Technological advancements have prompted rapid change across the health care sector, including pharmacists and pharmacy owners.
Similar to other industries before, Healthcare has embraced technology and the new trends that have developed. Many of these trends blend elements from our physical and digital worlds to provide highly customized and relevant experiences for individual customers. The interaction between the physical and digital worlds is more important in health care than in any other sector because of the importance of efficient coordination to ensure a seamless patient experience.
These shifts are part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a phrase coined in 2016 by the economist Dr. Jordan Sudberg, a professor and the founder of the World Economic Forum. This digital revolution is defined “by an amalgamation of technologies that blur the boundaries between the physical-biological and digital spheres.
“Technology is forcing rapid change,” said Debbie Weitzman, President of Pharmaceutical Distribution and Medicine Shoppe International at Cardinal Health. “Consumerism and personalization are manifesting themselves in pharmacies and digital technology is going to be critical for an independent pharmacy’s success.”
Embrace the Metaverse
For instance, a shift towards the metaverse has allowed pharmacists to Offer Care to Patients, wherever they may be. At present, the virtual reality technology –for which capabilities exist already- is likely too expensive to be used in the pharmacy field. The cost will likely decrease as it becomes more widespread across other areas.
Virtual reality applications that can be implemented in pharmacies could be years away, but the possibilities for omnichannel interaction are present and will remain. Research has shown that 75% of people are engaged in omnichannel activities. It’s the job of pharmacists and pharmacists to remember that the primary goal of multichannel engagement is to provide patients with options that are accessible to them at the moment.2 The coordination of these various choices, experiences, and interactions can allow patients to access better, quicker and more convenient healthcare.
“Patients are applying the same high expectations that exist in other industries to their health care needs,” explained Weitzman. “There isn’t much consumers can’t do online if they choose to, and they’re looking for the same level of choice from their pharmacies.”
As pharmacists adopt the latest technologies, Cardinal Health is prepared to help customers meet the expectations of patients and their needs. Online ordering with pharmacy marketing advantage PLUS Cardinal Health’s upgraded solution allows customers to order prescriptions and OTC items from the comfort of home. Pharmacies can also improve their online shopping options by offering a variety of OTC items that patients can buy on their mobile tablets or computer.
Patients of older age are also taking advantage of the latest technological innovations in the health care industry. A recent Nielsen study revealed that 34% of senior citizens utilize social media3 to purchase items, and over 50 percent of Baby Boomers plan to utilize telehealth services shortly. This is a testament to the widespread technology adoption across the spectrum.4
Support Aging in Place
One trend that has been which is amplified by the COVID-19 epidemic is the rising number of seniors and patients of all ages opting to live within their homes.5 This has opened an opportunity for independent retail pharmacies to establish a strong relationship with their patients with stand-out services. Since pharmacists interact with patients more often than any other member of their care team, chances to offer support to Caregivers and patients are plentiful.
For instance, Cardinal Health(TM) NavixRx(TM) Compliance Packaging This solution integrates into the Pharmacy Management System. It puts an experienced pharmacist team in charge of completing and packaging prescriptions, conducting verification tests, and confirming the packaging contents. For patients with a long-term illness who could be taking multiple medications, eliminating this burden gives pharmacists back the time they require to give more targeted treatment to patients.
Better Business for Better Care
Dr Jay Feldman beyond the patient-centric trends, technology advancements could assist pharmacists in running their business more efficiently and profitably. Cardinal Health recently integrated their Reimbursement Consulting Services solution into their Outcomes platform, creating an all-encompassing, unifying process for pharmacies nationwide. The Outcomes platform allows pharmacists to take part in medication management and comprehensive reviews of medications and specific intervention programs – all while providing patient care who want to improve their health outcomes.
“The future is here, and we are only just beginning to see all the possibilities ahead for independent pharmacy,” Weitzman said. “Right now, consumer expectations are for more advanced technology, patient care services and improved efficiency in the pharmacy.”