Leveraging Local Providers to Build Your Business
By Dr. Nicolette Mathey

From next-generation genetic sequencing to immunotherapy and telehealth, the focal areas in Deloitte’s list of top 10 health care innovations are all across the board. While the subject matter may vary, there is one consistent thread: Collaboration. Take, for instance, virtual reality (no. 6 on the list). Engineers and coders are required for the technical design of the solution, but in order to make virtual reality a viable reality, health care personnel had to weigh in to ensure it was safe, compliant and valuable to patients.

If you’re a pharmacist who genuinely wants to help people, it’s time to adopt a model that includes a steady dose of communication and collaboration. And the form of collaboration that might just be the most beneficial for patients (and your pharmacy business) is learning to leverage local providers.

In the old days, a pharmacist would only call a doctor if there was an error involved. At ATRIUM24, we teach our members to completely flip that paradigm and to call on the prescriber often to build a meaningful relationship.

Most pharmacies struggle with marketing themselves and getting out into the community to talk with prescribers. Many don’t have a dedicated marketing rep, and those who do aren’t necessarily knowledgeable about how to manage them or what materials the rep needs to succeed.

One of the eye-opening points we make to member pharmacies is that you don’t have to build relationships with 100 different doctors. You need about five dedicated and loyal prescribers who want to team up with you for the good of your mutual patients.

Getting your foot in the door with those five isn’t always easy, so you must demonstrate that you’re different from the big box stores that saturate every other corner. We help member pharmacies craft messaging and strategies that are tailored to the prescriber they’re approaching.

For instance, suggesting to a local surgeon that your pharmacy can provide surgical kits that include everything their patients will need before and after surgery is a great way to differentiate yourself. These boxes can include pre-op antibacterial wash, alternatives to blood thinners, ice packs, gauze, wraps and post-op pain relievers, among other products specific to their type of surgery.

We’ve even taken customization a step further by creating our own nasal rinses to include in boxes marketed toward ear, nose and throat patients. Eye surgery is another option. The sky is the limit.

The key to this type of outreach is consistency. Create a HOT list of high-opportunity targets in your area and earn their trust through phone calls, drop-ins, emails and pitching custom product boxes. We all know that pharmacists can’t leave the bench during store hours, so if you want to commit to leveraging local providers, you should consider adding a rep to manage those efforts on your store’s behalf.

The team at ATRIUM24 is expertly trained in working with reps on best practices for prescriber outreach. We even have an Eli Lilly trained pharma rep on staff who works directly with our members’ reps.

If you have any questions about leveraging local providers, or you want to talk about how ATRIUM24 can improve your pharmacy’s marketing, we want to hear from you. Please fill out the form on our contact page, and we’ll be in touch.