When your pharmacy team can better serve your community of patients, they will like you more and your bottom line will benefit.
Pharmacies have always been an essential part of the healthcare system. While our role has been focused on dispensing prescriptions, pharmacies have also taken on a new part: giving health and wellness services to communities.
As pharmacists’ roles have expanded, it has become increasingly important for pharmacies to have diverse teams of employees who can meet the needs of all their potential patients. Let’s discuss the importance of diversity in pharmacies and how it can lead to increased customer satisfaction, which always helps boost pharmacy profit.
You Have A Diverse Potential Patient Base
Your community is full of people who need your pharmacy services. No two are exactly alike. While it is critical to know and understand your perfect ideal customer, you also want to be accessible to many. Diversity can have several meanings. It could mean language, race, education, age, physical ability, or many other factors. By understanding the unique needs of your area, you can better hire the right team to service them.
If you are in a high Hispanic area, then having Spanish speakers on staff will make patients happy and increase your pharmacy revenue. Your pharmacy could be near several senior living facilities. By offering free delivery you now open up your services to a whole new population.
What minority groups are being underserved in your community? In talking to pharmacy owners every day, here are recent groups other owners have discovered they could be serving better:
- Deaf people
- Minority languages, particularly Punjabi
- HIV positive patients
- People without easy transportation
Once you identify a need, evaluate your team to see if you are up to serving this group. Sometimes you can hire someone with a particular set of language skills, which isn’t that complicated. Other services such as delivery or packaging of medications may take more planning. When your pharmacy team can better serve more people, it is good for the patients and for the health of your pharmacy.
Diversity Can Lead to a More Positive Work Environment.
It is important to note that customer satisfaction is not the only reason pharmacy diversity is essential. In addition to leading to increased patient satisfaction, diversity in pharmacies can also lead to a more positive work environment. A diverse team of employees can help create an atmosphere of respect and inclusion. It has been observed that younger employees are looking to work for companies whose values and visions align with their own. These values can be a broad range from respecting the environment to helping the poor. Having aligned values can lead to increased job satisfaction and motivation among employees.
Diversity also leads to increased creativity and innovation within a pharmacy team. A diverse group of employees is more likely to come up with new ideas and solutions to problems than a team that is not diverse. When employees are happy and motivated, they are more likely to be productive. This can lead to increased pharmacy profits.
Diversity Can Help Attract and Retain Patients.
Another reason why diversity in pharmacies is essential is that it can help attract and retain patients. Patients are more likely to do business with a pharmacy that they feel understands and respects their needs. You don’t even have to be perfect, just the fact that you are aware and are trying is greatly appreciated.
My first job as a licensed pharmacist was in a little town called Wasco in California. This town was primarily a farming town and was 90% Hispanic. Therefore, most of my patients were Hispanic and many of them did not speak English at all. I still needed to counsel them and be able to check prescriptions even if they were in a different language. I made an effort to learn the language. I didn’t always get it right. They greatly appreciated the fact that I was trying. I grew that pharmacy by 500% within 2 years. Word got around that there was a nice pharmacist who cared and spoke Spanish.
Grow Through Diversity
With a focus on diversity in your pharmacy team and pharmacy services, you can stand out from your competition. A pharmacy known for its variety can be a more attractive option for patients (and referring prescribers) in a competitive market.
Diverse pharmacies are better able to meet the needs of patients and create a more positive work environment for employees. Variety can also help attract and retain customers. When looking at ways to grow your pharmacy, be sure to consider the importance of diversity. It could make all the difference to your community.