2024 is bringing a lot of changes for pharmacy owners. Here are three trends you should incorporate into your pharmacy for success.
The pharmacy industry is no stranger to change. Constant updates to contracts, the supply chain, and patient expectations have shaped the way pharmacy owners should approach 2024 and beyond. With new challenges come new opportunities for growth and improvement, and with increased competition comes the need for pharmacies to be at the top of their game.
Adapting to Changing Industry Trends
In recent years, several significant trends have emerged, fundamentally reshaping the way pharmacies operate. Let’s look at ways pharmacy owners can adapt to these changes in order to remain competitive and thrive in 2024.
Embracing Telehealth Services
Telehealth, or the provision of healthcare services remotely through digital communication, has revolutionized patient care. Pharmacies that embrace telehealth can leverage this trend to enhance patient engagement and expand their scope of services. Pharmacy owners and pharmacists have tons of solutions to many problems if only we can get them prescribed by someone with prescriptive authority.
Why Telehealth Matters To Your Community
Convenience: Telehealth offers patients the convenience of consulting with healthcare professionals from the comfort of their homes, reducing the need for in-person visits.
Accessibility: It extends healthcare access to broader areas, ensuring that more patients can receive necessary services. It also allows providers with specialties to have a far greater reach than just driving distance. Patients and pharmacies are no longer limited by the services of their local prescribers.
Pharmacies can partner with providers that offer complete telehealth services. Several turnkey solutions will allow your pharmacy to begin providing services that a telehealth provider orders. Here at DiversifyRx, one of our favorites is Ola Digital Health.
Suppose you are a compounding pharmacy and find it difficult to get prescriptions from a local doctor. Have your patients see a telemedicine provider that is comfortable with prescribing compounds. This example is one reason why independent pharmacy owners should be looking into telemedicine solutions.
Personalized Medicine and Pharmacogenomics (PGx)
The emergence of personalized medicine and pharmacogenomics represents a groundbreaking shift in healthcare. These fields focus on tailoring medical treatments and medications to individual genetic profiles, ensuring more effective and safer therapies. Pharmacy owners should consider ways to leverage this trend by offering tailored medication regimens.
Why Personalized Medicine and Pharmacogenomics Matter
Optimized Treatment: Personalized medicine allows for the selection of medications that are most effective for an individual’s genetic makeup, minimizing adverse effects and maximizing therapeutic benefits.
Reduced Trial and Error: Patients often go through a trial-and-error process to find the right medication. Pharmacogenomics can help identify the most suitable medication from the start, saving time and reducing patient frustration.
Enhanced Safety: Tailoring medications based on genetic information reduces the risk of adverse drug reactions, potentially saving lives.
Pharmacies can collaborate with genetic testing laboratories and healthcare providers to offer genetic testing services that provide insights into a patient’s response to various medications. Pharmacists can then recommend an optimized therapy plan for the patient.
PGx testing has stalled for many pharmacies due to unclear legal landscapes. Can pharmacists order tests? Can pharmacists interpret the tests? It seems silly that the medication experts would not be able to order medication-related testing, but we live in a backward world sometimes. If you have been held back from diving into PGx testing by this uncertainty, you have two options: 1. get a PGx lab that recognizes pharmacists, or 2. see telehealth services above to generate an order.
There is a ton of innovation going on in the PGx world. We see a lot of movement towards specification. Instead of big panels that test for everything, tests are becoming more focused. Some examples are ADHD meds for kids, mental health meds for moms, hair loss treatment, and more. A great general lab to work with is OneOme.
Navigating the Rise of Online Pharmacies
The rise of online pharmacies has introduced a new dimension of competition to the industry. To stay competitive, traditional brick-and-mortar pharmacies must adapt by establishing a robust online presence, streamlining their online operations, prioritizing customer convenience, and improving transparency.
Why Online Pharmacies Matter
Convenience: Online pharmacies offer the convenience of ordering medications and healthcare products from the comfort of one’s home. Products are shipped directly to the patient’s home. Uber convenient!
Wider Selection: They often provide a broader range of products and medications, giving patients more choices.
Price Transparency: Online pharmacies often offer price transparency, allowing patients to compare prices easily.
You have undoubtedly lost patients, prescriptions, and profits to an online pharmacy. I call it silent attrition. You don’t realize you have lost this business because there isn’t an obvious transfer or non-refill. Your patients go elsewhere because you don’t let them know you can provide the same types of services they are getting online. Here are some suggestions to help you compete with online pharmacy services.
- Enhance Your Online Presence: Create a user-friendly website that showcases available services, products, and contact information. Your website should not be a digital brochure. It should be making you money 24/7. Check out this website review Dr. Lisa Faast and Drugstore2Door did.
- Streamline Online Operations: Ensure that the online ordering and prescription refill processes are seamless and secure. Consider offering OTC kits, common items purchased together to treat a specific issue.
- Prioritize Customer Convenience: Implement online prescription tracking and reminders to enhance patient adherence. Offer flexible delivery options, including mail order and curbside pickup.
While changing your pharmacy takes work and effort, it will pay you back multiple times over by helping you attract and retain more valuable patients. For pharmacy owners who are looking for a proven pharmacy success roadmap, we recommend you check out Pharmacy Badass University.