In a world of more than 4.5 billion internet users, businesses have to find innovative ways to scale effectively and stand out from their competition online. Therefore, it is important for your pharmacy to adapt to this digital transformation and find innovative ways to improve processes accordingly.
Of the population uses the internet
Of US adults own a smartphone
Of US households have access to the internet
Customers today want to be able to interact with the businesses they buy from just as easily through online channels as in person. And as they become more tech-dependent, they’re also looking for convenient digital solutions that will simplify their lives.
Essentially, digital transformation leverages new technologies to support a customer-first focus and overall business growth. It can help pharmacies offer more personalized care, develop multiple income streams, increase sales and efficiency, and equip them to compete with big-box stores.
How Digital Transformation is Affecting Healthcare
The healthcare industry has faced a daunting couple of years, combating a global pandemic while trying to care for socially-distant patients. In many cases, outdated technology has led to a breakdown in infection record-keeping and responsiveness. Healthcare facilities and hospital systems are turning to creative digital solutions like patient access tools, telehealth services, and touchless payments so they can offer quality care and stay afloat.
As pharmacies began offering COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, large chains pharmacies adapted with digital strategies to meet changing needs. Solutions like online shopping and delivery, virtual check-ins, and secure messaging have allowed pharmacies around the country to adapt to a new way of doing business. While today COVID-19 is more controlled, the digital advancements that came with the pandemic aren’t going anywhere and to keep up with the competition, continuous digital innovation is imperative.
Starting Your Transformation Journey
Digital transformation is not just a survival tactic for an unprecedented couple of years, it’s a long-term process that will help your business succeed in a future of digitally-focused pharmacies.
Here are some ways you can begin incorporating digital tools into your pharmacy’s daily workflow:
- Build an audience online. You want to be visible to current and potential patients –keeping your audience engaged is key. Stay active on social media channels, especially your Facebook business page, with regular updates, promotions, and staff news to build a relationship with your followers. Consider upgrading to a HIPAA-compliant healthsite so you can expand your pharmacy’s capabilities online.
- Offer digital pharmacy services. These days, patients need quick access to healthcare services. Try adding new patient and transfer enrollment to your pharmacy website as a convenient alternative to in-person service. Digital prescription refill requests can also help increase business and serve patients who prefer staying at home.
- Add digital tools that will keep patients connected. Coordinating contact-free services such as curbside pickup and home delivery can be enhanced and simplified with patient communication tools. A pharmacy mobile app helps promote medication adherence while giving patients the ability to manage their prescriptions. Secure 2-way messaging can offer an extra point of contact during COVID-19 and increase issue resolution.
Digital Resources for Your Pharmacy
Some resources to help support your digital transformation journey:
- Google Analytics – Free and popular tool to help you track website activity
- Google My Business, Apple Maps, and Bing Places- Free business profiles that help your pharmacy show up in maps and search results
- YellowPages- Platform for business reviews along with Google and Angie’s List, helpful for feedback and to increase your ranking in search results
- Hootsuite-Social media management platform for scheduling and publishing posts
- Facebook Ads Manager-Free platform for creating and managing ads campaigns on Facebook and Instagram
To learn more about how you can start your pharmacy’s digital transformation, download our Digital Playbook ebook.
Photo Credit: Photo 74254949 © Nils Ackermann | Dreamstime.com
Blog originally published March 2020 | Updated March 2022