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Study: Customers give pharmacy staff high marks
February 19th, 2013
NEW YORK – In community pharmacy, increased emphasis has been placed on the expertise of the pharmacist in guiding patients in their use of prescription medications. The results from Boehringer Ingelheim's Pharmacy Satisfaction Pulse survey indicate that the profession is performing this role very well.
The poll of 34,424 adult pharmacy customers finds that 88% were very satisfied (65%) or somewhat satisfied (23%) with their pharmacists and pharmacy staff and consider them key to their overall pharmacy experience.
Based on 20-minute online interviews, Boehringer Ingelheim's study sample comprises adult pharmacy customers who have filled six or more prescriptions (new or refills) in the previous 12 months.
Boehringer Ingelheim noted that, overall, satisfaction with pharmacists and pharmacy staff is high and comparable year over year. The reasons for the impressive satisfaction scores are varied, ranging from innovative, well-executed programs — focused on medication adherence, medication therapy management and increased pharmacist-patient interaction — to extraordinary dedication on the part of individuals.
Customer Satisfaction with Pharmacist
and Pharmacy Staff
CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE
Greater use of central-fill facilities and well-trained, certified pharmacy technicians also has helped free up pharmacists from dispensing chores so they can devote more time to advising patients. Some pharmacy operators, too, have redesigned their pharmacy departments to make the pharmacists more accessible at the counter and in private in adjacent consultation rooms.
Still, the Pulse survey reveals some notable differences in the level of satisfaction with pharmacists and pharmacy staff among chain, independent, food, mass merchant, clinic and mail order/online pharmacies.
Of those retail pharmacy channels, chain drug was ahead of only mail order/online in the percentage of customers expressing satisfaction with the pharmacists and pharmacy staff. Of drug chain patients, 61% were "very satisfied" and 26% were "somewhat satisfied," compared with 57% "very satisfied" and 25% "somewhat satisfied" for mail order/online.
Independent drug stores and supermarket pharmacies led the field. Among independent pharmacy customers surveyed, 81% were very satisfied and 13% were somewhat satisfied with the pharmacists and pharmacy staff. Of grocery store pharmacy patients, 71% were very satisfied and 20% were somewhat satisfied.
As a result, independent pharmacies and supermarket pharmacies were the only two channels in the study having more than 90% of their patients satisfied with the pharmacists and their staff.
Coming in behind independents and supermarkets, and just ahead of chain drug, were clinic and mass merchant pharmacies. Sixty-seven percent of clinic patients were very satisfied and 21% were somewhat satisfied with the pharmacists and pharmacy staff. Of mass merchant Rx customers, 64% were very satisfied and 24% were somewhat satisfied with the pharmacists and their staff.
Despite such variances in satisfaction, pharmacists' extensive training makes them the most knowledgeable health care professionals when it comes to medicines and their use, as the American Pharmacists Association points out.
What's more, pharmacists are the health care professionals to whom people can generally have the most direct, easy access. That enables pharmacists to play a pivotal role in helping patients achieve the best health outcomes from their medication as well as avoid health repercussions from possible side effects or harmful interactions with other prescription or over-the-counter medicines.
While anecdotal accounts confirm that pharmacy customers are increasingly seeing their pharmacists as important sources of medication expertise and general health care information, the Pharmacy Satisfaction Pulse survey found that pharmacy customers find printed health information less useful.
Among chain drug customers, for instance, 74% said they were somewhat satisfied (22%) or very satisfied (52%) with printed health information available. The results also suggest that chains are doing a better job with printed information, since the number of those very satisfied had jumped by more than five percentage points in a year.
Overall, 75% of pharmacy customers in the Pulse survey were very satisfied (55%) or somewhat satisfied (20%) with the printed health information available.
Independent pharmacies again came out on top in terms of Rx customer satisfaction with printed health information (64% very satisfied, 15% somewhat satisfied), followed by clinics (60% very satisfied, 18% somewhat satisfied), supermarkets (58% very satisfied, 19% somewhat satisfied), mail order/online (54% very satisfied, 20% somewhat satisfied), chain drug (52% very satisfied, 22% somewhat satisfied) and mass merchants (51% very satisfied, 20% somewhat satisfied).