Is pharmacy providing the service the patient really wants?
During the last few years, pharmacy have faced a number of cuts and other changes that created real challenges and problems. In UK PSNC confirmed the pharmacy funding for 2019/2020: they will be maintained at £2.59bn.. but the single activity fee was reduced from £1.29 to £1.26 in November 2018 and the Category M prices have been reduced by £10m per month between November 2018 and March 2019. On top of this the backdrop of the new Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) and growing uncertainty that Brexit may pose to pharmacists are creating more and more troubles.
That’s the environment where pharmacy owners are trying to run profitable businesses while continuing to manage their staff and provide the best care to their patients.
At the same time all operating costs are increasing: staff, rental, energy, etc. so it is no surprise, that more and more pharmacy owners are looking at ways to maximize profitability in the current climate.
We live in an age where technology is constantly evolving and where consumers rely on it every single day. The likes of Google, YouTube, LinkedIn and other social media channels allow provide platforms that enable businesses to engage with their customers and provide them with useful information.
Pharmacy owners need to consider how they can use the new technologies and the new digital tools to their best advantage. This could be by investing in dispensing robots, promoting your services through a Twitter or LinkedIn page, sending SMS messages to customers. There are some different options pharmacy owners can choose for facing the day by day challenges and for running the business in a profitable way. It is necessary pharmacy to analyze any current processes, review them and identify how you can save time, resources and money. By doing this it is possible to find lack of performance and to bring efficiency in any process and resource of the pharmacy.
In UK there are currently roughly 12,000 pharmacies. It is important pharmacy owner to understand the reason why a patient a patient chooses a pharmacy over one of the other 11,999. The key point is probably the service. Providing patients with the best possible service and making the most pleasant experience of collection of prescription, well, that’ probably the best way for ensuring a customer to return time after time. For sure it is not an easy time for running a pharmacy: said that, pharmacy can find in the new technologies and in the innovation the tools for facing the challenges and creating new options. Are you sure the patient always wants to talk with a pharmacist? Wouldn’t it be better if a patient really needing to talk to a pharmacist can find a pharmacist capable to spend time to talk with him? In a current pharmacy the staff is busy in a number of activities that could be done by robots or dispenser. So why we don’t free up pharmacist’s time for allowing him to counselling and supporting patients? Are you sure the pharmacist is now spending his time in a number of jobs that can really make a difference to patient? If we analyze this issue we can start reconsidering the organization of the pharmacy and creating a much more efficient model capable to answering better the needs of the patient.