SAN DIEGO — Class was in session here at McKesson ideaShare 2015 on Friday with a series of Health Mart University Live! sessions focused on building leadership skills, gearing up for quality measures and a business-building workshop where owners shared best practices and opportunities to grow the business.
Leadership + Team engagement = Sustained results
Presenters Kelley Babcock, COO of Pharmacy Development Services (PDS), and Terri Norvell, PDS’ leadership coach, literally had attendees on their feet, making them stretch and warm up their minds at the outset of the session. The two presenters focused on the best ways for owners and pharmacists to lead a team that functions well and provides the highest level of care to patients.
One of the areas that Norvell emphasized was the importance of values in outlining to a team what is required and expected of members. Norvell asked attendees to write down and share the values that drive their businesses and urged them to make sure that those values shine through in how they deal with team members.
“Values drive behavior, and tell your employees, ‘This is what’s acceptable around here,’” Norvell said. “They don’t really need to just hang on the wall, that’s old school. Values in today’s age are alive in action.”
In particular, Norvell pointed out that outlining the rules of the workplace is a way to make the values more concrete — if an owner makes their expectations clear, employees can’t plead ignorance. This is an example of the type of action, however small, that co-presenter Babcock urged, rather than using empty words.
“One of our very favorite things to say is: ‘Words are just vibrations of air,’” Babcock said. “They are really meaningless unless they are coupled with action.”
Pharmacy quality measures
One of the biggest threads running through McKesson ideaShare 2015 was the pressure placed on independent pharmacists to drive improved patient outcomes. Tim Davis, pharmacist and owner of Brighton and Beaver Falls Health Mart Pharmacies, helped attendees navigate the maze of pharmacy quality measures, and to think about how to develop their pharmacy teams so that each member understands the importance of delivering on these measures and does their part to ensure quality.
Davis talked about the importance of consulting with patients one-to-one to drive quality and how his pharmacy is leveraging technology solutions like McKesson’s EQuIPP platform to track quality performance and plan ways to keep improving it. Proving that these solutions are not just for the new generation of pharmacists, Davis noted that his father, a pharmacist for more than 40 years, waits at his computer for new EQuIPP data because he understands its utility and the impact it has on patient care in his pharmacy.
“That’s the reason we got into pharmacy — to make sure that our patients felt good and that we felt that we were doing good in our community,” Davis said.
Elizabeth Estes, chief ideas officer for Ebus Innovation, stepped out of the presenter role and acted as facilitator for a session whose core emphasis was in the very spirit of McKesson ideaShare 2015 — the sharing of ideas. Participants broke up into small roundtable-working groups, with no two people from the same pharmacy seated at the same table. Groups used McKesson’s ideaShare 2015 mobile app to share their findings with the room. The goal of the exercise was for independent pharmacy owners to share best thinking in marketing and promotion, and exchange ideas among peers that could be implemented immediately after the conference to help attract and keep more customers.
One hot idea revolved around using events as marketing opportunities, including customer appreciation events, flu shot fairs and other health fairs. One participant noted that a health fair that once started in his pharmacy’s parking lot had since expanded into a bigger event and spread out all the way down the block over the years.
Applauding these grassroots-type efforts, Estes also talked about the value of targeted digital marketing, and the role the medium can play in augmenting traditional marketing and improving attendance.
“If you think about what you’re doing in events, one of the best things you can do is not look at your marketing in silos — traditional and digital — but bring them together,” Estes said. “If you’re having a health fair, if you’re having a flu event, use Facebook to target customers in your zip code to drive more people there. That’s a way you can try to bring these marketing tools together.”
Estes, like Babcock and Norvell, urged action on the part of owners.
“I hope you heard some ideas today that you can take back to your markets, but try to make them your own,” Estes said. “I think the biggest thing is to give yourself a reason to try something new and try something different, and I know that’s why you’re all here.”