The future of pharmacy: 5 ways to prepare
There’s a lot of change on the horizon for most pharmacy business owners across the UK as the cost of living continues to rise.
In the pharmacy industry, we’ve certainly seen a lot of change in recent years, and more is to be expected. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it should be seen as an opportunity.
Here are five ways that pharmacy owners can prepare to thrive through whatever’s in store for the future of pharmacy.
1 – Join a pharmacy network
Firstly, it’s really important to stay up to date with news in our industry. From working with pharmacies on a day-to-day basis, we know that many pharmacists are members of groups, networks and organisations such as the National Pharmacist Association (NPA).
These groups allow you to connect with other pharmacy owners, and are often proactive when it comes to sharing the latest news and what it means for your pharmacies. There are also many social media and WhatsApp groups for pharmacists that are worth joining too.
Staying up to date takes time. Set aside whatever time you can allocate to reading up on any changes and engaging with your network. It’s priceless in helping you to understand what you may need to consider or prepare for.
2 – Embrace digital technology
The key to succeeding in the future of pharmacy is definitely digital. This may sound daunting for some, but trust us, embracing it will help you to future proof your pharmacy business.
You are probably already using digital solutions like a PMR system, so look into how you can add to it to make your pharmacy run more efficiently. Or how it can be used to offer more, or better, services.
How MedPoint helps
A MedPoint can integrate with your existing PMR system to help you save time on dispensing prescriptions. There’s also the advantage of reducing human error at your pharmacy, especially if your team needs to support an increasing number of patients. Less human error means less time spent correcting mistakes and more time for you to focus on other revenue generating solutions.
Using something like a MedPoint means you can offer 24/7 prescription collection without needing to increase your opening hours. Pharmacies have reported this increasing their patient numbers. Of course, this can help you generate more income if more people are registered with you.
It’s likely that patients will use a pharmacy that offers increased convenience using the latest tech, especially younger generations.
3 – Listen to your community
A sure-fire way to ensure business longevity is to innovate to offer the things your customers want and need.
Surveys are a good way to find out if your patients have any additional needs. You can also utilise surveys, and channels like social media, to ask for feedback on things you’re thinking about implementing.
Face to face consultations are also a perfect chance for your team to listen to the needs of your community. If you embrace technology, one of the things you could invest time into is more quality conversations with patients.
Whilst technology will help you with things like processes and efficiency, don’t forget that it’s the human element that a pharmacy can also offer its community that is the reason people keep coming back to you.
4 – Invest in your team
When your team feel valued and happy in their role, they’re far more likely to stay with your pharmacy.
Ensure you’re providing opportunities for your team to develop new skills. If they have more spare time, thanks to digitisation streamlining processes, you could offer access to more training courses.
If you have a high staff turnover year after year, something isn’t right and It’s worth doing some work to pinpoint why this is. Doing this work to retain your team will also save you money on recruitment costs.
5 – Continually review your services
For a lot of people, your pharmacy is the first point of call for minor illnesses and common clinical conditions. To them, it is more than a dispensary, so look at implementing services that will, above all else, support your patients.
Of course, the services that people want or need access to may change over time. Take notice of any services that are underused, look into the reasons for this, and adapt if you need to.
Staying agile and responsive to your customer and patient needs is the name of the game here.
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