What You Need to Know About Getting an Independent Pharmacy Delivery Service

There is room for innovation in all aspects of pharmacy. You can optimize your pharmacy’s filling efficiency, your patient adherence, clinical services — the list goes on and on.

Operating your pharmacy to its full potential always leaves room for improvement. In some cases, it goes beyond filling a prescription, how many vaccines you offer, or the slew of clinical services you have.

In this case, it’s all about how your patients get their medication. With the industry focusing more on convenience, it’s almost essential to have an independent pharmacy delivery service.

The last few years have proven that small businesses — particularly independent pharmacies — can thrive in uncertain times.

With an independent pharmacy delivery service, you can still provide exceptional patient services and they don’t have to move a muscle.

Why Get an Independent Pharmacy Delivery Service

Times change, and independent pharmacies have to follow suit. Home delivery services are currently all the rage, so don’t let your independent pharmacy get tossed by the wayside.

1. It’s Convenient for Patients

One of the main reasons to have an independent pharmacy delivery service is convenience. It can be difficult for elderly patients to drive to the pharmacy or get someone to drive them there.

Having an independent pharmacy delivery service cuts through those external factors by delivering patients’ medications right to their doorstep.

This is especially convenient for hospice patients. At-home nurses will not have to drive to your pharmacy to get their patient’s medications. This in-turn ensures your patient gets their medications with little hassle, thereby improving their health journey.

Time is of the essence, and having an independent pharmacy delivery service ensures your patients will have more time to do what they want outside the pharmacy.

2. It’s Confidential

An independent pharmacy delivery service also ensures confidentiality. Patient privacy is always of great importance, and a delivery service can help them avoid the sometimes uncomfortable process of picking up certain medications.

3. It Can Promote Patient Adherence

As we mentioned in a previous blog, pharmacy work cannot truly be effective unless the patient properly takes their medication. Patient adherence is all about ensuring your patients take their medication on a proper and consistent basis.

Several factors contribute to low patient adherence, such as difficulty getting to the pharmacy. Some patients go days without their medication simply because they don’t have the means to get there.

Having an independent pharmacy delivery service gets rid of that discrepancy. It ensures that your patients can get their medication in a timely and safe manner.

Better patient adherence means better health for your patients and a stronger customer base. It’s a win-win for everyone.

For more on patient adherence, check out our blog, The Importance of Patient Adherence and How to Master It.

What to Look Out for in Delivery Services

Though the good outweighs the bad, there are a few things to keep in mind when having an independent pharmacy delivery service.

1. Delivery Fees

In order to justify the cost of providing an independent pharmacy delivery service, you may have to charge a delivery fee. Prescriptions are expensive enough so adding a delivery fee might turn people off from trying delivery out.

There isn’t a whole lot you can do about it. Waiving the delivery fee could work if you have a bulk of patients who want their prescriptions delivered.

2. Mailing Delays

Another thing that the last few years have shown is that the American postal system is not perfect.

As with anything, delays are inevitable despite your best intentions. This applies to not filling a prescription on time or not having it delivered by the promised date.

Certain things are bound to fall through, so make sure you’re communicating with your patients every step of the way.

3. Not As Much Patient Interaction

Speaking of communication, having less of it can be a potential drawback to delivery services. Not seeing your patients face-to-face can change the dynamic between you and them.

Though you can always call them and vice versa, it might prevent you from establishing a relationship with your patient. One of the biggest appeals of independent pharmacy is the ability to add a personal touch to pharmacy work.

It’s a small drawback but is worth thinking about if you’re an independent pharmacist who relishes patient-to-pharmacist interactions.

4. Some Insurance Programs Don’t Cover Delivery

Though pharmacy delivery services are commonplace today, some insurance programs still require their patients to pick up their scripts at a physical pharmacy.

Some insurance programs require using their pharmacy if they want their prescriptions delivered.

It’s more of an inconvenience for your patients but can lead them to transfer their scripts to an in-network pharmacy. Once again, convenience is an extremely important aspect of patient care — it can determine where a patient goes to fill their prescriptions.

How You Can Make Pharmacy Delivery More Convenient

Your independent pharmacy might have some growing pains when starting a new delivery program. As with anything new, the beginning stages are usually the roughest.

To make it less rocky, your pharmacy staff must be in sync with one another — and what better way to ensure that than having a quality pharmacy software system?

Make sure your pharmacy software system can handle prescription deliveries to begin with. Your software and point-of-sale system need to be on the same page so everything can be properly documented.

Some software systems don’t require documentation that a prescription is being delivered, so long as it is filled and sold. Still, it is wise to make a note of it on your patient’s profile in case something goes awry.

Another point of convenience is having your independent pharmacy delivery service compatible with your pharmacy’s mobile app. This can make a convoluted process much more streamlined and convenient for your patient.

Thrive With an Independent Pharmacy Delivery Service

An independent pharmacy delivery service is one of many pharmacy advances. It’s all about convenience for your patients, making it easier for them to receive and take their medications.

As an independent pharmacy owner, you’re the one making the final decisions.

You’re the one who charts the path to its success, and an independent pharmacy delivery service will help you set the right course.