What Every Pharmacy Should Know About Clinical Services in 2021

So many activities and interventions that pharmacists perform every day are taken for granted. The fact is that every service a pharmacy offers has value. And when approached with the right mindset, these services can create a new path to success for pharmacy businesses.

During our January CLIMB Webinar we were lucky enough to be able to talk with 3 pharmacists who are experts in clinical services. Here are some of our favorite takeaways from our panel discussion with Amina Abubakar, Blair Thielemier and Jim Cammarata.

What does “Clinical Services” mean anyway?
Well, how much time do you have? The list for what could be considered a clinical service is extensive. Simply put, clinical services can be any service you offer beyond the dispensing of prescriptions. For example, Amina, who owns RxClinic Pharmacy cited services like chronic care management, remote patient monitoring, behavioral health integration and annual wellness visits. Jim at Valley Integrative pharmacy takes a different approach. Staffing nutritionists and a naturopath to assist patients with identifying the cause of their health issues through clinical testing.

That’s a lot. Where should you start?

Blair Thielemier, who runs the Pharmapreneur Academy says the low hanging fruit can be found in what services you might already be offering. Things like vaccines, or point-of-care testing. Then look at your state regulations to determine what you are able to implement and build from there. Look for programs that align with your passion and your patient demographics as well as services that are complimentary to what you already offer. As heard from another speaker earlier in our January webinar, whatever you do, make sure you do it well. You only get one chance to make that first impression.

What’s changed in light of the Covid-19 pandemic?

The pandemic has created disruption in healthcare which is creating opportunities for pharmacists to step in and offer more advanced services like vaccinations and point-of-care testing. (We hosted a great panel on the Covid-19 vaccine which you can now watch!) The popularity of telehealth has skyrocketed and we foresee this being a permanent change. Another noteworthy change is accelerated partnerships with providers as patients rely less on their doctors. Now, more than ever, the need for pharmacists to help with patient care is being recognized by providers. Pharmacies can help to establish that chronic care management and remote patient monitoring.

Can I expect to make any money off of Clinical Services?

Long story short… absolutely. Our panelists all noted that there is a significant return on investment both in clinical services and related products, although there are many different paths you can take. Look for the gaps in offerings in your community where you have the potential to step in and offer something that people are looking for. Tailor your services and approach to your community demographics.

Words of wisdom?

These are our favorite tidbits from the webinar.

People don’t buy products, they buy solutions. Don’t hesitate to share your expertise, point out the problems that people have and be the place where patients come to buy those solutions.

Keep learning. Don’t do things that you don’t like or wouldn’t use, or don’t want to sell. Believe that you can make a difference in your patients lives and build from there.

Focus and passion are imminently important. Combine those two things and a bit of investment and you can’t fail.

What’s next?

First, check out the full clinical services webinar recording. CLIMB Registrants have access to the 30 minute panel discussion. (If you aren’t registered, it’s free with this link and your seat will be saved for our next webinar)

Next, you can find more information resources. Check out the Avant institute which offers training programs on clinical services as well as the Pharmapreneur Academy where Blair teaches about the different paths you can take to find success with clinical services and so much more!