Patient communication at all levels in a healthcare system is proportionate to the increase/decrease in revenues. This is especially true in the case of patient interaction with pharmacists.
In this article, we discuss the ways in which revenues can be enhanced by way of patient communication especially when there have been cases of dissatisfaction where patients have had to wait for prescriptions at least one fourth of the time.
- Verbal Communication: Effective communication implies that the pharmacist must be slow and steady while explaining the patient about the medication. The pharmacist must encourage the patient to ask questions and clear any doubts the patient might have. Further, they should ask the patient about when would the patient take the medication, in what amounts and at what times, keeping which precautions in mind. This would ensure the pharmacist that the patient has understood. The patient can also be provided a pill card or a medicine box with compartments to keep their daily medication. If the patient is satisfied, they will return to the same pharmacist for assistance enhancing the pharmacist’s revenues.
- Patient Responsibilities: The patients must understand that the pharmacist is there to help them in every way possible. Before going to a pharmacist, they must ensure they have enough time to spend with the pharmacist. They must draw up a list of questions that require to be addressed with utmost care. The patient can discuss the condition of the ailment before and after the treatment and what could be the future outcome. The patient can make notes of the details discussed so as to not forget any aspects later. The pharmacist must advise the patient to always carry their (pharmacist’s) contact details while traveling in case of any issues that may arise and need clarification. With such concerned pharmacists, the patient is sure to visit them again enhancing revenues for the pharmacist.
- Other Assistance: The patient must inform the pharmacist of other medications they are taking for other ailments so that precautions can be taken for the new medications which the patient might be starting with. Sometimes, a pharmacist can suggest over-the-counter medications or side effects any medications can cause; which can further propel the patient and the pharmacist to together resolve the problem at the earliest. The patient must know from the patient as to what time of the day the medication must be taken, with/without food, and what must be done if the medicine does not work in the assumed time. The patient must ask the duration for which the medication must be taken and if any diet or exercise can help with the medication.
- Names: The patient must inform the pharmacist about all the ailments in totality. The patient must know the brand and generic names of their medications and their ingredients, and how would the medicine react in their case. This two way interaction definitely opens up the scenario between the pharmacist and the patient ultimately leading to enhanced revenues for the pharmacist.
The pharmacist must inform the patient about how the medicine must be stored. It is also not advised for a patient to switch pharmacists too often; as it simply adds on work. For one, the new pharmacist will need to be explained the details all over again; two, to keep transferring prescriptions is a great task in itself.
A pharmacist must be carefully chosen who can address the patients’ concerns as much as a medical practitioner can. A patient-centered pharmacy will always detect and remove the low level of health literacy in patients, and ultimately identify opportunities for improvements thereby augmenting revenues.