APhM) is celebrated annually during the month of October to promote the pharmacy profession and to give independent community pharmacies the attention they deserve.
Independent community pharmacies are an integral part of health care, and this is the perfect opportunity for you to educate patients, motivate employees and engage your community.
Independent community pharmacies are unique in their ability to form relationships with their patients, and this is a great time to nurture those relationships.
Schedule special sessions or events where patients can come in and talk one-on-one with their pharmacist.
During these events, promote services your pharmacy offers, such as vaccinations or health screenings.
When patients are taking multiple medications, it can be hard to keep track.
Conducting medication check-ups allows pharmacists to discover unnecessary or duplicate medications, adverse reactions and passed or upcoming expiration dates. These are all potential safety and medication adherence concerns, so it’s important that they’re addressed.
Invite patients to come in and go over each medication they’re taking with a pharmacist, and allow them to ask questions.
With new changes announced and Open Enrollment approaching, it’s important that your Medicare patients understand their plans.
And, as the pharmacist they know and trust, you may be the only resource these patients have.
Host special sessions during APhM for seniors in your community to go over Medicare drug coverage and answer any questions that may arise.
iMedicare is a great way to easily compare Medicare Part D plans for patients. You can help patients find a plan that meets their needs by identifying which plans cover their medications and how much the plans cost.
Sharing information on social media is a fun and easy way to connect with your patients during APhM.
Post tips on your social media accounts so that patients can learn more about managing their medications, as well as reminders to refill their prescriptions or visit your pharmacy for a medication check-up.
You can also lead discussions with patients on topics such as medication adherence, taking the right vitamins and the benefits of the flu shot. Be sure to provide links to articles and research they may find beneficial.
If you have a pharmacy blog, update it throughout the month. And, share links to your blog posts via social media.
Even patients who have visited your pharmacy before may not know about everything you offer in your front end.
You put a lot of time and effort into front-end merchandising, so take patients on a tour through your store to make the most of it.
Consider dividing the tours into groups based on age, hobbies or conditions. Tailor the tour to meet patients’ specific needs.
For example, conduct a tour for patients who are athletic. Show them that you carry compression hose, sports nutrition products and braces for injury recovery.
Participating in race events, such as 5Ks, marathons and walkathons, is a great way to bring attention to your pharmacy.
Sign your pharmacy up as a team and invite members of your community to join. Or, ask the event coordinators if you can set up a booth.
Be prepared with handouts and giveaways to help spread the word about APhM and share your pharmacy’s mission.
Talk to other local, independent businesses in your community about supporting your pharmacy and the APhM message during the month of October.
Work out a deal with retail stores in which they promote APhM in their store. Offer to promote their business in your store in return.
Ask restaurants to promote healthy options on their menu, or spread the word by including an informational handout with the check.
Getting local leaders to understand your pharmacy’s positive influence on the community is vital to attracting more coverage and gaining support on pharmacy issues.
Invite leaders to visit your pharmacy, and have them speak with patients who are benefitting from the care your pharmacy provides.
It’s also important to let them see the services you offer in action, so they understand the true value your independent community pharmacy provides.
National Pharmacy Technician Day is Oct. 18. Check out these tips to better use pharmacy technicians.