A young pharmacist discusses an over-the-counter medication with two elderly patients inside a pharmacy.
Industry updates and trends

Strategies for Pharmacy Owners to Enhance the Patient Experience

April 18, 2024

There’s no denying that competition for patients is growing stronger by the day. With big box stores buying out smaller chains and giants like Amazon debuting their own pharmacy services, patients have begun to turn to these sources to get their medications. 

Luckily, independently owned pharmacies and smaller chains have an opportunity to stand out with superior levels of care and an unparalleled patient experience.

Let’s dive into a couple of strategies your pharmacy can incorporate to ensure you’re providing a high level of care and enhancing your patient experience.

Design a Welcoming and Calming Pharmacy Environment 

While your pharmacy is your business or even your home away from home, it’s important to recognize that many patients may have health-related anxiety, and getting to the pharmacy to get their much-needed medications can take a toll on their mental health.

For patients who just got a difficult diagnosis or have to come in often to manage chronic illnesses, an overly stiff or sterile environment may not be what makes them feel comfortable or welcome. Without sacrificing safety and cleanliness standards, think about ways you can create a calming environment for patients. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Swap out loud pop radio stations for more subdued music
  • Switch cool-toned fluorescent lights for warmer-toned ones that are easier on the eyes
  • Ensure your waiting area is welcoming with comfortable chairs and educational reading materials
  • For more sensitive pharmacist consultations, consider using a private room or area with space for patients to sit down
  • For patients who are ill or struggle with mobility, consider adopting curbside pickup 

Offer Comprehensive Educational Materials and Wellness Tools

While patients may only have cause to visit your pharmacy once a month or so to get medications, make their visit worthwhile and even keep them coming back more often with up-to-date educational materials and resources to aid their health journey. Take-home pamphlets on the newest medical advances or how to manage common conditions will help patients see you as more than just a dispenser — you’ll become a trusted resource as well.

In addition, you can consider hosting different wellness programs like Q&A sessions, classes on medication safety, CPR training, or even partnering with other local businesses like fitness studios to host free parking lot trial classes to get folks interested in new exercise methods. You know your community best, just think of what your patients may be lacking in their current health regime and how you can help fill that gap.

Make It Easy to Get Medications

This last strategy seems like a no-brainer, but it’s impossible to do at scale without help. You only have so many staff members and so many hours in the day. Luckily, technology can help shoulder some of the burden and help patients get their medications more easily.

Platforms, like Nimble, can automate patient communications, remind them when it’s time to refill, and enable 100% of checkout and signature processes online. This means patients can quickly swing by and you’ll have more time to spend catching up and giving care — and less time wasted on processing payments and other manual tasks. This is perfect for the use case of picking up medications curbside, as we mentioned earlier in this blog for patients who are busy, ill, or struggle with mobility issues.

At Nimble, we’re committed to being a true partner in your pharmacy’s growth. We understand the unique benefit that independent pharmacies bring to their communities — and we’d love to help yours. If you’d like to discover exactly what that means, reach out to our team.

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