Although prescription medication is essential to the health and wellbeing of your patients, you want to be more than just a prescription mill — you really want to help people in the communities you serve.
While having a sale on allergy medication and posting flyers for national immunization awareness month is a good start, these tactics don’t reach beyond your current patients. You’re looking for action items you can implement to position your pharmacy and pharmacists as a healthcare resource in the community to help attract new patients.
Without further ado, here’s five ways you can transform your pharmacy into a health hub.
1. Provide immunizations and vaccinations
Pharmacists can play an important role in disease prevention by administering immunizations at their local stores. Additionally, one can argue that pharmacies are the most accessible healthcare facility in the country, which means they can have a critical impact on health outcomes. What’s the best part about receiving your vaccinations at a pharmacy, you ask? Unlike a congested doctor’s office, you don’t need an appointment. And beyond flu shots, pharmacists can provide vaccines for shingles, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), pneumococcal, Tdap and other seasonal or site-specific immunizations. And with programs such as this one that helps you start and promote your immunization services, it’s a no brainer.
As discussed in a previous article, more than one-third of U.S. adults who have ever received the flu shot determine where to get vaccinated based on convenience — which leads us to our next point.
2. Open conveniently located retail telepharmacy sites
It comes as no surprise, but convenience plays a big role as to where patients go to acquire their prescription medications. With telepharmacy software, you can open remote-dispensing sites in convenient, underserved locations. Providing patients with more access points, or pharmacies, can help bolster your brand's reputation throughout the region you support.
Do you have a pharmacist that specializes in diabetes or geriatrics? Make use of that pharmacist's expertise across your pharmacy network through live-and-interactive video counseling. Remote-dispensing software helps you connect any pharmacist to any pharmacy. Additionally, telepharmacy software allows you to open pharmacies in locations where a traditional pharmacy wouldn’t make financial sense, creating a health hub for an entire community of patients.
3. Offer health and wellness plans
As a community pharmacy, one of your main goals should be to offer services that help patients lead healthier (and happier) lives. Nutrition support and wellness initiatives such as fitness plans and healthy eating regimens are a few of the ways you can provide wellness services to your patients. You can also tailor your offerings by implementing seasonal programs focused on allergies, heart health and other campaigns like diabetes month. These type of pharmacy services are a great way to provide value to your patients.
4. Arrange blood pressure and cholesterol screenings
Providing blood pressure and cholesterol screenings can also transform your pharmacy into a health hub. After completing a blood-pressure screening, a patient can discuss their results with a pharmacist whether live in-person or via live-and-interactive video counseling at a telepharmacy site. Also, just as you can schedule vaccination days in advance at a telepharmacy site, you can schedule cholesterol testing days ahead of time. In fact, September is national cholesterol month. Make it a priority to offer amplified cholesterol screenings throughout the month to help get your patients on track for the rest of the year.
In addition, more and more states have regulations that allow pharmacists to offer additional clinical services such as rapid diagnostic testing including flu and strep tests. Offering your patients the opportunity to forgo a trip to the doctor’s office and quickly find the right relief for their symptoms will further build your reputation as a community health destination.
5. Educate patients on all of the services you provide
Can you implement the services mentioned in this article in your pharmacy? Yes.
Do your patients know about every service your pharmacy offers? ...bueller?
Create a marketing campaign to inform and educate patients on the services your pharmacy provides. Do your patients know you can perform medication therapy management services? Do they even know what medication therapy management is? The same goes for comprehensive medication reviews, immunizations, vaccines and other clinical services. Develop your local store marketing strategy, spread the word and capture the attention of the communities you serve.
There’s a variety of services you can offer patients to help transform your pharmacy into a health hub. What services are you currently providing that position you as such? What are you planning to implement in the future? Let us know by leaving a comment below!