The need for retail pharmacies to transform themselves arises in response to a myriad of economic forces at play that have rewritten the rules of today’s current healthcare system.
To remain competitive in providing superior healthcare services amid increasing competition, pharmacies must recognize and respond to certain changes likely to affect their market. Look for the following key trends that will define the market over the coming year and beyond.
Calls for care management and collaboration
Recent changes in the way healthcare is financed—particularly in view of value-based reimbursement models—call for a sharper focus on care management and coordination. In 2018, pharmacies have to embrace collaborations with health professionals so as to improve clinical outcomes, lower costs, and create more value for patients, providers, and payers.
Special attention to specialty drugs
Specialty drugs are in the midst of a tremendous boom, and 2018 is ripe for a sharper focus on integration of medical and pharmacy benefits. With industry revenues shifting from traditional brand-name drugs to specialty drugs, pharmacies must strategically position themselves to handle an increasing number of these expensive products with unique clinical requirements as the products get introduced into the marketplace.
Aligning with the informed consumer
The rise of the informed consumer has enabled patients to become more engaged in their own personal health—and such patients are more likely to participate in their own medical care via mobile devices, search tools, and wearable technologies. As a result, pharmacies have to embrace health information technologies so they can create new ways of connecting with patients at the same level of digital engagement and convenience. Integrating a pharmacy management system with a patient’s electronic-health-record system enables a pharmacy (i) to improve patient safety with fewer errors and mix-ups from written or faxed prescriptions, (ii) to provide higher-quality care for patients, and (iii) to add greater value for patients by actively engaging consumers to improve their health status.