Start 2016 the right way!
In just a couple of days we’ll be saying goodbye to 2015 and starting a brand new year. The New Year is a time for all your good intentions to pile up into a big list of resolutions that may or may not fizzle after a couple of weeks.
After a few (more than I’d like to admit) failed new year’s resolutions, I’ve decided the trick to finding resolutions that can be kept is coming up with straightforward tasks that don’t span over long periods of time.
Pharmacy New Year's Resolutions
To help you start 2016 on the right foot, we’ve come up with a few resolutions that you might be interested in.
Clean up and out
Think of this as spring cleaning in the middle of winter. It’s time to return your pharmacy from the North Pole wonderland it has been for he last month back to a place for health and wellness. All of those leftover holiday decorations need to go, so mark them down to get them moving out the door.
Clean the store from top to bottom. It’s amazing how fast dust collects when you have to keep the doors closed against the cold, not to mention all the glitter that you can never quite get rid of from those holiday decorations.
You might even try rearranging your displays and store layout to generate more sales of OTC items like Jack Dunn talks about in the November issue of America’s Pharmacist, or the green highlighter advice from Gabe Trahan in that same issue.
If you’re having trouble with your inventory or just think you need to revamp your process, this New Year may just be the time do it. Traditionally, this is a busy time of year for pharmacies, being cold and flu season along with insurance plan and legal changes. However, it could be very beneficial, if you and your staff are able to make time to rework your inventory by:
- Learning best practices for keeping inventory up to date
- Getting rid of expired prescriptions
- Counting inventory
Database clean up
You know those patients you haven’t seen in years? No matter the reason they no longer visit your pharmacy, it may be time to deactivate them within your patient database. Also, clean out any old payment, insurance or personal information with it to ensure that these customers are protected even though they’re no longer yours.
This may not seem like a priority, but it’s something that pharmacies should take more seriously. Deactivating previous and potentially deceased patients makes looking up current patients easier. Also, this can prevent a spouse or remaining loved from receiving one of those automatic birthday emails for a patient that has passed away. As far-fetched as it may sound, this is something that happens that we don’t normally think about, and could be upsetting to loved ones left behind.
Update patient records
What about the patients that you do see regularly? Take the time to check with patients and update their personal information.
- Phones number
You can update their information as they come in to pick up prescriptions. This will ensure that you have a correct address for any deliveries that may be required in the future or mailers that you want to send out, email for any promotional emails in the coming year and a phone number in case you need to contact them on a prescription or consult.
Smart goal setting
If you choose to set longer resolutions, think of them more as goals. Goals help measure the success of your business and maybe even uncover some areas for improvement.
Here are a few pointers on setting SMART goals:
- Specific: “Make our pharmacy better” is not a specific goal. Create detailed goals and make multiple smaller goals that can add up to a larger goal. For example, “Double prescriptions filled per hour by the end of the year.”
- Measurable: How will you know if your goal is being accomplished if it’s not measurable? Put a plan into action measure progress along the way. This can serve as inspiration for you and your staff.
- Achievable: Don’t tell your staff that you want to double your prescriptions filled per hour if you don’t have the business to support that number. A failed goal is not only a disappointment to you, but a kick in the morale for your staff, so make sure that you have a plan to reach a goal if you set it.
- Relevant: Be sure that your goals are relevant to you and your staff. Be prepared to tell your staff how each one of them can personally help to achieve this goal and let them know why it’s important to you and the your business.
- Time-Based: Set a hard deadline. Is this goal yearly, monthly, six months? You don’t know if you’ve succeeded in meeting your goal if you don’t know when the deadline is. Also, this can serve as motivation.
I wish you all the luck in your 2016 resolution and goal planning!