Best Practices

Optimizing Clinical Services in Your Pharmacy

It’s more important than ever to cultivate non-prescription revenue. One way to do that is through your front end. Another way is clinical services.

It’s more important than ever to cultivate non-prescription revenue. One way to do that is through your front end. Another way is through clinical services.

There are a variety of options for incorporating clinical services into your pharmacy business model. You can choose the service, or services, that work best for your areas of expertise, passions, business model and customer demographics.

Each clinical service you implement takes its own unique path to success. However, there’s one commonality between every service. You need to grow volume for any service to become a revenue-generator.

This means you need a plan in place to promote and grow your clinical services. If the idea of promoting anything doesn’t sound like fun, don’t worry; there are some easy ways to approach the concept!

Start with partnership & professional referrals.

There are some clinical services that you just can’t run alone. Like remote patient monitoring, for example. The nature of RPM requires partnership with a physician. When you’re working with a service like this, communication with your partner provider is key. You’ll need to make sure that the right expectations are being set with the patient from the very beginning and that everyone knows the plan for follow-up, billing and any other touch points.

You can also work with providers to share awareness of any services you offer. Referrals are a great way to grow your business. Make sure the providers you work with already understand available services, who’s a candidate for them and what the benefits are.

Make information easily accessible.

Not everyone will ask the question or take the time to talk when picking up a prescription. That doesn’t mean they aren’t curious. Have information available to send physically with customers (like bag stuffers or brochures) for later review and/or make sure details are easily accessible through your website. Include key information that patients will be looking for. You’ll want to share a service or program overview, what factors make a patient a good candidate to participate, if there are any requirements or caveats, benefits, and of course cost/billing/insurance coverage information.

Host events.

If there can be a National Velociraptor Awareness Day, or a National Pretzel Day, you can certainly make your own day to highlight patient wellness and clinical services. Have a “Learn About Nutrient Depletion Day” where you offer giveaways, promotions on supplements, and provide education on drug-induced nutrient depletion and the benefits of quality supplements. Doing so during Medicare Open Enrollment is also a great option. Have a day where you schedule appointments to make sure patients are choosing the right plan. Bag stuffers and social media are effective and easy ways to promote events in advance.

Use receipt space.

You certainly don’t want to create a CVS length receipt, but you can squeeze in a couple of lines to make customers aware of the services you offer. Whether printed, emailed or both, a receipt does offer valuable real estate. Just keep your messages to the point and take up as little space as possible.

Get comfortable with the conversation.

Promoting clinical services isn’t about selling, it’s about educating. Make sure whoever will be having conversations about your clinical services is comfortable with the subject matter. Come up with the questions you want to ask patients. Define the situations where specific services should be discussed. Create a process that makes it easy for clerks to request a pharmacist or specialist consult. If you have the conversations, the conversions will follow.

Pick one service to focus on.

Don’t try to grow every service all at once! Not only will it stress your infrastructure, you’re less likely to succeed if your focus is split. Pick one to start with. If it’s your first go-round, start with the service that offers the path of least resistance. Define what success will look like, create your plan and go from there.

If you’re looking for details on clinical services with more tips to get started, check out our Clinical Services Play list for more information.

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