Find Out What Makes You Stand Out: Three Questions for Independent Pharmacists on the Mainline
New customers are the lifeblood of any business. It’s a statement that’s as true for the local car dealership as it is for the neighborhood independent pharmacy, but those in the latter category know that bringing in more foot traffic is easier said than done.
For one thing, there is no owner’s manual that instructs you on how to set your pharmacy apart while keeping it familiar and friendly to those who already know you. Moreover, there isn’t any primer for how to best swing the competitive balance in your favor, particularly given the continued emergence of big-box retailers on every street corner.
However, there are three questions that every pharmacist should ask himself or herself before taking action.
1. What are we doing that we should be doing more of?
Most pharmacies, independent or otherwise, have become well-established in the practice of offering flu vaccinations and other immunization-based services. The key is to turn what might currently be thought of as a diversion from the normal course of business into the main revenue stream.
In his address to the National Community Pharmacy Association during its most recent annual meeting, Bruce Kneeland, Community Pharmacy Specialist, spoke of how valuable an aggressive immunization program can be to independents, suggesting that “year-round vaccinations could earn [any given] pharmacy an extra $38K per year.”
In Kneeland’s estimation, one out of four vaccines is currently administered in the pharmacy setting, leaving plenty of upside for growth. What it takes is following up on existing immunization registry data that are likely already in the system and making recommendations to patients on getting up-to-date.
2. What are we not doing that we should start?
Medication therapy management (MTM) is one area that’s generally underserved in the pharmacy setting. Kneeland explained that partnering with local hospitals can be a huge deal-maker for patients looking for simple, easy-to-follow direction in managing their pharmaceutical needs.
“Opportunities are out there, but the thing is they are not necessarily going to be brought to you,” Kneeland said. “They need to be done by you thinking like an entrepreneur and going out into the community and finding ways to partner, save the system, and help patients.”
This concept dovetails into the much broader subject of point-of-care testing and how pharmacogenetic data fits into the big picture. Insurance reimbursement doesn’t factor into it at present, but the fact that greater numbers of patients are showing interest makes the topic worth pursuing in more detail, particularly in light of statistics that show “about 25% of the population are under-metabolizers.”
3. What are we doing that we should stop doing?
If you’re going about your normal course of business without making the extra effort to speak to your patients about ways to make onsite clinical services work better on their behalf, you’re doing your pharmacy a disservice.
At Benzer Pharmacy, we know that time may be short—and that it’s possible you may not have the necessary resources at your immediate disposal—but our representatives are here to help. We can assist you in sorting out the details so you can get back to what you do best.
For more turnkey solutions, visit http://franchise.benzerpharmacy.com today.