How a South Dakota Pharmacy Uses Digital to Combat Online Competition

Dakota Country Pharmacy has been in Philip, South Dakota since the 1920s, but Dillon Kjerstad and his wife Courtney took over ownership in June of 2014. Philip is the only town with a sizable population within a 90 mile radius, giving the pharmacy the advantage of being the only pharmacy in town. But being the sole pharmacy means Dakota Country faces other challenges.

Facing Non-Traditional Competition

Dakota Country Pharmacy serves the town’s hospital, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities. And considering they’re the only pharmacy in town, Dakota Country doesn’t face competition from other chains or community pharmacies. Rather, they face competition from mail order services and insurance companies trying to steer patients towards other avenues more financially beneficial to the insurance companies themselves.

Adding Services and Education for Medication Adherence

In order to combat the non-physical competition, Dillon explained, “we’re trying to add new services that are going to benefit our customers. Whether that is educating them on insurance plan options or being there to help them become more adherent with their medications.”

Dillon explained that the pharmacy is in a unique position because most pharmacy owners have to run things single-handedly – from the business side to being a full-time pharmacist-in-charge. But Dillon and his wife get to split everything down the middle. Courtney is the pharmacist-in-charge, and Dillon handles the business side of things, which allows the pharmacy to provide the flexibility and service that they need to beat the competition.

Going Digital for Health – Saving Time and Money

“It’s up to us to give patients innovative solutions to take full advantage of their health and well-being,” says Dillon. He explained that the pharmacy’s patients are concerned about their health, but limited time and resources make it challenging for them to be proactive. For that reason, the pharmacy made the choice to go digital with Digital Pharmacist and be available to their patients online.

“We’re trying to save customers time and one of the easiest ways to do that is to take advantage of technology and give them another option to submit refills,” explained Dillon. “It saves us a lot of time because we don’t have to do anything. People nowadays are demanding that their pharmacy has an online refill option. If you’re not doing it, you’re behind because you have to adapt with the times.”

To learn more about the Digital Pharmacist platform that Dakota Country Pharmacy leverages to be available to their patients, contact us at [email protected].