PHARMACY

The World Speaks: Creating a clear pharmacist-patient relationship

BY William Sieber

Inadequate technology at the drive-through is crippling pharmacists. As a professional authority figure, the pharmacist must be understood. Their No. 1 responsibility is to follow the directions as prescribed, and to provide treatment as described. Communicating sensitive, and potentially life-saving, information to patients means that questions need not only to be answered but also clearly conveyed. All parties must be of confident mind throughout the process. Pharmacists should be enabled and augmented by technology — not inhibited.

The pharmacist-patient relationship requires the sharing of concise and detailed information, which can include times, dosage amounts, possible interactions with other medications, and more. Articulation and patient understanding are key.

The customer experience at the drive-through too often is all affected by ill-equipped and outdated drive-through technology. Also common are transaction drawers that can’t effectively handle large prescriptions, sometimes forcing elderly patients to come inside to pick up their scripts. Such inconveniences may drive customers to a competitor.

Since customer interaction and clear understanding are vital, pharmacist retailers should consider upgrading their drive-through equipment. Products that clean up audio signals are important, though not all systems are created equal. One product that stands out above the rest is Bavis Enhanced Audio Module, or BEAM. This innovation eliminates up to 90% of background noise at the drive-through. Diesel engine noise, the whirring of fans and static from electronics, among other sounds, are nearly eliminated. Crystal clear audio can be achieved.

Next, think about replacing your lane-one transaction drawer with something durable and high capacity — and heated if possible. This is a nice feature for both patient and pharmacist.

Today, pharmacists’ duties are complex. Thankfully, pharmacy-specific solutions are available. The biggest opportunity for pharmacists today is to truly reach their patients. Retailers should focus on empathy with patients and their experience, not just as a concerned customer, but a human being who needs help and seeks caring advice. This builds relationships. Relationships, if nurtured, grow and blossom into something great.


William Sieber, president of E. F. Bavis and Associates.

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