17 Nov The Pharmacy That Is Not There
The Pharmacy That Is Not There
The unpredictable pandemic period we are going through is literally transforming the pharmacy market too. It makes no sense to close your eyes and get absorbed by the Prescription counter and drug dispensation routine in order not to think and put off the need for transformation. The markets, but above all your patients, are changing all the way through. No one stays the same since Covid19 has crept into our lives. Yesterday I was looking at my daughters’ photos of a few years ago. Lea, my little one, pointed out in amazement that in those photos no one was wearing masks despite we were hugging each other…
This is our new reality. However, we cannot pretend nothing has happened and let ourselves be overcome by anguish and fear without reacting positively. I live in Italy, but I am pretty much the same as an American, an Englishman, an Arab or an Indian individual: we are just a bunch of people waiting for the vaccine.
What to do while we are waiting and working non-stop? We remain positive and reorganize our Pharmacy’s vision on a not too-distant future basis. A Pharmacy that does not exist _ not yet _ is taking shape, quickly following people’s needs and desires.
So here are my thoughts (and dreams), please find enclosed my standpoint upon a pharmacy that is not there:
-a Pharmacy where the Pharmacist and his team go beyond their tasks by building emotional connections. The emotional connection is not only the basis for entering your patient’s world (and the majority of independent pharmacies are really good at that) but it creates solid foundations for loyalty to the Pharmacy brand. The emotional connection must take place on a personal level between pharmacists and patients, and physically between patients and the environment.
Let’s take Disneyland for example: they create happy people in their parks because all their employees, from the decision makers to the ones handling the humblest tasks, have their customers’ happiness as a primary goal. They share the very same dream and the customers are immersed in magical landscapes generating positive vibes.
HAPPINESS leads people to buy pieces of those dreams to be taken home.
For the Pharmacy that is not there I expect the same thing: a Reception Counter that welcomes me, cares about me, and makes me feel better even if I have not recovered. I expect pharmacists not looking at me as a number, but calling me by name and… why not? asking me about my girls and my cat! And, as they are doing that, if the environment is pleasant, bright and with stress-free colors and materials, I will feel straight better, much better. I am even likely to buy something making me look more beautiful in order to prolong that feeling. And I will come back there to taste it once again.
That is why ‘a quality look is important’: your front-end has to create MAGIC. However, if it is dark, not very clean, and a bit chaotic… if it is just full of products like a bazaar and the Pharmacist is unpleasant and doesn’t consider me …. then I prefer staying home by sitting on my comfortable sofa and browsing through some online item, and waiting for the delivery….
The love for the profession and for your patients must also be reflected in the place where you work and in which you immerse them. It is logical that the purpose is the Business, but it’s the way you do it that makes all the difference! Your smile, your professionalism is expressed also and above all through the environment.
Quality is the best investment you can make!
–a retail pharmacy clinic is a pharmacy responding to today’s requests such as the lack of time and the speed we are used to. It is a pharmacy where I find consultation rooms, infirmary and telemedicine but also a small gym for physiotherapy, where my wellness is built in a path that lasts my whole life. It is right ‘there’ that the owner Pharmacist consolidates customers’ trust and loyalty. They will soon become the pharmacy’s testimonial because they are proud of what they have experienced.
My pharmacist is my HEALTH COACH and makes use of professional and adequate spaces. You cannot improvise rooms within the wrong layout. On the contrary, even very small pharmacies can be planned and accomplished with an adequate professional design. The Retail Clinic Pharmacy has partnerships with many professionals: nutritionists, beauticians, doctors and many others, either in place and online.
You can do various activities and that kind of Pharmacy is alive because made by its own community and linked to its territory. For this reason it is always unique. Inside, there are spaces that transform and become real; rooms to discuss the topics that interest patients up to offer them the suitable solutions and products, and recommend quality services. There are small private areas where you can be advised in total privacy, away from other people in order to feel more pampered and cared for. Everything revolves around the patient and his needs.
– a two-speed omnichannel Pharmacy: online and offline. A membership program that is physical, but also follows you at home with privileges for its patients to be granted with a membership, a subscription to your favorite Pharmacy (a bit like Amazon Prime does).
In the event I want to buy something, I go immediately to collect the item by appointment within a Pharmacy area especially created for this purpose… This state-of-the-art Pharmacy is the one combining the strengths of either the online and the physical store, and becoming a hybrid by transforming itself into an experiential center. Queues and crowds will hopefully be superseded by offering timely appointments. A pharmacist of the team will be assigned to act as a link between the digital and the physical, will organize video conferences and directly interact with patients physically inserted in this totally new space. On demand, the Pharmacy will allow customers to try electro-medical devices or any appliance or product purchased.
Obviously, in a structure like that, the work organization as a whole and the specialization of the pharmacy operators must be changed accordingly. But in the end this is exactly what I am looking for, because my desire is to find someone available who knows how to take care of me and not who is simply there to recommend another product to buy.
I expect more and more quality services, facilitations, time savings, personalized advice, “unique” products, information going beyond the notions already available on the net, and beautiful, unique Pharmacies. Places where I want to return again and again.
Are you sure that this pharmacy does not already exist?