Making health care relevant across generations
Executives said that community pharmacy has to adapt healthcare strategies for different generations of customers. Not surprisingly, younger generations are the most likely to embrace digital technologies, said panelist Matthew Johnson, CEO and co-founder of technology provider Amplicare.
“Younger generations are profoundly influenced by digital connectivity,” he said. “Three out of four of them would pick a provider based on whether they have an app that includes more than one aspect of the engagement.”
He pointed to one doctor finding app, Zocdoc. “It’s similar to the Lyfts and Ubers of the world that have not only spoiled us, but also have changed our expectations for more convenience, more transparency, more control, more so than ever before,” he said.
Panelist Doyle Jensen, executive vice president of global business development at Innovation, said relevance is highly important in reaching different customer bases. He also said that his 15-year-old daughter uses the increasingly popular social networking app TikTok, a video-sharing platform that many older consumers likely are not familiar with.
“That’s why I say that relevance to each person comes first,” he said “What you have to provide is something that’s really relevant to them at that point in time and for what they’re experiencing. So in health care, it’s about what the condition state is, and then provide a value based off of that.”
Panelist Ian Fallon, vice president of business development at McKesson Prescription Technology Solutions, said providing transparency to patients, including costs and payments, is highly important. He said it’s also essential to “flip the default” to improve patient adherence.
“Today you get a prescription, and it gets sent over to the pharmacy, and you have to actively go to the pharmacy to pick it up. So the default is nonadherence. I have to do something to go and get it,” he said. “So how do we flip that default? How do we get things to patients in a way that they want it automatically? That makes adherence — not nonadherence — the default.”
Panelists agreed that technology holds great promise for pharmacy and health care, but they also said it needs to be monitored to ensure customer-facing technology interactions make sense.
“It’s got to make sense,” said panelist Jeff Key, president of PioneerRx, who also said that technology-based communications quickly can become turnoffs if they lack relevance. “We have to double train our staffs not to let technology become a crutch in what we’re doing,” he said. “And we have to figure out with the technology creators how to do this.”