/publications/career/2006/Careers_2006-09/Careers_2006-09_3913

STARTING AND MAINTAINING AN INDY PHARMACY: HELP FROM THE PROS

Author: Wendy K. Bodine, Assistant Editor, Pharmacy Times

WHEN A PHARMACY STUDENT decides to start his or her own business, the prospect of "being your own boss" can be both exciting and daunting. Many students know they want to own their own store someday, but insecurity and lack of practical business knowledge might make them hesitate to take those first steps. Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing (HCC PS) and Pharmacy Business Solutions (PBS), of Longwood, Fla, are able to help the fledgling pharmacy owner spread their wings and soar to success.

HCC PS, the sister company to PBS, has been a leader in pharmacy consulting services for 17 years, and has assisted numerous clients in the opening, expansion, and management of pharmacies nationwide. Their consultants, all of whom are active pharmacists, have extensive experience in pharmacy operations and business at all phases. Realizing that every business plan is distinctive, and each state has different laws and regulations about pharmacy practice, HCC PS is able to focus on each client individually.

Robert Miller, RPh, CPh, president and owner of HCC PS, explains how the company came to meet the needs of many new pharmacy owners."Over the years, many requests for nontraditional pharmacist projects and areas of expertise began challenging the traditional staffing and placement model. HCC PS began matching candidates with specific ‘skill sets'to these projects," he said.

When independent pharmacies saw their profits slip, they realized that improving efficiency and expanding their offerings were the only ways to recoup their slumping sales. Large companies have departments and home offices to help with these functions; however, independent pharmacies have to look to outside organizations for these services.

HCC PS has extensive experience with the start up of new pharmacies. Among the many areas they are able to assist pharmacy owners with are: budget review; employee training and development; location selection; process design; strategic planning; and vendor selection and relations.

The first, and probably most important, service is a complete review and analysis of a client's business plan. If HCC PS can correct any faulty assumptions or address unidentified issues before the plan is put into effect, the client can save a significant amount of time and money. The company then provides assistance and guidance in the layout and design of the facility. Finally, HCC PS also provides ongoing pharmacy management oversight, which is designed to provide the owner and pharmacy staff insight and guidance into the operation of the pharmacy.

HCC PS also specializes in placing pharmacists and technicians with pharmacy jobs in their area. They can also help a pharmacy fill an immediate position with a qualified pharmacist quickly in case of an emergency, whether the need is just for the day or permanent. For more information, visit their Web site at www.pharmacystaffing.com or www.hccpharmacysolutions.com, or call 800-642-1652.