Cue the confetti: Wednesday, January 12th is a special day — and it’s all about you. Every year, National Pharmacist Day recognizes the innovations, improvements, and impact that pharmacists have on the healthcare field; and this year, we celebrate the independent pharmacists in the PioneerRx family and beyond.
In a field like pharmacy, recognition can feel like it’s few and far between. As a pharmacist, you work around the clock, behind the scenes, to keep your business afloat. Too often, it may seem like your hard work goes unnoticed.
As an independent pharmacist, you are a critical part of the healthcare system, and your role is only growing. As the industry moves from an outdated fill-and-bill model to a value-based model focused on patient care, you’ve shown just how capable you are. From fighting on the frontlines of COVID-19 to providing patient counseling to finding new ways to reach your community, you continue to show up and show out.
Today, we celebrate alongside you. To kick off National Pharmacist Day, here are just a few reasons that we love independent pharmacists:
There’s nothing quite like human connection, and there’s no one that creates connections quite like independent pharmacists. Because you are deeply rooted in your community, you know your patients on a personal and professional level. You have a unique ability to turn strangers into familiar faces, creating strong patient-provider relationships that last for years. And it pays off.
85% of patients prefer going to their local pharmacy rather than ordering their meds through the mail. So don’t underestimate the power of a friendly wave or a quick conversation: it’s your personal touch that keeps your patients coming back.
Ed Hudon, Owner of The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy in Boyertown, PA, talks about the importance of personalized care on the Catalyst Pharmacy Podcast. Watch this short clip to learn how Ed adds a personal touch to his pharmacy:
As a pharmacist, you not only connect with your patients, but you also connect with your team. Every time you interact with your team of pharmacists, techs, and support staff, you influence them — and you use your influence to lead them to success. You teach them, train them, and lay a blueprint for how they can advance in pharmacy practice.
You don’t take your position of leadership lightly. You know that leaders can make or break a team, so you work to be the best possible leader you can be. And it pays off.
As an effective leader, you:
Pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare providers, with 9 in 10 Americans living within 5 miles of a pharmacy. In metropolitan areas, that distance shrinks to 1.8 miles.
If patients have trouble getting to you, you make accommodations. You come in early or stay up late. You make special deliveries. You set up mobile clinics or immunization centers. No matter how you do it, you always go the extra mile for your patients — and, in the process, you prove the value of independent pharmacy.
The pandemic proved that independent pharmacists are capable of caring for their communities in times of uncertainty. Throughout the last 2 years, you’ve offered testing, vaccinations, and support when it’s needed most. That was only the beginning, though.
As the field of pharmacy continues to grow and evolve every day, you stay up to speed. As you learn new things, you try new things. You implement new services, test out new techniques, and brainstorm new ways to get out in your community. You adjust your business model. You adapt your workflow.
You make changes to see changes — and that’s what keeps you relevant.
Of all your responsibilities as a pharmacist, the most important revolve around engaging, informing, and educating your patients. You take the time to meet with patients, explain concepts, answer questions, and clear up confusion so that they feel comfortable with their treatment plans. You know that education goes a long way, and you don’t shy away from it.
In addition to educating your patients, you take the time to educate other professionals: whether at your pharmacy, in local or state associations, or in national networks. You know the value of investing in others, and you are happy to make that investment.
Take the example of Alison Haas, pharmacy owner and Lead Luminary for CPESN Ohio. Alison works closely with CPESN and Flip the Pharmacy, a nationwide program that teaches pharmacies how to transform their practices with clinical services.
But pharmacies can’t move forward without first learning how to do it. That’s why Alison values continuing education so much. In fact, she considers education to be The Best Investment of All.
If you’re already investing in education, you’re already paving the way for a profitable future for your pharmacy.
You don’t just invest in your pharmacy, though. You invest in all pharmacies, including those in your city, state, and across the country. You:
It’s no secret that the industry needs to see change — in matters like PBMs, DIR fees, and provider status legislation — and you aren’t afraid to step up and share your voice.
Mindy Smith, Senior VP of Professional Services at Tabula Rasa Healthcare, joins the Catalyst Pharmacy Podcast to discuss how independent pharmacies can get involved in legislation. Watch this short clip for quick and easy tips to get started:
Independent pharmacists know that the future of the profession is found in clinical services. As such, you don’t just focus on dispensing: instead, you invest in new and profitable services that can increase your cash flow. Maybe you take on one niche service, or maybe you take on a few. Either way, you use clinical services as a way to serve your patients and pad your pocketbook.
Are you investing in any of these profitable clinical services in 2022?
Learn how you can get started with a new program this year by reading our blog, New Year, New Services.
As a pharmacist, you don’t only adapt to new advancements and innovations: you help create them. Your profession makes you a valuable member of the scientific community.
Every day, you conduct research, test out hypotheses, and solve complex problems. With each of your findings, you improve your own operations and help others improve theirs. As you find new treatments, create new compounds, or discover new practice pearls, you simultaneously push pharmacy forward.
That’s why you’re constantly looking to improve upon existing science, medicine, and technology: you care about creating a more effective, more efficient future for yourself and others.
In your position, you know that clinical skills aren’t enough. Because pharmacy is a business, just like any other business, you invest in the financial side of the pharmacy in order to keep your doors open. Not only do you keep up with your finances — by tracking inventory, running reports, monitoring sales, and managing expenses — but you also brainstorm new ways to bring in revenue.
You introduce profitable services, invest in front-end and OTC items, and increase adherence. You keep your patients and your employees happy to foster loyalty and reduce turnover. You save where you can and spend where you should.
You know that money isn’t everything, but it is something — something that you should take seriously if you want to see success.
More than anything, though, you create and maintain trust.
According to a Gallup poll, pharmacists are among the most trusted professionals, right after doctors, nurses, and teachers. In the poll, nearly two-thirds of Americans called pharmacists’ honesty and ethical standards “very high” or “high.”
And it’s not just patients that trust you. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals do, too. Every day, you collaborate with these professionals to treat your patients. In the process, you gain a reputation and build rapport. Other people trust you to make informed decisions about treatment, offer input, and give advice.
Amina Abubakar, Owner of Avant Pharmacy & Wellness Center in Charlotte, NC, joins the Catalyst Pharmacy Podcast to share her advice for creating strong connections with providers. According to Amina, it’s all about getting your foot in the door.
As she says, “I can tell you that providers are very much interested in [building] a business relationship if you can show them how.”