Is your pharmacy on the right track?
We asked Doug Hoey, CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), what key things every pharmacy needs to be doing right now. He joined us for an episode of the Catalyst Pharmacy Podcast, where he discussed his journey from working in a small town pharmacy to being the head of a national organization. NCPA advocates on behalf of independent pharmacies every day, and he is passionate about helping to set them up for success.
According to Doug Hoey, these are the 3 major things that your pharmacy needs to be paying attention to right now:
1. Adherence / Medication Synchronization
“For those who have not adopted adherence and medication synchronization as building blocks in their pharmacy, that would be Job Number One,” Hoey starts off. Having some form of adherence initiative is essential in improving the health of your patients and your pharmacy’s bottom line. Medication Synchronization may seem like a daunting task, but with the right resources you can grow it gradually with confidence. For PioneerRx users, we are excited to be adding updates to the Help File within the software that will help break down the med sync process and connect you with our Sync Specialists to guide you through the process. Starting a med sync program doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. With PioneerRx by your side, you can take it one step at a time and have our support along the way.
2. Administering Immunizations
Offering vaccinations is an important service for a community pharmacy to offer. “Being able to give immunizations is a competitive advantage, especially in a Covid world,” stresses Hoey. It’s a great business opportunity that positions you for success and brings an important service to your community. It’s also a way to stand up and be competitive with chain pharmacies. “Our numbers show that about 75% of [independent] pharmacies do flu vaccines, which means that there are about 5,000 [pharmacies] that don’t,” Hoey explains. When it comes to partnerships and negotiations with government officials regarding the Covid vaccine, it’s easier for them to go with the chains because they can easily say ‘yes, all of our stores already offer immunizations’. This is why independent pharmacies need to work together as a whole to provide this essential service and be recognized as a contender in these situations.
For a full step-by-step guide on offering this service at your pharmacy, visit our How to Start a Pharmacy Vaccination Program page.
3. Social Determinants of Health
Social determinants of health is something that all pharmacies need to start paying attention to as it grows into the ‘next big thing’. Independent pharmacies are uniquely positioned to capture and assess different attributes in a patient’s world that affect their health. It goes beyond just exercise and eating properly – they could be impacted by things like access to transportation, economic stability, education, and the environment they live in. These characteristics can be documented using Care Plans within the pharmacy software and then goals can be set up to solve for these social determinants of health. “Until we solve for those, it doesn’t matter how many tablets we throw at the patient, it doesn’t matter how much money you spend on this patient,” emphasizes Hoey. “If these things in their day-to-day life aren’t solved for, the rest of it’s not going to matter.”
This is a relatively new space, and it’s still being systemized and determined how pharmacies can best document and get paid for this type of service. However, now is the time to be focusing on this aspect of a patient’s health and preparing for your pharmacy to be moving in the right direction.