Independent Pharmacy News

The Pharmacy category is for all Pharmacy related posts.

Creating a Year-Round Immunization Business

By |September 17th, 2012|

Pharmacists can now play an even greater role in improving public health, not only by educating and advocating about the importance of immunizations but also providing them. Over two decades the ability of pharmacist to provide immunizations has grown tremendously, in 1994 Washington was the first state to give community pharmacists the authority to vaccinate the public and in 2009 Maine was the final state to approve influenza vaccine administration by pharmacists. Now all 50 states allow pharmacists to vaccinate the public, although training and certification requirements, types of vaccines allowed, patient ages, collaborative practice agreement requirements and other intricacies vary by state. Refer to your state practice act and board of pharmacy for specific details.

While pharmacists nationwide may be providing influenza vaccinations, a greater opportunity exists to improve public health and pharmacy profits by expanding vaccination services year-round. Where allowed by law, increasing the number of and types of vaccinations provided may help to increase store traffic, pharmacy [...]

Creating a Positive Public Image: New Programs to Consider

By |September 17th, 2012|

Creating a positive public image is an extension of the pharmacy’s marketing and community outreach efforts. Designing ways to build the pharmacy’s reputation as a health and wellness center will appeal to the desires of today’s consumers. Using a variety of media to reach consumers with the pharmacy’s messaging is important. So is carry a common look and feel throughout the in-store messaging, to external messaging on the pharmacy’s Web site, its social media pages/sites, newsletters and other forms of advertising. American Pharmacist Month and national health observances are great ways to showcase the pharmacy’s service and products. Other campaigns, such as medication ‘Take-Back” days and “Buy Local” can position the pharmacy as a socially conscious member of the community.

American Pharmacist Month
Held each year in October, American Pharmacists Month (APhM) recognizes the significant contributions to health care and the commitment to patient care by pharmacists in ALL practice settings from around the country. “Know Your MEDICINE, Know Your [...]

Building Sustainable and Effective Patient Care Programs

By |September 17th, 2012|

Pharmacists are increasingly being called upon to provide direct patient care programs that improve chronic disease management and improve the public health. Pharmacist-provided MTM services, immunization, and smoking cessation are examples of patient-care services that can help achieve our nation’s 10-year health goals outlined in the Healthy People 2020 report. The Healthy People initiative provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. For 3 decades, Healthy People has established benchmarks and monitored progress over time in order to:

Encourage collaborations across sectors.
Guide individuals toward making informed health decisions.
Measure the impact of prevention activities.

Many pharmacist-provided patient care services are reimbursable from a variety of payers and networks. Others services may be offered on a cash-paying basis. When instituting patient care services, it is important to integrate them into the operations of the pharmacy for the long-term. This is referred to as sustainable patient care services. Building sustainability and measure a program’s effectiveness through economic, clinical, [...]

Building Patient Loyalty: Resources to Help

By |September 17th, 2012|

Attracting new customers to the pharmacy and keeping them coming back is a core goal for independent pharmacists. As a recent America’s Pharmacist article title says, “You’re in the Patient Business.” Treating patients right means they’ll return to the pharmacy, and become an advocate to others for the business. Pharmacists can learn some good pointers from customer loyalty experts. Recently, Inc. Magazine compiled seven of the most innovative and ingenious tips on building customer loyalty from articles, guides, and interviews in Inc. and Inc.com. The top seven are:

1. Create Enlightening Experiences
By doing so, the pharmacy will make customers feel good about being there rather than irritated that they have to spend time waiting for their prescription. Providing complimentary refreshments, waiting areas, and health information in a variety of formats are some ideas that independent pharmacy owners have used to do so.

2. When You Do Wrong, Make it Right
Resolving customer complaints is among the best ways to earn [...]

Understanding Business Financials: Benchmarking for Success

By |September 17th, 2012|

Understanding the pharmacy’s financials is critical to measuring the health and progress of the business and the efficiency of its financial management. The pharmacist/owner can use the businesses’ key performance indicators (described in a separate monograph) and benchmark their values against other pharmacies of like size and characteristics. According to Steve LeFever, founder and chairman of Business Resource Services and developer of the Profit Mastery program, has written that there are seven steps to business success:

Proper planning
Monitoring financial position
Understanding the relationship between price, volume, and costs
Managing cash flow
Managing growth
Borrowing properly
Planning for transition

LeFever suggests using these steps as a “performance” checklist several times a year. He also cautions leaving “scorekeeping” to your accountant since it is the pharmacist/owner who is at risk with the bank. He also suggests that financial priorities be cash flow, net profits, and sales. LeFever notes that a rolling 12-month cash flow projection is not only a critical planning tool, [...]

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    Trends in Health Information Technology: Considerations for New Products

Trends in Health Information Technology: Considerations for New Products

By |September 17th, 2012|

Many pharmacists are unaware that implementing health information technology has been a big strategic push on the part of the Federal government since 2004. At that time, former President George W. Bush appointed the nation’s first chief technology officer, David Brailer, and created the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, or ONC. Flash forward seven years, and the ONC is now on its fourth leader and its third strategic plan. Nearly $20 billion in funding has been provided through the 2009 HITECH Act (the stimulus bill) to help move the vision forward that Bush outlined:
“We will make wider use of electronic records and other health information technology to help control costs and reduce dangerous medical errors.”         – President Bush, January 31, 2006
Health IT efforts are directed at improving quality and reducing costs by creating a system of electronic health records, or EHRs, that can exchange information between various health care entities through [...]

Stocking the Pharmacy: Stick to the Basics

By |September 17th, 2012|

Recent consumer research conducted by the National Association of Community Pharmacists (NCPA) illuminates some interesting differences in perceptions between what pharmacists think their customers want and what those customers actually desire. Such research can help direct decisions about what to stock in the pharmacy’s front end. In particular, consumers are looking for health and wellness services and information to aid their pursuit of a healthy lifestyle and want a wide variety of information related to wellness. This is an area that independent pharmacists perceived to be less of a need than the actual research shows and attention to health and wellness items as well as core departments is important when making layout and stocking decisions.

When looking strategically at the pharmacy’s front-end, appearances and strategic pricing do matter. Ensuring the pharmacy has attractive and neat signage both inside and out, bright lighting and wide aisles, and neat, up-to-date décor. Some pharmacists make it a point to walk the perimeter of [...]

Selling Strategy

By |September 6th, 2012|

The right exit plan can put more money in your pocket and keep an asset in your community.

Over the years, you have made lifelong customers who have placed their utmost trust in you, hired employees you are proud to call friends, and your pharmacy has become a fixture in the community. But the time has finally come for you to retire and enjoy the life you have worked for. It is a time many people look forward to, but for a pharmacy owner, one question has to be answered before retirement. To whom do I sell? Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid have all made offers. You have resisted for a long time, knowing that your pharmacy will be lost to the community forever, and understanding the consequences that the transition will have on your customers and employees. But you know the time has come to retire, and now it is up to you to decide which option is best.

But there is another option. An option that will allow your customers to continue receiving personal service, secure jobs for your employees, [...]

Pharmacy – Pennsylvania

By |January 25th, 2012|

Ed, RPh
Pennsylvania

Thanks again for coming to Pennsylvania and seeing our store and for helping me to acquire enough money to make it happen. Chip, Ed W. and Sarah P. really made it happen for me, and I owe you more than just money. Thanks again for everything.

Pharmacy Financing – Wyoming

By |January 25th, 2012|

Kirk, RPh
Wyoming

Live Oak Bank is truly a bank for Pharmacists looking for funding. Ed and Sarah took great care of me and the loan process went very smoothly. They helped me through the paperwork piece by piece, making the experience as painless as possible. In a world where everyone is just a number, it is refreshing to know that personal service still exists. I would absolutely recommend Live Oak Bank and their personal, professional service to anyone looking for pharmacy financing!