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08/03/2022

Don't be afraid to find your competition

Surrounding yourself with the right people will keep the competitive juices flowing and allow you to accomplish things you otherwise would not have. But that will only be part of the battle. We must compete against our own mindset when it is holding us back.

From kindergarten we are compared to provincial standards and classmates. In youth sports, we play against other kids, sometimes winning and other times losing.

In adult life, there are less tangible competitions driving us to bring out our best. Naturally, we get complacent and do ‘enough’. We have only ourselves to compare against, so we settle.

Surrounding yourself with the right people will keep the competitive juices flowing and allow you to accomplish things you otherwise would not have. But that will only be part of the battle. We must compete against our own mindset when it is holding us back. 

Have you settled on workflow?

List 3 repetitive tasks you dread and make them better by asking another Pharmacist what they do to solve them. Putting ego aside to accept someone else’s good idea is essential to making your dispensary better for your patients, staff and your longevity. Resist the easy answer to simply accept the status quo as the true answer. Compete with difficult workflow. Track time to bill compliance packages now then work with another Pharmacist and your software vendor to batch bill and compare the time. Then keep the time log going as you fine tune the rejections messages. 

Finding competition is a reframing of mindset. You versus the dread of doing the mundane or facing the customer annoyances and problems head on. It is you against the problem of subpar workflow and it won’t win.

Have you settled on staff?

Feeling defeated by staff turnover or staff reaching their skill limit? Use the Pharmacy Training Step Ladder in the automation kit as a restart. It offers a clear view of where each staff member is, demonstrates where they can go and showing them visually permits buy-in. 

Looking at the staff as a continuum as oppose to a current day snapshot sets the stage for succession planning instead of reactive clock-punching that the profession pushes us towards. 

What staffing vulnerabilities exist? What leaves/vacations bring on significant holes? What is your entry-level position that starts your training pipeline? Do you have any “trainers” who can show others the way?

Again, finding competition is a reframing of mindset. You versus the dread of doing the mundane or facing the people-development puzzle head on. It is you against the problem and it won’t win. 

Have you settled on clinical services?

Is the red-tape paperwork of medication reviews pushing you away from doing them? Find ways to reduce the start burden by asking what repeatable aspects of workflow trigger clinical services. Prep medication review paperwork for patients who order refills called via IVR since they are coming in soon. Create a log of series immunizations and book boosters at the time of first dose. Train staff to ask customers buying OTC smoking cessation products if they want a few pointers from the pharmacist before leaving. 

Remember, finding competition is a reframing of mindset. You versus the dread of doing the mundane or facing the daunting task of hitting med review, immunization or smoking cessation consult numbers. If you are winning the competition, clinical services feel like they happen one patient interaction at a time, without forcing it. It is you against the problem of fitting in time and it won’t win.

We are not in our childhood anymore so competition may not be sprung unto us. And since pinning staff’s individual performance or pharmacy-to-pharmacy performance against each other is not a great leadership technique to winning, we must fight to find internally motivating competition. Comparing ourselves to a higher standard version of ourselves can earn us the right to achieve a true potential we would not have otherwise. 

 

More Blog Posts In This Series

  • Size matters in pharmacy: more people, more problems (Part 1 of 2)

    Recently a mentor of mine said: “You don’t want to grow too much, Jason; more people, more problems.” While I understand what they mean, I prefer to think about staff size as what fits tightly into your depth chart, a visual of your current staff and future pipeline.
    Jason Chenard
  • 3 top tips to plug your pharmacy holes

    Without municipal water you would have to carry an empty bucket to a well two miles away, take a scoop to fill your bucket and walk it back to your house.
    Jason Chenard
  • Feedback loops in pharmacy workflow

    There are feedback loops with positive and negative impacts happening all day long, whether you notice them or not. What if you could harness positive loops and blunt the negative ones?
    Jason Chenard
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