Patient Experience: Driving the Future of Pharmacy




Disruption in the healthcare industry is transforming the future of pharmacy, according to a report published by the American Hospital Association. As the Movement within the industry progresses, it is likely to change the role of pharmacists as they pivot toward being the next generation’s primacy care providers even while the delivery channels for medications continue to evolve, according to Deloitte. Convenience is the name of the game for patients, and when it comes to their health, it is no different. In fact, according to a Wolters Kluwer summary of the consumer care and cost trends survey, one out of every three Americans state that the convenience of getting care is more important than the care providers’ credentials and qualifications.  

A study by Wolters Kluwer shows that consumers increasingly want decentralized care, largely because of demographic differences, cost-driven decision-making, and shifting trust in care providers and settings. “The traditional one-doctor-one-patient, single point of coordination is vanishing”, according to Dr. Peter Bonis, Chief Medical Officer, Wolters Kluwer Health. A Deloitte study states that the industry may be able to successfully shift from a fee-for-service reimbursement model to a value-based one, aligning pharmacy with the broader payer shifts underway, driving more revenue to pharmacies in an era of tight reimbursements.  

Winning Loyalty: Putting Patient Experience Front and Center
Pharmacy is at a crossroads and those who do not act now in anticipation of the shift by putting patients first may be left behind. Use the lens of patient experience when considering how to adapt to meet changing needs, both today and in the future. An article published by Wolters Kluwer discusses how the pharmacist’s role is changing and nods to the value of patient experience.  

What drives patient loyalty? 

  • Accessibility: Giving pharmacists more time to interact with patients, offering point of service care. 
  • Connection: Building a relationship with patients as an important part of their primary healthcare network.
  • Trust: Being valued and respected by patients as a trusted healthcare advisor. 

What changes can help drive patient loyalty?

  • Offering high-value patient-facing services, such as medication monitoring, vaccination administration, and point-of-care testing that help drive accessibility, connection, and trust. 
  • Utilizing a centralized fulfillment strategy to deliver prescriptions accurately and on-time while freeing up pharmacists to offer care. 

What are the direct benefits to the pharmacy of a first-class patient experience? 

  • More time for pharmacists to practice at the top of their license, improving their job satisfaction. 
  • Higher revenues for the pharmacy as cost to fill comes down and revenue generating programs are increased. 
  • Patient loyalty to the pharmacists and the pharmacy itself. 
  • A competitive advantage in the market driven by patient loyalty and referrals. 
  • The ability to impact community health outcomes more positively. 

Preparing Now for the Shift
Even when we feel change in the air, we tend to underestimate the speed of that change, and how quickly the impact will be felt. In the case of pharmacy, the time to shift is now. The industry is already beginning to feel the impact of artificial intelligence, robotics, 3-D printing, automation, and the possibility of regulatory changes enabling pharmacists to provide more primacy care functions such as prescribing acute medications and managing chronic diseases. We envision a world where the pharmacist has more time to perform at the top of their license and better serve their communities and patients. Pharmacy fulfillment solutions can enable that shift, which can help to deliver on the patients’ expectation of receiving their medication accurately and on time, while freeing up the pharmacy from pill counting duties to focus on virtual and physical care of patients. 

Ready to learn more? Read our whitepaper 3 Signs the Pharmacy Ecosystem is Poised for a Movement: Are You Ready? to learn how iA’s commitment to improving pharmacy operations through fulfillment solutions can address the challenges you currently face.


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