Although the beginning of the year always creates some exciting business opportunities, it frequently brings a new set of challenges as well. What lays in store for your pharmacy in 2019? Affordability issues, non-adherence, the lack of qualified personnel, and the increasing competition are some of the trouble spots you’re likely to face in the next few months or so.
There’s no single remedy for all of these ailments, however, some crucial challenges affecting pharmacies today can be quickly solved with the help of medical answering service. Let’s review them together:
1. Lack of Accreditation
It’s quite likely that your pharmacy has already obtained industry accreditation to stay ahead of the field. However, the compliance requirements keep changing, and you must ensure ongoing conformity with recent regulations to remain accredited. Some of the latest updates in this field include mandatory provisioning of after-hours phone assistance to pharmacy customers.
To remain eligible, you not only have to deliver around-the-clock patient support over the phone but also track and manage critical indicators for call management. Hiring a specialized, HIPAA-compliant healthcare answering services company is the most convenient and cost-efficient way to fulfill that condition.
(You can read more about pharmacy accreditation in this post).
2. An Ever-Increasing Competition
While medicine use and spending in the USA continues to grow, so does the competition. The struggle for customer volume and higher margins is especially testing for community pharmacies that not only compete against mail-order prescription providers but also have to face chain drug retailers.
As patients are shifting their buying behavior and seek alternative medicine suppliers, you can quickly improve patient satisfaction scores and retention rate by supplying 24/7 access to your services. Turning to a specialist call answering company will help you support your patients at all times, and deliver your services with care, speed, and accuracy.
3. Patient Irritation with Automation
From a business owner’s perspective, automation is a smart way to reduce spending and optimize the workload. By automating some processes, you can relieve your staff of tedious, repetitive tasks, save time, and cut down on operational expenses. However, when it comes to call handling, patients are unlikely to share your excitement with automation.
Personalization of services and the human factor are particularly vital in the industry that involves people experiencing distress who seek comfort and assurance. Instead of leaving your patients to an automated voice or untrained staff, let them speak to a trained, compassionate professional who will lend them a sympathetic ear and provide with a quick solution to their problems.
Stress and fatigue profoundly affect pharmacy specialists. In one of the recent studies, over two-thirds of the responding pharmacists described their workload as high or excessively high.
63% of pharmacists reported higher stress levels over the last few years
As a pharmacist, you’re highly-susceptible to burn-out and stress. You are dealing with constant multitasking under time pressure while at the same time you take responsibility for someone’s life on a daily basis. That is why it’s in your best interest to outsource as many tasks that don’t require your direct involvement as possible. A medical answering service proves invaluable in this case. Thanks to such aid, you can spare yourself and your staff the constant interruption of handling calls, and concentrate on critical duties instead.
5. Service Accessibility
Have you heard your clients complain about inconvenient business hours, long queues, and busy signal? If that’s the case, you’re on a quick road to patient frustration. A frustrated patient equals poor buying experience, which leads to customer dropout, and, consequently, dwindling income.
To make sure you don’t add to your patients’ irritation, consider hiring a specialist answering services provider that will professionally handle all your phone communication. Once your patients understand they can reach your pharmacy any time to seek help, they will appreciate your goodwill and concern. That’s the first step to establishing a good patient rapport and securing higher income.
Staffing costs can eat away your pharmacy revenue, therefore you’re trying to keep the number of employees to the minimum. While hospitals and doctor’s offices may afford to hire a full-time receptionist, for pharmacies taking on an extra person can be a real challenge. Moreover, your staff have to tend to their tasks and cannot be expected to answer every single call.
A medically-trained answering services provider will not only make sure no call is left unanswered when your staff is occupied but will also cover for vacation, weekends, and sick leaves. And you can rest assured that your staff remains productive and focused, with no distractions around.
Grow Your Pharmacy Business with Professional Answering Services
Understanding and adequately addressing significant challenges that your pharmacy may be facing is imperative to gaining a competitive edge and enjoying business prosperity. Fortunately, you have a vast range of tools and solutions at your disposal to deal with the above burning issues expediently and cost-effectively. A reliable answering services provider will help you improve patient care, reduce overhead, and step into 2019 with a peace of mind.
Would you like to learn more about optimizing your pharmacy business?