Innovation in a profession is so much fun. Luckily I am employed by one of the most innovative and creative companies in my profession. We are continually on the edge of new reimbursement models, technology and anything involving high quality pharmacist delivered patient care. The team also works hard to make sure we create something people see the value in. This thought brings me to my topic for today.
Pharmacy has been noted for years as a dinosaur. You know what happened to the dinosaurs? They are EXTINCT! Gone. No more. None left on the planet. What if pharmacists were gone? No more? None left on the planet? I don’t think that sounds like a place I want to be. The reason we are threatened with this possibility over and over is clearly are lack of adaptability. Plain and simple we don’t want to do anything different from what we are doing right now.
Many pharmacists tell me daily they just do not have the time for anything else. Ok. Let’s look at what is taking up your time right now. Are you still inputting prescriptions? Are you spending time restocking shelves? Are you caught up in paperwork? We must adapt. Here are a few options to start.
#1 Workflow Evaluation – We have so many extremely competent pharmacy technicians in the workforce today. Take advantage of this. Empower your technicians with their duties and ask them to make suggestions on increasing productivity. Your technicians should be doing most of the filling process, MTM prep work and inventory control. Period. Look at how much time you are spending on the “counter”.
#2 Technology – Yep. Most of us work with a desktop type computer and will look to nothing else. Everyone else is ahead of the curve. Tablets, laptops, smart devices of any kind can expand your reach … literally. Utilizing an iPad to show a patient a video on how to use their inhaler properly may change their life. I’m not being dramatic. Many patients are visual learners and your counseling time may be wasted if they aren’t comprehending anything you’re telling them.
#3 Continuing Education – Every year we wait until it’s time to renew that license and we hurry up and go online to find the CEs that are free and fast. I get it. You would rather spend time with your family than work on CEs all night on the computer. What about attending just one conference a year that will cover all your CE credits or applying for a certification that covers as well. APhA is constantly offering these style programs locally. You wouldn’t have to travel very far at all. Take some pride in what you do. If you don’t then you are destined to be replaced.
Last thought I leave you with is this. I pass old Blockbuster buildings all the time. I think….wow…when I was growing up I would go to Blockbuster every weekend. We rented movies, ordered concert tickets and honestly hung out with friends. What happens when patients can go to Redbox for their prescriptions, visit online counseling sessions provided directly from insurance companies and start hanging out at McDonalds instead of the corner locally owned pharmacy. Try something new. Do something that makes you feel good. I promise the results will be beneficial for your patients too.