Treat first …. Then relieve

After more than 2 years effectively being locked out of retail pharmacy and unable to conduct our processing efficiency and engagement effectiveness audit and benchmarking work, we are tentatively returning to assist pharmacy teams in this way again.  With only a small handful of new audits post-hiatus under our belt, we are reminded of the old adage ……….. the more things change, the more they stay the same.  Whilst the industry has experienced tectonic shifts since new year 2020, we already have the premonition that the essence of the engagement and solution dialogue “down the back” of the pharmacy is remarkably unchanged.

Too often the conversation and agenda are predominantly driven by the customer.  Too often the pharmacy health professional reacts and responds to the customer’s questions, expectations and agenda and think they have delivered a great retail experience by stopping there.  Too often the pharmacy health professional does not use the fulfilment of reacting and responding as merely a platform to prompt and proact with the customer.  Too often the pharmacy health professional assumes the script customer does not need reminding how to take their meds safely and effectively.  Too often the pharmacy health professional races to symptomatic relief for the OTC customer, without prefacing that conversation piece with dialogue to build a differential diagnosis and “best bet” diagnosis in order to appropriately treat first.  Before relieving symptoms.

Such guilty pharmacy teams fail to provide the customer a compelling reason to come back to their pharmacy and fail to adequately provide the customer with a more complete solution than what they thought they were coming into the pharmacy for.  Oh dear ……….. this is the same conclusion I drew from the audits when we conducted our first tranche of data and benchmarks back in 2012.

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