Making use of your pharmacy’s data is less daunting than it may look, writes Guy Mckenzie
It’s hard to turn from what you know. It seems to be when someone asks the question, “Have you looked at what data is available?” it creates a sense of insecurity. Or it can make you think current structures and processes don’t work very well because they aren’t already data-driven.
This doesn’t need to be the case when understanding how technology can help your business grow, especially pharmacy. Technology is there to enhance your performance with more informed decisions and data that has been generated, stored and processed about your pharmacy – for your pharmacy.
While the price disclosures and declining margins set to come into effect on October 1 put pressure on pharmacies to perform, technology has never been more eminent to combat these challenges. Here are three key ways we’ve found help our clients make a difference in their pharmacy.
Using data insights to achieve your vision
Every pharmacy has a vision they want to achieve, whether it is to make it to next year, provide more specialised services by the end of 2017, or to have completely transformed their business model in five years’ time. When your team are passionate and on board about this vision it makes it easier to map what goals and objectives you and your team need to achieve this vision.
The insights your data can give you are most effective when they are shaped around these decisions being made to achieve your vision. A long-term goal from this could be to use the data and collaborate with your generic sales representative to sustainably grow your substitution.
You may then look at data for insights on short-term objectives to compare particular generics and their substitution behaviour pre and post price disclosures in October to maximise new high margin, low volume drugs.
Either way your data is there to provide you with the hard facts you need as a health care professional – as well as a business owner – to sustain growth and project your team into the future with a competitive edge.
Taking advantage of live data
Your organisation’s data is and always will be live so long as you are dispensing and selling through machines. Taking advantage of this could mean the difference between a 5% increase in product margins at the end of the month opposed to a severe decline.
Live data means proactive change, and proactive actions play a vital role in enhancing the performance of your business for real-time impact.
Pharmacy owners, managers and lead pharmacists are able to change substitution behaviour throughout the day in the dispensary and respond to patient needs.
Pharmacists are also empowered to bridge the gap between the dispensary and front of shop by extending their reach with tailored tools to set focus products and educate staff on benefits. Patients receive a simple but personalised experience every visit just by having access to real-time insights.
All it takes is a business tool agile enough with pharmacies to respond to industry challenges like price disclosures as they happen.
Adding a data-driven approach to your workplace culture
Becoming familiar with technology and what your insights can identify is one thing – engaging and motivating your workplace with these insights is another.
Change management can be as easy or tough as the business tool allows. Engaging your staff with that technology and making it a part of their day to quickly jump on, drill down into the data, and know where it is substitution or focus products need to change can make the difference that sees you achieve your vision.
Thinking digitally from a data-driven approach is not new – it’s innovative. Your team will constantly be innovating the services you deliver to your patients, re-introducing creative thinking to the way your pharmacy can out-perform challenges and proactively change substitution behaviour for sustainable growth.
Guy Mckenzie is the CEO of PharmaData.