There are over 4.5 billion people who use the internet in the world, and in this increasingly digital age, businesses of every kind have to continue to find ways to make an impact and set themselves apart from competition.
Customers these days are dependent on technology. This means that they want to interact with businesses online just as much (if not more) than they interact with them in person. They also want simple, digital solutions that will make everyday life activities more convenient - especially as the pandemic continues.
The digital transformation, as defined by CIO Magazine, is defined as: “the application of digital capabilities to processes, products, and assets to improve efficiency, enhance customer value, manage risk, and uncover new monetization opportunities.” This digital transformation supports the growth of new technology that focuses on the growth of business and putting customers first.
Digital transformation in relation to pharmacies means:
● Offering more personalized care
● Developing numerous income streams
● Increasing sales
● Increasing efficiency
● Equipping them to stand a chance against big-name competition
Digital Transformation Affects Healthcare
It hasn’t been an easy year for the healthcare industry as they’ve tried to care for patients while remaining socially distant amidst a worldwide pandemic. What’s made this struggle more difficult is outdated technology that practices might not have even realized was outdated before it was too late.
This technology caused a breakdown in record-keeping of infections and slow response time, which caused healthcare practices all over the world to seek out digital solutions that focus on patient access, telehealth services, and contactless payments.
Pharmacies were businesses on the front lines of COVID-19 prevention and screening. Large chains set the example of digital strategies - implementing solutions like online shopping/delivery, virtual check-ins, and secure messaging - solutions that can be used in community pharmacies as well as a new way to do business not only during the pandemic, but after it’s over as well.
Starting the Digital Journey
Going digital won’t go out of style after this year. It’s something that will stick around permanently, as its relevance will only continue to increase. In order for your pharmacy to succeed, you have to become focused on how you can advance digitally.
Here are some digital tools that you can incorporate into your workflow:
● Building an online audience.
○ This is how you stay relevant in your patients’ minds and keep your audience engaged. By creating and consistently posting on social media channels (namely your business’s Facebook page), you cultivate a two-way relationship with your customers. Upgrading to a health site that’s HIPAA-compliant can expand your pharmacy’s capabilities even further.
● Offer digital services.
○ Now more than ever, patients want quick access to healthcare. Tools like online prescription refills and online transfers can up your business and keep your patients adequately served.
● Add digital tools to connect your patients.
○ Creating an app for your pharmacy is a great way to promote adherence and give patients the opportunity to manage their prescriptions. You can also improve and simplify communication with digital tools, which can then coordinate curbside pickup and home delivery. Secure two-way messaging is helpful to implement as the pandemic continues and people are still wary to leave their homes.
To follow are a few resources to help you along the journey towards digital transformation:
● Google Analytics is free and can help you track the activity on your website.
● Google My Business, Apple Maps, and Bing Places are free business profiles that help your business show up in maps and local search results.
● Yellowpages shows business reviews that can provide feedback and help your search result ranking.
● Hootsuite is a platform for social media management that schedules and publishes posts for you.
● Facebook Ads Manager is a free platform that you can use to create and manage ad campaigns for Facebook and Instagram.
Your Digital Journey
Going digital, or going more digital, is the way to help your pharmacy keep up with the ever-changing world of business. By following these steps and using these resources, your pharmacy will stand out from the competition and continue to grow.