Every year, we make our best predictions for the future of pharmacy based on the successes of our customers, colleagues, industry leaders, and the state of our payors and reimbursement structures. 2020 and 2021 created an unprecedented acceleration for every pharmacy vertical – retail, chain, and health system. It also solidified our priorities – the need to increase access, protect our staff, prevent egregious burnout, and, probably most important, make sure that our most redundant, yet critical, task of accurately filling and dispensing medications becomes automatic.
At this point in time, it’s evident that there will be no return to the 2019 way of working. However, we’re confident that we will find less ambiguity and more than silver linings. Read on for our forecast of how the last two years have redefined the one ahead, as it pertains to our roles as pharmacists, business owners, and as pillars of healthcare for our communities.
As pharmacists and technicians become frontline care providers, either through vaccine and booster administration, or newly reimbursable clinical initiatives, lines in the pharmacy for prescription pick-up will likely be on the decline. The increase of ease in administering mail-order programs, both for one-time prescriptions or for maintenance medications, across a variety of care settings, could become status quo.
Medication management tools, like med sync and strategies that utilize adherence packing, will be a requirement for managing at home, health system, and long-term care patients in a way that is safe, while ensuring a bottom line. Whether your pharmacy opts for blister card or pouch packaging, offering this service is a simple way to increase customer loyalty and guarantee that medications are filled on-time.
These are straightforward solutions for cutting down on inventory and supply chain complications that cost your organization time and resources. Offering them can increase your attractiveness to payers, LTC facilities, or other settings where prepackaged prescriptions ease med-pass tasks and decrease rates of error. Implementing these tools will no longer be “nice to haves” – but rather the only way to successfully maintain viable pharmacy business in ‘22 and beyond.