Best Practices

No Front End? These Retail Services Work in Any Pharmacy

Regardless of pharmacy size, location and model, there are retail-based services that you can offer to improve patient outcomes and your bottom line.

Many different factors go into determining your ideal pharmacy business model. Square footage, location, competition and much more.

For example, pharmacies operating in an outpatient setting might have a very limited (or nonexistent) front end, whereas pharmacies in rural areas with limited competition are on the opposite end of this spectrum.

Regardless of pharmacy size, location and overall model (outpatient, retail, apothecary, independent chain, etc.) there are some common threads in the retail-based services that you can offer to improve patient outcomes and your bottom line.

Meds-to-Beds & Delivery

No matter whether your transactions are mostly prescriptions or a mix of OTC products, too, there’s value in meeting your patients where they are instead of depending on them to come to you.

For outpatient pharmacies, meds-to-beds programs offer value no matter the size of your pharmacy. Meds-to-beds offers the assurance that patients have the proper prescription and the proper instructions before discharge. Regardless of product mix or pharmacy size, it makes sense for pharmacies operating in an outpatient capacity to investigate implementing a meds-to-beds program.

Beyond patient discharge, home delivery and mail order are fast becoming an essential service for pharmacy businesses of all types. Many pharmacies are concerned that delivery services represent additional costs, or that a prescription delivered is foot traffic lost. Both of those things are true; however, that doesn’t mean that delivery programs aren’t a worthwhile investment. Delivery programs help you to retain convenience-minded customers and compete with online and mail order pharmacies. Plus, you can also pair them with regular deliveries of OTC essentials like vitamins and supplements.

Nutrient Depletion Counselling

While we’re talking about vitamins and supplements, we might as well talk about supplement recommendations based on drug-induced nutrient depletion. Now, before you protest too much, yes - supplements are technically a front-end product. And if you don’t have a big (or any) front end, you might not carry much in the way of nutritional supplements or vitamins.

However, you don’t have to have a full 10ft section of supplements to start improving patient outcomes and growing sales through nutrient depletion counselling. If you have a point-of-sale integration to make recommendations at the register, you can start with just 10 frequently-recommended supplements. Or, you can even focus on 1 drug and its specific depletion and correlating supplement to begin with. Like we mentioned earlier, you can even incorporate nutrient depletion counselling in with your meds-to-beds or home delivery/mail order programs.

Pointy from Google

If you want to increase foot traffic, or simply raise awareness of your pharmacy business, you have to make it easy for people to find you. One of the simplest ways to do this is through online presence. Using Pointy from Google, you can make sure your pharmacy appears when people search for products or services near them. Even if you don’t have many OTC or retail products in your pharmacy, it’s still valuable to make sure anything you do carry pops up and that your pharmacy will be easy to find for anyone looking for “pharmacy near me”.

Bottom line? If you carry 10 OTC products or 1000, or more, every one of those products should be working for you. Using retail-based services is one way to make sure you’re optimizing every prescription sale.

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