The pharmacy world is always changing. There’s always a new piece of technology that can enhance your workflow or productivity hack to handle peak business hours.
Then there’s the legal side of things. The legal side of pharmacy is a wide-ranging and complex part of the job. Though it can appear convoluted and confusing, following new laws and regulations is an essential part of running your small business.
Though you and your independent pharmacy can’t change the laws themselves, you can determine how you respond to the laws themselves.
Here’s how you and your independent pharmacy can stay on top of new laws and regulations.
Keep Your Ear to the Ground
As mentioned above, the pharmacy industry is always changing. It rewards pharmacies that keep with the times and embrace the new norm, while the rest fall by the wayside.
That goes for pharmacy technology and it’s especially crucial when it comes to laws and regulations. Simply put, you need to stay informed.
In the digital age, staying informed has never been easier. Chances are your state board has some social media presence, so follow those accounts. Go further by turning on post notifications, namely on Twitter and (if applicable) Threads.
When used correctly, social media is an optimal way to get your daily news.
Regularly check your state board’s website. Most, if not all, state board websites have a newsletter, so subscribe to them. Whether they update on a daily or weekly basis, doing this will do wonders for how your pharmacy adjusts to any new laws and regulations.
They say knowing is half the battle, so take on the unknown by keeping your ear to the digital ground.
Collaborate with Others
Much of the business world revolves around competition. Ideally, your business offers goods and services that entice consumers to choose you over competitors. It’s quite different in the case of independent pharmacies.
Yes, your financial objective should be to generate a profit, and the best way to do that is selling a high amount of prescriptions and vaccines. Even so, your objective shouldn’t be about one-upping another independent pharmacy down the street.
Healthcare professionals thrive on collaboration. In the case of the pharmacy industry, where the tide is always changing, a little bit of teamwork will go a long way.
Different independent pharmacies have their own approach to patient care, which makes the industry so unique. Each independent pharmacy puts their own spin on the job, opening new avenues for innovation and creative problem solving.
When it comes to new laws and regulations, it might feel like you’re hitting a brick wall. Reach out to fellow pharmacists or mentors on how they’re going about new changes.
Networking is a vital part of your independent pharmacy’s success. Instead of running into a wall, work together to get over that hump.
Assess Your Current Workflow
Because the industry is always changing, your pharmacy’s workflow needs to be equally flexible.
Most new laws and regulations give you an adjustment period to properly adjust to the new legislation. As such, give yourself and your pharmacy staff time to get used to the new changes.
At the time of writing, independent pharmacies are bracing for the impending “DIRpocalypse” and DSCSA requirements happening in the end of 2023.
These laws and regulations show two ways in how they can affect your current workflow. The upcoming shakeup in DIR fees will affect your pharmacy’s bottom line at first, though it likely will not affect how you fill prescriptions.
DSCSA compliance, on the other hand, directly affects how you manage your pharmacy’s inventory. As a result, it will have a hand in your pharmacy’s workflow.
While some pharmacists prefer the “we’ll cross that bridge” method, develop an adjustment plan to make sure your pharmacy’s workflow and bottom line are in good hands. Adjustment processes are always full of growing pains, but a plan of action helps you put your best foot forward.
Conduct a Self-Audit
Conducting pharmacy audits is a generally wise investment. Audits can alert you on unneeded expenses and other areas where your pharmacy can improve. They ensure that your pharmacy is running in good health and not speculation.
In the case of laws and regulations, audits ensure you are keeping in line with the new norm. This means looking at your prescription claims, making sure your inventory is DSCSA compliant, verifying that the prescribed quantity matches with the day supply, and much more.
Depending on your pharmacy, you may want to conduct an audit every quarter or twice a year. Some situations require a monthly self-audit, which is perfectly fine. What matters is you’re doing what’s right for your independent pharmacy.
New laws and regulations can be a thorn in your pharmacy’s side. They initially appear as productivity roadblocks, making you and your staff wonder, “why mess with a good thing?”
Even so, following the newest laws and regulations is an absolute necessity in your independent pharmacy. Not only does it ensure your pharmacy’s operations are legally sound but it also ensures your small business is capable of making quick and effective adjustments.
Whether we’re talking DSCSA, DIR fees, or even opioid prescriptions, following new laws and regulations will determine your pharmacy’s financial and legal health.
By staying informed, conducting self audits, and reassessing your workflow, you’ll be staying on top of new laws and regulations in no time.