The best part about retail pharmacy..

Long lines filled with more than just customers; they are my long-time regular patients. All greeting me with smiling faces. They chat with each other and make small talk over the pharmacy counter while I verify. I apologize for the long wait, yet they cut me off saying, “Please, we’re not going anywhere. We’re here to see you!”

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Demanding people wanting to speak only to the pharmacist at the counsel window because they want to thank me for thinking of them over the holidays and leaving pleasant messages. They hold for 15 minutes on the phone because they want to refill a medicine and to visit with me.

I call the doctor’s offices, and the medical assistants either recognize me or are super happy that it’s Friday. They talk to me like we are good friends making plans over the weekend. I love Fridays, even though I work tomorrow.

The never-ending workflow keeps us challenged. We hustle to knock out 4 pages of production, but 2 more pop in the queue. Six pages now, with phone calls blowing us up. Our team is now on overdrive, passing bottles, tag-teaming to keep waiters and fridge items at the front, and focusing on customers. The technicians talk to each other about immunizations and using discount cards. I’m so proud.

The backed up queue doesn’t scare me, so I pull up some business metrics. Final week of November shows our pharmacy crushing scripts, service, and all the other 2018 business priorities my supervisor has drilled into my brain. I personally give praise to each of my technicians for their talent, making sure to highlight specifics I’ve noticed about their performance. How do I challenge and develop my technician rock stars into world-class A-Players?

The pharmacy is comping sales so hard, promise times are taking a hit. Luckily, my boss lets me own my business. So, I choose to call in extra help. It’s not hard because my team is so flexible and dedicated. One says they will happily come in early so they can “level up.” Another comes in on their day off just to “hang out” while busting out scripts like a champ. How did this pharmacy manager get so lucky?

The pharmacy breaks an all-time script record, patients left amazing guest surveys for the day, and every single person on the team took at least one 15 minute break plus a lunch. What an exhilarating, action-packed day. This is exactly why I got in the game. When corporate beasts run the business, that’s what a day in the life of retail pharmacy feels like: a well-oiled healthcare machine. 

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Business Tips from The Corporate PharmD

  • Build relationships with all stakeholders alike (patients, doctors, medical assistants, delivery people, custodians, etc.)
  • You have to create and nourish culture and engagement with your team every day
  • Business can only succeed when you focus on talent and building high-performing teams
  • When you exceed script budgets, flex up accordingly to meet service demands while protecting your team’s longevity

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