Weight management program forms ‘ideal’ partnership
Officials at Ideal Protein believe that they have an effective program that offers the opportunity to combine the expertise of dietitians and pharmacists to improve client outcomes and, ultimately, bring in more foot traffic and profits for the retailer.
The Sarasota, Fla.-based company promotes a proprietary medically developed and scientifically based weight management protocol that calls on the use of healthcare professionals, including dietitians and pharmacists, to work with clients to achieve maximum results from the program. In the pharmacy, the Ideal Protein protocol is a consultative service that requires a consultation room, and that can offer existing pharmacy staff a new role as coaches following training. Patients visit weekly for one-on-one coaching. Ideal Protein is a cash-based model that the company said also can benefit pharmacies through increased foot traffic and front-end sales.
Retailers that employ dieticians and pharmacists can maximize the program’s potential by having the teams work in unison with Ideal Protein’s turn-key program, according to Thomas Barus, Ideal Protein’s senior national consultant. “We believe pharmacists and dietitians can work collaboratively,” he said. “Obesity is a condition that requires a multi-disciplinary care team and local relationships. Pharmacists and their teams are perfectly placed to manage patient therapy throughout the weight loss process, with Ideal Protein, and collaborate with the physician on medication changes where necessary.”
Barus added that pharmacists are there to ensure the patients medications, for such chronic illnesses as high blood pressure and diabetes, are correctly managed in collaboration with the physician during the weight loss protocol. Dieticians are positioned to collaborate with pharmacists in the transition from a structured nutrition intervention protocol to the ongoing maintenance which is a personalized regimen created by the dietician for the patient.
So how does the retailer benefit? Barus said the patient needs to visit the store for weekly consultations in addition to choosing and purchasing the Ideal Protein foods, which cannot be purchased online. Plus, the patients are more likely to purchase other products for themselves and their families. “The repeat foot traffic by itself creates a big win for the retailer,” he said. “Plus additional purchases and touch points with the customer provide exposure to other products and services the retailer has to offer.”
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