As an industry, we need to evolve quickly, embrace change and plan for the future, as it looks like this will be the new normal for an extended period, and our pharmacy practice models will need to evolve. Now things are starting to settle, what do we need to do to maintain and keep businesses going?
1. Understand change management and lead your team through change.
In times of uncertainty, creating a clear vision and urgency for change is critical. Whilst having a clear plan for the business is always essential, it is important to remain agile and adaptable to the inevitable COVID-19 changes. The right balance will assist your team to stay focused on ensuring positive patient outcomes. Encouraging open two-way communication with the team will also enable the sharing of ideas and ease any concerns before they become a major issue.
2. Establish protocols to ensure business continuity.
This may include split shifts to keep certain team members isolated, workflow changes and system changes and adaptations. Contactless payment methods, personalised messaging, and traffic flow management may also necessary to ensure the teams stay safe and minimise risk of infection. And at no time should abuse of staff should be tolerated.
3.Embrace the use of technology in the pharmacy and your customers day-to-day lives.
The use of prescription management apps, websites and delivery apps emphasise this and are increasingly essential tools in ensuring the supply of medicines are maintained. Consistency, support and social isolation enables the team to stay safe. Using technology to receive the process and deliver prescriptions are a part of patient expectations during these uncertain times.
4. The community pharmacy is a source of trust and good advice for patients.
Regular communications to your patients about changes in medication, changes in the pharmacy (layout, staff, stock, trading hours) help educate your patients and keep them connected to your Pharmacy. Open rates and click throughs are at the highest level they have ever been, when information is timely, evidence based, and solution focused. During uncertain times, patients who feel they are ‘in the loop’ are the most appreciative, with random acts of kindness and appreciative customers being embraced at pharmacy’s all over.
5. Keep up to date with electronic prescribing.
Seemingly, every day there is an update to both Pharmaceutical and wide health legislation and processes to support the community, whether it’s on e-scripts, e-health, medicine substitution is a minefield to navigate and distil into a practical application for the pharmacy team. It’s increasingly important that any pharmacy keeps on top of the developments in this area and maximises the opportunity for both the pharmacy and their patients.
The fluctuating Pharmacy landscape is evolving and has new opportunities for 2020. If you would like assistance to stay on top of these changes and wish to have a confidential discussion about your Pharmacy give us a call on: 02 9248 2600