Why Patient Engagement Is Important For Your Pharmacy

Patient engagement is a growing focus in the pharmacy industry. With so many programs targeting loyalty drivers, what are we doing for patient engagement? There are several avenues currently being perused to further develop the pharmacy/patient relationship. Some would say that loyalty drivers themselves boost engagement. Without these efforts, the pharmacy business you could be retaining will be lost to competitors.

Surveys

Patient engagement surveys are in many pharmacies. Most of us have seen them so many times we don’t even look twice at them now. They typically print out on receipt paper at the end of your transaction. The questions vary, but are usually centered around the same ones. Speed, in stocks, pharmacist/counselling availability and courteous service are among some of the most common. There surveys can be a very helpful tool, as they give the customer an open forum to discuss their concerns and express what they feel is being done right.

Genuine Service

Pharmacy staff should be encouraged to build relationships with their customer base. Trying to remember their names, spending an extra second asking about their day, or even sharing a light-hearted story will go a long way to engage the customer and drive repeat business. Set a goal to have several long running conversations with the faces you see trickle in multiple times every month. You will begin to see some people even stop by just to say hello and conversate. This type of loyalty is key in driving your business.

Adherence

Taking advantage of your pharmacy’s patient adherence programs can boost engagement as well. It opens a great line of communication between the pharmacy staff and the patient and gets them more involved in their healthcare. As you are checking to make sure they are consistently taking their medications and understand the importance of doing so, you are building trust with each check-in. This trust that is being developed will drive business by creating loyalty, repeat business and referrals. These aren’t just pointless phone calls geared to get the script count up. They are designed with patient engagement and wellness in mind.

Whichever approach your pharmacy takes, be sure your team understands the importance of patient engagement. In such a constant, fast-paced environment, it is vital that the team knows that taking an extra minute to make a moment with a patient is ok. It is incredibly easy to become too task-oriented while we enter a time of high prescription volumes and fewer payroll hours.

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