Are You a Digital Pharmacist Yet?

A Letter to NCPA Members from NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey

Last week my 72-year-old mother texted me. When I didn't text back within a few minutes she called to ask me what was the problem. Soon after I caught myself glancing at the sky to see if pigs were flying.

My mother is no technophile. She's not on Facebook (yet). She doesn't tweet (yet). But her generation—once thought to be the last technology holdouts—is changing its technology comfort level. Are you keeping up with their expectations?

NCPA's new alliance with RxWiki promises digital solutions—exclusive social media support, a customizable app, and enhancements for your website at no cost for NCPA members. It's the real deal and it's the right price; NO COST for NCPA members.

It's a hassle-free way to increase your pharmacy's digital presence, save time and money, and build patient loyalty. Did I mention it's a free member benefit?

RxWiki, Inc. is a company based in Austin, Tex., that enables pharmacies and pharmacists to reach and engage patients with actionable news and medication information through a number of media distribution outlets and digital devices. NCPA and RxWiki have worked out an arrangement to offer Rx Wiki's services to NCPA members at no charge.

Many more of your patients and potential patients may be looking for you on social media sites than you may realize. According to research by the Pew Charitable Trusts, 67% of online adults use social networking sites and 40% of cell phone users use a social networking site on their phone. Some of your most loyal customers—women and people ages 30-49—are the fastest-growing population of social media users.

If you aren't into social media yet, don't worry. Experts at RxWiki, an innovative media company that publishes medication content, deploys eHealth applications, and develops patient engagement services, will create profiles for your pharmacy on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Simply fill out information about your pharmacy and a representative from RxWiki will contact you.

One of the early testers of RxWiki's Digital Pharmacist program, Mark Newberry, PharmD, owner of Tarrytown Pharmacy in Austin, said it "has delivered measurable results for my pharmacy. Within the first two months, Tarrytown Pharmacy's Facebook audience more than doubled, our customer reviews on Google+ earned us a ranking of excellent, and we received more than 300 online requests for driving directions to our store. That digital visibility translates to new patients coming through our pharmacy's front door."

Your sites will be updated automatically with trustworthy, health-related content written for patients, by pharmacists. Don't feel like writing or posting on social media? You don't have to—RxWiki will take care of uploading content for you. We recommend that you try to make your pages more detailed and individualized, but this solution can exist on its own.

Already using social media? RxWiki can make it better. This NCPA member benefit will make your current social media offerings more robust. RxWiki's content is top-notch, written by licensed pharmacists for patients on an 8th grade reading level. It is designed to broaden your relationship with your patients and keep a healthy conversation going.

RxWiki will provide regular articles to your social media sites. If you are already working with another provider for content, this program will enhance your current offering.

RxWiki also will create a custom mobile application branded for your pharmacy. The app is customizable by medication or condition, will incorporate your pharmacy's logo, and has a touch-to-call feature to connect your patients with your pharmacy. Patients will be able to leave your pharmacy with a mobile app customized for their needs.

Another feature is that you can add RxWiki news and search tools onto your current website to enhance functionality and the consumer experience. Even if you don't have a store website, you'll benefit from having robust Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages with timely and relevant content provided by RxWiki. In addition, RxWiki can help you claim your pharmacy on Google Local, which helps your pharmacy's name and website appear in localized web searches and lets customers easily find you on Google Maps.

In addition to visiting our Digital Pharmacist Solution webpage, you can learn more about how the Solution will benefit your business by listening to a recent Members Forum recording as well as reviewing slides from the presentation.

When was the last time you opened a...what did they call those thick books with the colored pages? Oh yes, a telephone book. Your customers are looking for your pharmacy online—make sure they can find you. Take advantage of NCPA's Digital Pharmacist Solution so that you can serve today's social media savvy consumer and tomorrow's.


B. Douglas Hoey

Last Updated: August 18, 2013