How Pharmacists Can Strengthen Relationships With Providers
Even though it isn’t always the easiest to maintain, a good pharmacist should never let their relationship with a providing physician falter. A good, working collaboration between physician and pharmacist makes for a happy and healthy patient and a business that is always improving.
Keeping up this relationship can sometimes be a struggle. Provider engagement isn’t guaranteed right away. This article is here to provide some tips on how to strengthen relationships with providers to create a worthwhile and lasting result - for both your business and your patients.
● Meet in Person or Over Video Call
Instead of only communicating electronically, make it a point to connect with a physician either in person or over video call a few times a year. During these meetings, you’ll be able to discuss concerns and figure out ways to address them together. This is also a great opportunity for reconnection.
Of course, it’s not possible to meet with every single physician that your patients connect you with - and that’s okay. What you can do is check your records to see who your top 3-5 prescribers are, and make those physicians your priority.
● Sharing Information
Communication is key in any working relationship. It’s important to make sure your patients’ records are concise and up-to-date so they’re always ready to be shared with providers.
In many cases, a physician isn’t as familiar as a pharmacist with what drugs are covered by what insurances and what ones aren’t. This tide is slowly changing, but until then, sharing this information with them and encouraging patients to speak up when it comes to drug types/prices is essential.
● Respect the Physician’s Time
You respect a physician’s professional opinion, and they should be aware that you respect their time, too. Here are a few ways that you can exemplify that you do:
● Don’t keep them on hold for too long
● Don’t lose your temper if a physician takes a while to get back to you
● Share changes in your pharmacy’s schedule
● Be flexible with contact preferences
If you set the tone for positivity, your relationship with the physician is sure to follow.
● Good Intentions
Instead of jumping directly into a negative mindset, think positively. If a physician prescribes a drug to a patient that you don’t agree with, it’s not likely that they’re out to harm the patient. Instead of attacking the physician and putting them on the defense, open the line of communication and use that opportunity to have a conversation.
Giving a physician time to explain instead of immediately accusing them of wrongdoing can only help your relationship flourish and build trust. Working together towards a solution is always better than working against each other and constantly butting heads.
● Establish Value to the Physician
Just as you understand how important a physician is to your patients, help the physician understand that you play just as crucial of a role. Without the pharmacist and their pharmacy, a patient would have no way of receiving the drugs that have a hugely positive impact on their life.
Helping the physician understand what a key role you play in a patient’s well-being will help them respect your position and strengthen the relationship.
● Be Resourceful
Acting as a resource for physicians is a great asset for your pharmacy. Help a physician understand all the different ways that your pharmacy helps your patients and the community - for example, by offering immunizations, providing free health screenings, etc.
Most information that a physician gets comes from drug reps. Instead, give them a chance to hear it straight from you. Tell them about the latest medicine updates and what’s new in the industry, and they’ll respect you for it.
● Get Physicians on Your Emailing List
If you send out holiday mail or mass emails, get your physicians on that list. Not only does this help to maintain the relationship, it also keeps your pharmacy fresh in the physicians’ minds.
Looking to build more relationships with providers? Zillscript offers Provider Engagement Services. The most tried and true way to increase a pharmacy’s script volume. Schedule a discovery call with a member of our sales team to get started.