A “Brown Bag” is an affectionate term for the idea of patients meeting with their pharmacist to discuss their medications. (or sometimes the medications for parents, friends, or others for whom they are providing care)
The idea originated from having patients bring their prescriptions in a “brown bag” to the pharmacy. A Brown Bag or Medication Review is an opportunity for the pharmacist to review their medications and to potentially make recommendations for changes, while discussing optimum usage and adherence and generally enhance the patient's understanding of their medications, with the ultimate goal of increasing compliance and improving their quality of life.
What can you do? If you have the means (and space), post a sign and invite people to come to your store once a …whatever (week, month) to discuss their medications. Be sure to promote as they are under NO obligation to transfer their prescriptions and that this is just education and information to help them. Once you provide this kind of service; they are not going to be interested in going elsewhere and will likely keep coming back.
As an alternative, go to them. Consider a specific day and time in a senior center or a church. Seniors are frequently on quite a few medications and they like the idea of a resource under no obligation. They are seeing us on their terms, with no ringing phones or hustle and bustle. Build it…they WILL come!
Whenever you can! Use your judgment, it’s a great service to add to a community event. You define the time. Two hours, 3 hours, whatever you can swing. If you had a large turn out of people and were unable to accommodate all, be sure to schedule again on a regular basis. You can also schedule time in your pharmacy for patients.
Remember, there are a few Medicare Part D opportuntiies, Mirixa and Outcomes are two current programs available in Pennsylvania presenting opportunities to perform documented reviews for which you are paid.
Bottom line- You step away from your everyday duties, yet continue to provide medication related services. The community sees you giving and they will most likely give back, thus increasing your bottom line.
Don’t forget your “service and promotion.” Grab your blood pressure device, take your free glucometers to educate patients on their use and to hand out for upgrades, and market your services. Pamphlets of what you offer, consultations, immunizations, blood pressure monitoring, delivery, compounding, etc. Be sure to have a disclosure (aka sign in sheet) that each patient signs indicating HIPAA awareness and also disclosure releasing you from as much liability as possible, should it be necessary.
Don't forget to adequately promote through signage, postcards, flyers, etc. Ads in small town papers are also a possibility. Or if you are doing something in a senior center or church, have them promote in their bulletin.
Be sure to also think about food and freebies - a great way to build interest and excitement. Consider healthful options when it comes to food.
Use your sign-in sheet, to do appropriate follow-up and potentially gain future business.