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April 18, 2019

Why Pharmacists Need to be Part of Care Coordination

Pharmacists. They do more than just dispense and prescribe medications. These healthcare professionals play a critical role in delivering care and improving the quality of life for many patients.

According to a recent Gallup poll, pharmacists have been ranked among the most honest and ethical professionals in the United States, with a slightly higher rate of trust than that of doctors.

While patients may visit many doctors throughout their life, most will visit the same pharmacy in their neighborhood for decades. As such, it often falls to them to answer questions when physicians don’t have enough information about the prescriptions patients are using.

The rising pressures facing community pharmacists

However, pharmacists are currently under siege by increasing competition from mail order and national chain pharmacies. Some insurers now require patients to obtain their medications exclusively from national chains, which are designed to deliver maximum profitability and don’t always foster a strong connection between pharmacists and patients.

Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) are also putting more pressure on independent pharmacists through declining reimbursement rates, while forcing them to update their systems. An article at the Hill noted while negotiations with pharmaceutical companies are supposed to lower costs for consumers, it’s only lowering reimbursement rates and forcing community pharmacies to choose between losing money and filling a prescription or losing business to big boxes.

Considering this, pharmacists must now think about how they will better engage with existing patients and collaborate with prescribing physicians, while also working to attract new patients.

But how can pharmacists accomplish this and become a larger part of care coordination? By adopting technology solutions designed to increase engagement, create efficiencies and strengthen the role of pharmacists in the new healthcare system.

Implementing technology for stronger care coordination

Consumers are increasingly looking or mobile functionality in many areas of their lives,

including healthcare. According to a report by EY, half of consumers are comfortable contacting their physicians digitally and many are already using new technologies to augment the patient-provider relationship.

Pharmacies, too, should adopt new technologies to enhance the customer experience. With these solutions, pharmacists can remain connected to patients and answer questions about their treatment, send reminders about expiring medicine, seasonal updates, flu shots and more.

At Updox, we are committed to helping pharmacies connect with patients, which is why we’ve designed solutions that enable them to exchange secure messages, receive transition of care and also engage patients in order to provide better services. All this can be done while also helping the pharmacy take advantage of new revenue opportunities and lower overall operational costs.

Now is the time to implement new technology aimed to transform the way your pharmacy communicates. To learn more about our solutions, visit our website and request a demo with a member of our staff today.

Topics: Pharmacists, Blog, communication, engagement