Last week I shared an article from Elements Magazine on the 9 things pharmacies should be doing in response to COVID-19.
The article offers great advice like expanding delivery options, adjusting inventory, store hours and more. I thought that this week I’d take a more detailed look at some of the things you can do within your point-of-sale system to help you get through this list.
Delivery, in many forms – Everyone is trying to find ways to reduce patient contact during the transaction and make it easy for patients and staff to maintain social distancing recommendations. As the article recommends, delivery is a good way to do this, but you can also use curbside pickup, mail order and meds to beds. There are many ways to accomplish each of these services, so talk through the options with your POS provider so you can have the best, and hopefully easiest process with whatever service you’re adding on or expanding.
Email receipts- This is a big one and is hopefully pretty easy to implement for most pharmacies through the point-of-sale. Instead of handing over a paper receipt, and creating yet another point of contact, simply offer to email the receipt instead. It’s so simple, and such a great option to offer right now.
Credit card on file and NFC – Not every pharmacy will have this option, it all depends on the processing setup, integration, and POS system in use. But many pharmacies have it and haven’t even used it. Credit card on file, or tokenization, is a process that’s gained popularity in recent years as a secure and compliant way to keep a charge a card without having it in hand and use it for future purchases. Today, it’s a great option for a whole different set of reasons. It’s worth investigating at the very least, to see if it’s something you have already, or something that can easily be added. Likewise, NFC (ApplePay, AndroidPay, etc.) is worth investigating and promoting as an option. Both options eliminate contact with a customer’s credit card during the transaction.
Stocking appropriately – Even if you have a relatively small front end, chances are, your selling more OTC product than normal. If you use a process like min/max ordering, increasing both your minimum and maximum quantities to keep more stock on the shelves is a wise move. For pharmacies running replenishment ordering, make sure you’re doing this every day. Actively recover high movement departments daily as well, both to make sure that stock is on the shelf and in the appropriate spot, and to monitor for potential issues like theft.
Staffing – Admittedly, foot traffic and delivery traffic in your pharmacy may be unpredictable from one day to the next. We still recommend taking a look at your transaction volumes and making sure you have the right number of clerks and techs available so you can keep lines moving quickly. Customers will appreciate being able to get in and out and not having to wait in crowded lines.
These considerations are essential right now. Adapting to the changing landscape of doing business isn’t optional. But I also believe that these changes can be the foundation for building great and lasting relationships with the patients and customers that you help.