What happens when a pharmacy integrates their digital strategy with their business strategy? Many pharmacies separate their digital services from their business operations. But Michelle Dyer, owner of Michelle’s Pharmacy, wanted to see how much more they could achieve by incorporating digital goals into their annual plans. Seven months later, Michelle’s Pharmacy saw a 95 percent increase in digital refills, all driven by pharmacy staff focusing on promotion.
Having a website available for patients to refill prescriptions online has been part of Michelle’s Pharmacy’s digital strategy since early 2016. Through this strategy, Michelle’s saw moderate refill rates resulting in time saved for staff and patients. More patients found them via online searches and were able to refill 24 hours a day. The patient feedback was overall positive, with over 100 online patient reviews Michelle’s Pharmacy garnered a 4.9 star rating. Normal promotions practices were implemented to achieve this, specifically in-store signage, bag stuffers and social media.
The turning point for Michelle’s Pharmacy was when they started tracking key metrics on their monthly reports. From refill numbers, website visitors and overall return on investment, Michelle’s Pharmacy gained a higher visibility into the performance of their digital products. Michelle paid special attention to the “hours saved” metric which noted the amount of the time the pharmacy saved as a result of patients refilling online. She then worked this metric into their annual plan, setting a goal for the pharmacy to save more and more time each quarter.
Michelle’s Pharmacy then further educated their staff on their digital products and how to inform and encourage patients to use them. They found that having one-on-one conversations at the point-of-sale was the single biggest way to get patients refilling online. There, patients were able to ask questions and clear up any barriers or misunderstandings that was preventing them from using the digital tools. In this seven-month period, Michelle’s Pharmacy saw their digital refills increase by 95 percent and saved an additional 6.5 hours of time each month, showing that digital works best when it is integrated and embraced by the rest of the business.
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