The Power of Communicating to The Pharmacist on National Pharmacist Day!
As a strategic branding and communications agency creating accessible OTC products and engaging and interactive services, we feel it is important to recognise the power of the pharmacist on National Pharmacist Day.
It’s time to recognise the value of each and every pharmacist across the nation and be proud of how they continue to contribute to the daily well – being of patients and their families.
The Pandemic proved that…Our pharmacists have become an essential part of our healthcare system.
(In 2022, 440,000 people were treated for common illnesses and minor injuries at their local pharmacy after a referral from 111 or their GP’s. This is twice the number of 2021 source: Times)
With the NHS in crisis, we need to acknowledge that our pharmacists are seen as a vital member of our healthcare system. We are witnessing the pharmacist’s role becoming more integrated within the NHS: providing advice and treatment for minor illnesses, lifesaving flu or covid jabs, blood pressure checks, stop smoking services – continuously helping patients who can’t get to see their GP.
(High Street Heroes! A recent nationwide trial, we have seen pharmacists empowered to refer patients identified with potential cancer concerns through the analysis of cough medicine purchases. Source: The times, December 30th, 2021)
We see our role as staying relevant to pharmacists to make their ever-demanding job easier day by day.
We collaborate with global consumer healthcare companies to make their lives easier with invaluable training for them and their teams and up – to – date products and services knowledge, so they remain relevant and are always seen as the first port of call when it comes to medical advice in the local community.
By helping realise new, relevant self-care products, we have continuously supported pharmacists to address prevalent issues that underpin balanced well-being and quality of life: With Niquitin communication, we help them help consumers to take control of their smoking dependency, we have aided pharmacists with tools to explain the sleep – stress cycle and the negative impact it has on health. We have helped clarify the role of VMS and other preventative measures to support their customers’ self-care.
We have also assisted with our pharmacist’s CPD by creating practical category training, supported consumer choice with informative product detailing, aided responsible dispensing with protocols and pathways and enhanced business with impactful POS and other trade – marketing materials.
But…moving forwards into 2023 and beyond:
We need to understand the future of pharmacy and where pharmaceutical care is heading.
We are living in a world where people are becoming more aware of the benefits of proactive health care management, thus the self-care agenda is continuing to dominate and grow. However, consumers still lack confidence and knowledge to care for most self-treatable conditions. Today, we would like to thank our pharmacists who continue to drive a comprehensive approach to self-care advising suitable and effective OTC treatments and self-care techniques.
(In a national survey, benefits of self-care were cited as: enhanced self-confidence (64%), increased productivity (67%), happiness (71%). However, in a recent survey conducted by PAGB, four out of five people believe that there is a need for more self-care education).
Alongside this, with generation Z experiencing unprecedented levels of stress, anxiety and depression, an understanding of the nuanced handling of mental health in our local communities throws light on the value of our engaged and knowledgeable pharmacists. They have become pillars of community health; always available, always dependable for everyone’s wellness needs.
We will also witness an increase in the importance of the role of technology in our sector with end consumers requiring quick responses to their health concerns. The growth of virtual consultations has and will continue to transform access to care across the healthcare system. How health tech and wearables fits into this support framework will need considering.
(In a national survey – 78% of respondents overall agreed that telehealth is more time effective than in-person consultations. Furthermore, 61% agreed that telehealth provides more accessibility to quality healthcare. Source: Statista 2022).
We will continue to respond to these trends by creating relevant communications which are accessible, educational, and interactive. But Pharmacist need to be engaged too. Increasing workloads and the concept of ‘Pharmacy First…’ means they and their teams need support to be at the right time, presented the right way.
What will we be thinking about for 2023?
Keeping comms bite-size – immediate and simple to digest
Gamification – making information interactive (esp. for Counter Assistants)
Personalisation – be relevant to different pharmacy needs. Not all Pharmacies are equal!
Real world scenarios – aligned to how customers really behave, not how we want them to behave
Fully integrated – remembering pharmacists are people too and live in a joined up, digital world
By encouraging a more ‘open dialogue’ between the pharmacist and their teams, the pharmacy, and the local community, we hope that together we can strengthen and support health communities nationwide.
On National Pharmacist Day we would like to end by thanking our pharmacists for the value and support they add to all our daily lives. We wish to reassure them that we will be creating communication strategies with their ever-demanding profession in mind.