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NCPA helps community pharmacies go digital
May 29th, 2013
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Community Pharmacists Association aims to help independent pharmacies enter the digital realm through a new partnership with pharmacy media network RxWiki Inc.
Tarrytown Pharmacy in Austin, Texas, has seen its Facebook audience more than double via the RxWiki solution.
NCPA said Wednesday that it will offer RxWiki's Digital Pharmacist solution as a free benefit to the more than 23,000 community pharmacies nationwide that it represents. The online suite includes website, social media, and mobile solutions for pharmacists to deliver medication and health information to patients.
"With pharmacists becoming more involved in the delivery and management of patient care, there is a valuable opportunity for greater collaboration with patients to improve overall health outcomes," NCPA president Donnie Calhoun said in a statement.
RxWiki's cloud-based, social media-as-a-service platform offers community pharmacies news and updates branded with the local pharmacist or pharmacy name; customizable news feeds categorized by health condition and/or medication; social media profile page setup and activation, including for Facebook, Twitter and Google+; social SEO (search engine optimization) services to maximize new patient engagement; and digital videos related to medications and health conditions.
Pharmacies already working with another online content provider can supplement their offering with the RxWiki's Digital Pharmacist service, NCPA said.
RxWiki also will develop a mobile application branded for a particular pharmacy. The mobile app will incorporate the pharmacy's logo and can be customized by medication or condition. It also has a touch-to-call feature to connect patients with the pharmacy.
In addition, pharmacies can add RxWiki news and search tools to their current website to enhance functionality and the customer experience.
"The strategic goal of this partnership is to empower community pharmacists with world-class medication information and digital solutions to better engage patients within the pharmacy and from any digital device," stated Donald Hackett, chief executive officer and publisher of RxWiki.
"As health care delivery shifts toward an age of accountable care, RxWiki's solutions are supporting community pharmacists transition into a new role as the 'primary-care-pharmacist,' " Hackett explained. "In partnering with NCPA, RxWiki will have the opportunity to connect thousands of community pharmacies and their patients to timely, trusted medication information and digital tools to improve patient medication management."
Mark Newberry, owner of Tarrytown Pharmacy in Austin, Texas, tested the RxWiki solution earlier this year and said it has boosted his company's digital presence.
"RxWiki's Digital Pharmacist program has delivered measurable results for my pharmacy," Newberry commented. "Within the first two months, Tarrytown Pharmacy's Facebook audience more than doubled, our customer reviews on Google+ earned us a ranking of excellent, and we received more than 300 online requests for driving directions to our store. That digital visibility translates to new patients coming through our pharmacy's front door."
Today, 67% of online adults use social networking sites, and 40% of cell phone users access a social networking site on their phone, according to Pew Research Center findings cited by NCPA.
"We are constantly seeking new ways to help our members become more successful business owners," stated Calhoun, owner of a pharmacy in Anniston, Ala. "I am confident NCPA members will find this new Digital Pharmacist program to be a valuable addition to their NCPA membership that will help to attract new customers and increase profitability at their businesses."