The latest pharmacy industry trends signal significant changes for 2022. Independent pharmacies can expect a greater focus on patient care, including clinical services and customer service. Telehealth pharmacy services continue to grow in popularity, and pharmacies can also expect to continue administering COVID-19 vaccines.
The COVID-19 pandemic will continue to impact pharmacies, causing more changes throughout the year. These trends may require pharmacies to update their workflow, adopt new technologies, or shift their focus in 2022. Keep reading to learn more about the future trends in pharmacy for the new year.
Independent pharmacies continue to administer COVID-19 vaccines.
Independent pharmacies played a crucial role in the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, and pharmacists continue to administer vaccines and booster shots. In 2022, pharmacies can expect to continue administering vaccines and boosters, especially as new guidelines are released. Pharmacists should regularly review CDC guidelines on COVID-19 vaccines, including timelines for booster shots and vaccines for children.
Streamline COVID-19 vaccines in your pharmacy
Administering COVID-19 vaccines can quickly disrupt your pharmacy's workflow, which can impact work quality, profitability, and efficiency. Following these tips may help your pharmacy streamline vaccine administration in 2022 while minimizing workflow disruption:
- Update your pharmacy website and social media accounts with the latest vaccine information for your pharmacy, including availability and scheduling.
- Modify your workflow to accommodate regular vaccine appointments and walk-ins.
- Educate patients in the store on COVID-19 vaccines, including availability and scheduling, through handouts, signage, and counseling.
- Schedule patient appointments through your pharmacy management software to avoid unexpected disruptions.
Telehealth pharmacy services will continue to rise in 2022
Many pharmacies adopted telehealth services during the pandemic to help keep patients and staff safe, and telehealth will continue to trend in pharmacies in 2022. According to a recent survey, most patients responded that telehealth has made getting the care they need easier—about 85%, with 87% saying they want to continue using telehealth in non-emergency situations. By scheduling virtual patient appointments, pharmacists can expand their services and better manage their schedules while offering convenient access to the pharmacy for their patients.
Independent pharmacies can combine telehealth services with convenient delivery methods to improve patient care and satisfaction. Offering delivery services, curbside pickup, and drive-thru pickup can make it easier for homebound or sick patients to receive the care and medications on time.
Pharmacists fill gaps in patient care with clinical services
Pharmacists are among some of the most trusted professionals, and they are well-positioned to address gaps in patient care. The physician shortage continues in 2022, highlighting the need for pharmacists to take on more significant roles in patient care. According to a recent report from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, almost 80% of pharmacists surveyed expect a more prominent role in preventative care by 2030. Most providers surveyed also believe that pharmacists will be more involved in preventative care.
Developing a robust clinical services program in the pharmacy takes time, but it is well worth the effort. Pharmacists offering clinical services can improve patient outcomes, build trust and loyalty with their patients, and better serve their communities. Expanded clinical services provide even more revenue opportunities, including the Clinical 360 platform from Transaction Data Systems.
Independent pharmacies stand apart with excellent customer service
There is concern among independent pharmacies regarding large pharmacy chains and online pharmacies. However, independent pharmacies continue to distinguish themselves from their competitors by offering personalized care and unmatched customer service. With patient care gaining importance in 2022, customer service and patient satisfaction will become crucial in staying competitive.
Independent pharmacies can successfully compete with large pharmacy chains and online pharmacies by offering patient-focused services not available elsewhere. Consider the following tips to improve customer service and patient satisfaction in 2022:
- Sync your inventory online to appear in local Google searches to highlight available items. Integrations like Pointy from Google make it easy for independent pharmacies to update their inventory online and conveniently display products for customers.
- Implement a nutrient depletion program and recommend relevant vitamins and supplements for your patients.
- Review data from your pharmacy management and POS software to identify best-selling or popular seasonal OTC items and update your inventory accordingly.
- Maintain social media accounts and a pharmacy website with consistent posts to keep your customers and community up-to-date on relevant news, pharmacy updates, and available products and services.
Is your pharmacy prepared for 2022?
As COVID-19 continues to change the way businesses run, independent pharmacies will face more challenges and changes. Identifying the latest pharmacy industry trends can help pharmacists and pharmacy owners stay on top of these changes and overcome obstacles in 2022. As the industry evolves, a willingness to adapt and increased flexibility is needed for independent pharmacists.
TDS is proud to serve independent pharmacies by offering innovative pharmacy management software and solutions. We designed our solutions to meet the challenges faced by independent pharmacies and enable pharmacies to adapt and grow in a changing industry. We would love to learn more about your pharmacy and identify the right solution for your business. Click here to learn more.