Know Your Pharmacist: Educating Employees to Empower Savvy Health Care Decisions
Director of Education & Government Practice
Much has been said about the importance of an individual having a primary care provider (PCP) relationship – but is anyone talking about the relationship a person has with their pharmacist?
Employers have a litany of things to consider when they are developing and promoting their benefits program, but this angle should not be overlooked. People see their pharmacist more often than their doctor on average, and these trusted healthcare professionals can be a valuable asset to employees who want to make effective and affordable decisions about their health.
Adding messaging about choosing a preferred pharmacist to your employee communications strategy could be low-hanging fruit to encourage greater employee engagement with your benefits program, as well as savvier health care decisions overall.
The Value of Getting to Know Your Pharmacist
Pharmacists are as much a part of an individual’s health care team as their primary care provider, but we often limit their influence on our health care decisions to a quick conversation at the pharmacy counter.
An individual may even feel like it doesn’t matter which pharmacist they choose for each of their medications, creating a fractured view of their prescriptions for the pharmacy team, which could in turn lead to competitive inhibition issues (where one prescription competes with another and limits effectiveness).
The flip side? A pharmacist-patient relationship that facilitates a holistic approach to health care with seamless ease of access. Employees could see the following benefits by choosing a pharmacist who they know and trust in their community:
- Increased responsiveness
- Better understanding of prescriptions, including side effects and function
- Potential cost savings
Should This Information Come from an Employer?
You may be thinking: what is an employer’s role in this conversation? The answer lies in employee engagement and population health & well-being.
You’ve spent a significant amount of time developing your benefits program to attract and retain the best talent. But, without engagement from your employees, those benefits aren’t providing their total value. Employers leverage employee benefits communication strategies to drive that engagement, and to educate employees on how to best use their benefits for lower costs, improved quality of care, and an enhanced member experience – what we call the triple aim.
There’s also the simple notion that healthier employees are happier employees. When your employees know how to use their benefits, and are educated in their health care decisions, it’s more likely that their health issues will be better addressed.
Employers who are looking to create savvier health care consumers within their workforce may consider promoting the value of the pharmacist-patient relationship. M3 has implemented this topic as a key part of an employee benefits communication strategy with several clients to great success.
Employers can help employees become savvier health care consumers by positioning a preferred pharmacist relationship as an integral part of creating a trusted health care team. Employees with a close pharmacist-patient relationship may experience benefits like better intel into their medications, increased convenience, and even cost savings.
Reach out to your M3 team today to discuss your employee benefits communication strategy, as well as other innovative employee engagement ideas that we’ve implemented for our clients.