Alex Barker, PharmD
Alex Barker, PharmD
Alex Barker is the founder of The Happy PharmD, which helps pharmacists create an inspiring career, break free from the mundane "pill-flipping" life. He is a Full-time Pharmacist, Media Company founder, franchise owner, Business Coach, Speaker, and Author. He's also the Founder of Pharmacy School HQ, which helps students get into pharmacy school and become residents.

7 Ways Patients Can Thank a Pharmacist

OCTOBER 25, 2015
Patients don’t need to make elaborate gestures to acknowledge the hard-working pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in their community. 

In addition to dispensing drugs, pharmacy staff members provide valuable services such as helping patients save money on prescriptions, offering advice on OTC products, and reviewing medical records to ensure patient safety. 

Here are a few simple things patients can do to make pharmacy staff feel appreciated:
1. Actually say “thank you.” 
Although this sounds like a no-brainer, a few sincere words of appreciation from a patient at the end of pharmacy counter transaction can really mean a lot. Saying “thank you” doesn’t cost a thing and takes less than 10 seconds to do.
 
2. Write a letter or e-mail. 
If a pharmacy staff member goes above and beyond, then write a simple letter or e-mail to his or her manager or licensing organization to ensure that he or she is recognized for doing good work. Because so many letters and e-mails are negative, the manager or licensing organization will likely be overjoyed to receive a letter of praise from a patient.
 
Patients may even be able to nominate their favorite pharmacy employee for recognition such as “Employee of the Month,” which may come with perks like a paycheck bonus, premium parking spot, or gift card. 
 
3. Write a positive online review. 
If patients are satisfied with the service they receive at a particular pharmacy, then they should consider writing a review on Angie’s List or another online review site. Online reviews can be great for business, and some sites will even notify a pharmacy when it receives a new review. 
 
4. Participate in surveys. 
Patients who receive a call or e-mail requesting feedback about a recent pharmacy visit should complete the survey and mention the helpful pharmacy staff member by name. Believe it or not, someone actually pays attention to the survey results. If an employee is specifically named, then he or she usually receives some type of recognition.
 
5. Make a donation to charity. 
Some pharmacies have policies that prevent their employees from accepting gifts from patients. If that is the case, then a patient could make a small monetary donation to charity in the name of the pharmacy or employee. 
 
6. Refer friends. 
Referrals are one of the highest forms of praise in the health care community, so patients should talk up their favorite pharmacy employees to family and friends, thereby sending new business to the pharmacy. Patients should be sure to remind their “referrals” to let the pharmacy staff know who sent them, and how happy they are with the service. 
 
7. Be loyal to the pharmacy. 
Pharmacies are busy places, so once in a while, patients will have to wait for medication, see a refill slip through the cracks, or get stuck in a long drive-thru line. Patients who recognize these instances for what they are—blips on the radar screen of otherwise-stellar customer service—are “thanking” their pharmacist with continued business and patience, even on an occasional busy day. 
 
It’s easy to feel underappreciated when you are running around filling prescriptions, dealing with doctors’ offices and insurance companies, and calming angry customers all day. All it takes is a kind word from a patient to remind you how much you are able to help people every day.


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