TARGET HITS THE MARK WITH CUSTOMER-DRIVEN PHARMACY SERVICE
Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, Rhode Island.
The ClearRx prescription-drug packaging system
When Target's first storeopened in 1962 in Roseville, Minnesota,a movement began for trendyitems at affordable prices. Target hasexpanded to approximately 1500stores in 47 states, including morethan 175 SuperTargets that offer anupscale grocery store in addition toits traditional departments, and willcontinue to expand operations acrossthe globe by constructing a state-ofthe-art operations campus in Mysore,India. Target maintains its goal ofmeeting all of its customers' needs,but it is the pharmacy service thatshines and has made Target a shoppingmecca for its customers.
Target has made pharmacy servicea priority and, by doing so, has providedpharmacists with an opportunityto join a growing team dedicatedto community service—the companygives back about $3 million per weekto the communities it serves—as wellas innovation—Target is dedicated toenvironmental issues and recycling.
The goal of a Target pharmacist isto provide outstanding service andpatient care. With millions of peopleshopping at Target every day forhousehold items and other merchandise,the pharmacy department atTarget has distinguished itself byoffering a wide variety of genericdrugs at $4. Customers also earn a10%-off shopping day with every 10prescriptions filled at Target. Thiskind of customer-driven marketingkeeps the pharmacy service busy andis where the vital component of customerservice comes into play. Eachpharmacy has certain goals of meetingservice and sales expectations,which is accomplished by working asa supportive team member of pharmacistsand technicians.
A recent graduate of pharmacyschool could begin a career at Targetthrough a couple of different avenues.Graduates can get in touch withtheir pharmacy school career center;the center can then connect themwith a Target campus recruiter. Pharmacyschool graduates also can goonline and apply for a pharmacyposition at www.Target.com/careers.For those looking to test the watersbefore graduation, Target has studentinternships available as well.
STAFFING THE TARGET PHARMACY
"The pharmacy industry is verycompetitive," said Pam Bernadella,manager of pharmacy professionalservices for Target. "At Target, we arealways looking for high-performing,diverse talent. We want to be theplace where pharmacists want towork by providing training anddevelopment opportunities, careergrowth opportunities, and a focus onguest interaction."
Target offers a variety of trainingand leadership opportunities toensure pharmacists have endlessopportunities to either grow withintheir career as a pharmacist or advanceinto leadership roles. "At Target,we are a performance-based company,and our team members arerewarded for their performance and,because of our growth, there are multipleadvancement opportunities fora pharmacist," said Bernadella.
One thing that sets Target apartfrom other large chain store pharmacies,said Bernadella, is its focus onleadership. Leadership developmentat Target is an important part ofevery team member's career, particularlyin the pharmacy. Pharmacistsare often the main point of contact inthe community for health questions."Our guests look to our pharmaciststo provide them with the informationthey need to help keep their familieshealthy, so providing our guestswith direct access to their pharmacistis incredibly important and a top priorityfor Target. This is one way thatwe help our communities thrive,"said Bernadella.
Target is a unique working environmentin many ways, according toBernadella. "Pharmacy is an importantpart of our continued growth.Our guests view their pharmacy aspart of their Target store.We are continuallylooking at how we canimprove our pharmacy service tomeet our guests' needs. For example,in new stores, we moved our pharmacycloser to the entrance so it is moreconvenient for our guests to pick upprescriptions," she said.
Colored rings on bottles help prevent mix-ups
"At Target, we are known for ourinnovation and great design thatenhances the lives of people everywhere.In 2005, we launched theClearRx system nationwide," saidBernadella. This innovation in productpackaging and labeling was thefirst of its kind within the pharmacyindustry in more than 50 years.ClearRx is designed to help simplify,clarify, and enhance the safety of takingmedications. It features colorcodedrings for each member of thefamily and an improved label that isclearer and easier to read. The labelalso includes a patient informationcard with important personal anddrug information that stay with thebottle at all times.
"The new system has been a greatsuccess with our guests," saidBernadella. "We even received recognitionfrom Surgeon General RichardCarmona who praised our innovativedesign solution. This is just oneexample of how innovation anddesign are helping set Target pharmaciesapart from the rest."
According to Bernadella, Targetpharmacy team members receive oneof the best pay and benefits packagesin retail pharmacy, which includescompetitive pay, insurance coverage,and a wide range of perks and benefits.Some of these benefits include:
- Health and dental benefits onstarting employment
- Vacation, personal holidays, andnational holiday pay
- Training and development coursesdesigned with team members'careers in mind
- Contribution to retirementthrough pension and 401(k)plans
- Adoption, education, and homeloanassistance to name a few
- Discounts at Target stores
The pharmacy setup is an importantaspect of work life for a pharmacist.Something for a pharmacist toconsider when selecting a career pathis if the workflow is designed in amanner that can best serve thepatients and make things easier forthe pharmacist. "Serving our patientsis top priority for Target.We provideour teams with sufficient supporthelp and standardized workflowprocesses, enabling our pharmaciststo personally interact with our guests.And our guests tell us we are doing agreat job," Bernadella said. In fact, shenotes, in 2007, Target Pharmacyreceived the JD Powers Award forHighest Customer Satisfaction inMass Merchandiser Pharmacies.
"We will continue to challenge ourselvesand invest in providing solutionsfor our guests and their families,"said Bernadella.
Climbing the Target Pharmacy Ladder
Pharmacy students can begin theircareers at Target by applying tobecome a Pharmacy Intern, a criticalpart of the Target team. This internshipprovides an inside look at communitypharmacy, patient counseling,and prescription preparation.Pharmacy interns also will learn howthe Target Pharmacy is integratedinto the Target store. This opportunitywill help pharmacy students developthe necessary skills for a careernot only in a Target pharmacy, but inany community pharmacy.
Target pharmacists are the go-topeople for keeping the pharmaciesrunning as smoothly as possible. Thismay include, but is not limited to,filling prescriptions promptly andaccurately and providing advice andpatient counseling when necessary.As a Target staff pharmacist, it isimportant to meet and exceed customerservice expectations and professionalobligations while upholdingTarget standards.
Executive Team Leader—Pharmacy
This position is the pharmacist-incharge.An executive team leader isresponsible for the productivity andprofitability of the Target pharmacy.This integral position involves thesupervision, coaching, and trainingof store pharmacy team membersand charging them with the goal ofachieving service and sales expectations.Other duties include counselingpatients on prescription andOTC medications, establishing effectiveworking relationships with otherdepartments within the Target store,and ensuring compliance with stateand federal regulations.