Patients Want to Interact with Their Pharmacists on Social Media

OCTOBER 04, 2017
Laurie Toich, Assistant Editor
Social media has become a crucial tool for organizations and businesses to interact with their customers and discuss the services they offer. Many Americans look to social media for recommendations and to build stronger relationships with the brands they use.
 
The results of the 2017 Pharmacy Social Media Survey—conducted by Propellar Insights on behalf of PrescribeWellness—indicate that Americans want to interact with their pharmacies on social media. The survey collected responses from more than 1000 adults to determine how consumers choose their pharmacies, which services are values, and their interest in interacting with their pharmacy online.
 
The authors found that 37% of respondents turned to Google when deciding which pharmacy to go to, while another 34% relied on recommendations. Only approximately 18% of respondents searched Facebook to find a pharmacy.
 
The most valued service that pharmacies provide is accepting a patient’s insurance, which was selected by 57% of respondents, according to the survey. Competitive drug prices and expanded store hours were voted valuable by 50% and 45% of respondents, respectively.
 
Offerings such as having a useful website and delivery options were less important to customers, coming in at approximately 30%.
 
For patients 55 years and older, insurance acceptance (66%) and competitive drug prices (58%) were the most important services offered by pharmacies.
 
An overwhelming 78% of respondents said they would follow their pharmacist on social media, with nearly 50% already following them, according to the survey. Another 42% of pharmacists said they wished their pharmacists had a more active social media presence.
 
When it comes to social media, 47% of respondents said they prefer to interact with their pharmacist on Facebook, 15% prefer Twitter, and 12% prefer Instagram.
 
The authors also found that one-third of respondents would be interested in a pharmacist’s own website, and 25% would sign up for emails from them, according to the study.
 
The respondents felt that through interacting on social media, they could receive promotions, notification of new services, healthcare news, tips about health and wellness, and vaccination reminders.
 
Nearly all respondents said they would take advice from pharmacists about health education and 54% would use a recommended product, underscoring the growing importance of these providers.
 
More than 60% of Americans use their pharmacy’s website to request refills, place online orders, sign up for medication reminders, and keep track of their medications, according to the study.
 
These results show that patients think very highly of pharmacists and their increasing importance as a member of the healthcare team, according to the survey authors.
 
“These survey findings confirm that consumers would like to bring their relationship with their community pharmacist outside of the pharmacy setting and think of them as a valuable ally in their health and wellness,” said Al Babbington, CEO of PrescribeWellness. “As pharmacies continue to go ‘beyond the fill,’ social media is another tool they can use to connect with current—and prospective—patients by offering useful advice, vaccination reminders, promotions and other preventive care messages.”

This originally appeared on Specialty Plantsvszombies.info.

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