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Keeping Up with Jones's Pharmacy: Four Ways to Make Sure Your Performance Measures Up

By Phyllis Houston, MSOL

Leverage these measurements and means of comparison to improve patient care, optimize your business operations and outperform your competitors.
A woman peeking through window blinds
It’s a given that patients expect independent pharmacies to deliver high-touch, personalized service. But without finite benchmarks from reliable sources, it can be hard to tell how close you are to fulfilling that mission.

The following information sources will bring you up to speed in identifying your pharmacy’s strengths, priorities for improvement and top growth opportunities.



This impartial performance information management platform helps you understand the impact your pharmacy is having on patient care. EQuIPP provides month-over-month tracking focused on benchmarked performance metrics, like adherence and Star Ratings data.

With this tool, you can see how many patients your pharmacy has in key adherence metrics, such as diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as the percentage of adherent patients for each measure. Patients are listed by name and date of birth, so it’s easy to identify who is non-adherent and whether you’ve taken action to get them back on track with their prescribed medications.

One of the ways you can access EQuIPP’s benchmarks is through the PrescribeWellness Patient Engagement Center. There you’ll see hard data points that give you a basis for determining how your pharmacy compares to:

  • Your own pharmacy performance over time
  • All pharmacies measured within EQuIPP
  • Other pharmacies within your state
  • The top 20 percent of pharmacies across the nation
While EQuIPP isn’t set up for competitive analysis with peers, regular monitoring of the platform enables you to assess month-to-month adherence and how close your pharmacy is to the top performers in the industry. Think of it as a self-monitoring tool.


2. Point-of-sale (POS) data
Understanding what’s driving your pharmacy’s front-end business performance is critical to knowing how you stack up against similar stores near you. You should be able to glean insights on patient shopping behavior from your POS system, and it would be ideal to use a third-party tool that compares your performance to similarly sized pharmacies based on OTC-only sales, front-end sales combined with prescriptions, basket counts and basket dollars.

You should also be able to see monthly revenue breakouts and year-over-year gains or declines for specific product categories. And if your POS system can show you items that are selling well elsewhere, but aren’t available in your store, all the better! You can use that information to determine which products you should consider stocking.


3. Prescription data
In addition to analyzing your front end, you’ll want to do the same behind the counter. However, instead of looking strictly at sales, the focus here is on patients, prescriptions and prescribers.

You need to be able to see the total number of patients who filled prescriptions at your pharmacy during the preceding week, month and year, as well as the associated revenue from those fills. This will help you keep track of new patients and high-value patients who account for the bulk of your prescriptions.

Likewise, you want to be able to see numerical counts and revenue figures for new prescribers and those who accounted for a high share of referred prescriptions. It also helps if your reporting breaks out the quantity and percentages of prescriptions paid for by commercial insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, Health Exchange plans, discount cards and cash, with pharmacy revenue amounts for each.

These metrics provide the basis for year-over-year gain/loss percentages, as well as performance comparisons to your peer group.


4. Service benchmarks
We all know that independent pharmacies typically treat patients with multiple health issues who need extra time and one-on-one attention. Services that help build and strengthen personal relationships are crucial to patients becoming healthier and achieving their own goals.

It’s good practice to regularly assess the services offered to your community and examine how they truly differentiate your store from competitors and peers in the area. Make a detailed list of everything you offer in your store and what other pharmacies nearby are doing as well. For the latter, simply peruse your competitors’ websites and social media feeds to see what they’re promoting. You may discover that the pharmacy across town offers a service you don’t. That’s a good signal to at least investigate the opportunity, determine if you need to offer it and ideally figure out how you could do it better (e.g., offering free delivery versus charging a delivery fee).

Your list should contain at least two unique and differentiating service offerings. If it doesn’t, it’s time to take a closer look at your community to determine how else you could better serve their needs. Think in terms of services that make life easier for patients and can be offered by your pharmacy in a unique way: medication synchronization, convenience packaging, home delivery, digital interactions, etc.


Putting this information to good use
Armed with data-backed insights, you can build a foundation for better adherence. It’s crucial to set goals where you want to improve, and then measure whether you are indeed gaining ground. For instance, how many patients per month need to become adherent for your pharmacy to achieve the five-star threshold? And, as time goes on, are you improving month over month and year over year?

Start by prioritizing the areas where your pharmacy has opportunity in these performance measures and create a plan of action based on your findings. Once you commit to optimizing your pharmacy performance, keep a watchful eye on your reporting to make sure you’re getting the results you want and staying on track.

Having trouble benchmarking your pharmacy?

All Good Neighbor Pharmacy members get access to EQuIPP, the PrescribeWellness Patient Engagement Center, at-a-glance POS and prescription dashboards, a Star Ratings Report Card and much more. Plus, you get a dedicated business coach to walk through the data with you, pull out key insights and help you create an action plan based on those findings.
A Good Neighbor Pharmacy business coach reviews performance reports with a pharmacist

About The Author

Phyllis Houston, MSOL
Vice President, Pharmacy Enablement & Performance
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