August 7, 2018
Inside: It’s hard to open your wallet for menial maintenance. But neglecting these pharmacy maintenance tasks can end up costing more in the long run.
With everything else going on with your business, pharmacy maintenance often gets the short end of your attention.
Your computer update alert gets snoozed. Your pharmacy’s exterior sign gets grimy. A leaky pipe gets some duct tape.
Avoidance or quick-fix strategies sometimes work in the short term. But they’ll come back to bite you eventually. Outdated software invites a virus in. The dirty sign will turn away new customers. The leaky pipe will ruin the floor.
And all those pharmacy maintenance issues cost your business hard-earned cash.
Neglecting maintenance will lead to:
Fixing these issues will take a steep financial toll. Some experts estimate that investing in routine maintenance will cost 30 times less than replacement costs or major repair costs later on. Those same experts recommend spending up to 6 percent of your budget on routine maintenance.
Don’t overlook the most common costly pharmacy maintenance tasks. Or, they could bite your bottom line.
The word maintenance typically brings to mind tasks associated with the physical building.
Although that’s true, your pharmacy needs to maintain more than just your building. Anything involved in your business even in the smallest way requires upkeep to run smoothly.
Keeping up with maintenance doesn’t have to drain your bank account or monopolize your attention.
But you should carve out time in your routine for regular maintenance. Or, hire experts to help.
Websites become outdated quickly, both their design and their security. With the prevalence of website services like Squarespace and Wix, small business can make their websites look as snazzy as the richest corporations.
And if they don’t, patients notice.
Old and ugly designs make your pharmacy seem out-of-touch and make site navigation difficult. Out-of-date areas take longer to load and cause more errors.
These small problems make people frustrated when they try to access information on your website. Especially if they use your website for refills.
And, an outdated website hurts your search engine ranking. If you don’t rank on the first page of Google search results, people will have a hard time discovering your pharmacy’s website.
Water erodes and destroys. Water that seeps through a leaky roof will rot the wood and walls inside a building. Mold will grow. And by the time you discover it, the damages could cost you a fortune.
Also, a poorly maintained roof lasts almost half as long as a well-maintained one.
Keep the water out with good roof maintenance practices. Commercial roofs should get inspected twice per year. This may require hiring a professional company.
If you inspect the roof yourself, search for defects in these important areas suggested by Progressive Materials, a roofing systems manufacturer:
When’s the last time you painted your pharmacy’s walls? When did you last get your floors professionally cleaned and polished?
Cosmetics matter to customer perception. They could make the difference between someone choosing your pharmacy or going elsewhere. Losing a single patient due to an unattractive or unclean interior will cost you much more than any interior maintenance.
Clean and revamp these interior parts as needed:
Similar to your interior and exterior cosmetic maintenance, landscaping makes a big difference in patient perception.
Imagine landscape as your pharmacy’s clothing. You wouldn’t wear fraying and dirty clothes to the office. So, you shouldn’t allow your landscape to go ungroomed.
Poor lawn care and unkempt weeds make your pharmacy seem neglected and unprofessional. Likewise, nicely landscaped areas create an attractive and professional image for your pharmacy.
Hire a professional landscaping company to keep the outside of your building clean and attractive.
A cracked or leaning foundation is a dangerous hazard that you can’t ignore.
If you go years without inspecting the building’s foundation, the damage could bring extremely high repair costs. Foundation repairs typically cost in the tens of thousands of dollars, depending on how much deterioration has occurred.
The earlier you spot cracks, the easier and cheaper the solution will be. Check your foundation monthly and contact a specialist if you notice cracks growing.
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems need regular tune-ups and inspections.
HVAC routine maintenance prevents two costly problems:
1. Low efficiency
2. Early replacement
Even with filters, HVAC systems build up grime and experience wear and tear over time. This wear lowers the efficiency of the system, which raises the cost of your monthly utility bill.
It also lowers the total lifespan of the system. Buying a new HVAC system costs far more than paying a certified technician to routinely check and tune-up your HVAC.
Over the course of a day or week, abandoned prescriptions start to stack up. Bins overflow. Urgent medications mix with neglected medications.
With full will-call bins, techs have to dig through the pile to find what they need.
The time it takes to find prescriptions adds up. And it costs your pharmacy in patient dissatisfaction by making them wait longer and increasing the risk for errors.
Prescriptions sitting in the bins also can’t be sold, which stalls inventory turnover and cash flow.
Implement a weekly routine to clean up abandoned prescriptions from your will-call bins.
Inventory maintenance makes the biggest difference in your pharmacy costs.
It requires a perfect balance to maximize your money.
Too much inventory stunts cash flow. Too little inventory stalls revenue.
Keeping the balance takes daily maintenance. But it costs less and is easier than your other critical maintenance tasks.
Learn how to optimize your inventory maintenance to minimize your costs.
Even with the help of computer software, claims reconciliation is tedious work. And most people assume that if a payer owes you money, they’ll pay it. Which makes it easy to procrastinate.
But if you don’t maintain claims reconciliation on a routine basis, you’ll miss out on money that payers owe you. A study funded by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) revealed that a pharmacy could potentially lose up to $34,000 in a single year from unreconciled claims.
If you don’t have the time to thoroughly maintain your claims on a regular basis, consider hiring a professional pharmacy services company to do it for you. eRecon from Pharmacy Providers of Oklahoma provides an automated reconciliation of third party claims at the transaction level.
If you neglect these pharmacy maintenance tasks, you neglect your pharmacy business. Invest now to save later.
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