7 ways to make the most of McKesson ideaShare 2016
An experienced McKesson sales rep shares his tips for success
- McKesson’s ideaShare 2016 in June may be one of the most important ever because of the changing business model affecting pharmacies.
- What you learn can transform your pharmacy business by creating new revenue streams and boosting income from existing patients.
- Planning allows you to take full advantage of all that is offered at the event.
- Don’t leave the ideas in Chicago; make a plan to implement them in your pharmacy when you return.
With more than four decades of pharmacy experience, Ron Davidson, a retail sales manager for McKesson in Texas, says the McKesson ideaShare trade show in Chicago this June is vital to the future of independent pharmacies. “This is probably going to be the most important McKesson ideaShare we’ve ever had,” said Davidson.
The pharmacy business model is changing, and what owners and staff will learn at McKesson ideaShare June 26–30 will put that change in perspective. After attending the event for nearly three decades, Davidson shares his tips for helping his customers make the most of their time away from the pharmacy:
- Plan your agenda. Focus your time by first asking yourself what you want to achieve by attending McKesson ideaShare. Perhaps your goals are to increase the value-added services you offer, upgrade your pharmacy system and reach new types of consumers.Review the schedule and identify what you want to attend, including the Opening General Session, Public Policy Forum, Health Mart® Annual Meeting and the reception for your buying group. Seek the topics most important to your pharmacy among the 30 continuing education courses.
You’ll find ideas for improving clinical services, such as managing patients with diabetes and offering immunizations; expanding your business in compounding, specialty and long-term care; improving performance measures; marketing your business; improving cash flow; and more. (See the full schedule at www.mckessonideashare.com.)
- Scope out opportunities. The number of vendors on the trade show floor can be overwhelming, so plan the places you definitely want to visit. Davidson recommends checking out pharmacy technology from McKesson Pharmacy Systems and Parata® for ways to increase your pharmacy efficiency. He also encourages his pharmacy owners to visit the McKesson OneStop® Generics pavilion to take advantage of McKesson ideaShare purchasing opportunities and special deals for attendees.Pharmacy owners also can learn more about all the resources available through Health Mart. “Promoting your pharmacy to bring more people through your doors is more important than ever,” Davidson said.
Also, pharmacists thinking about starting, buying or selling a pharmacy should plan to meet with the RxOwnership® team at McKesson ideaShare, as well as attend the CE course and luncheon on that topic.
- Step into the future. With a full-size Health Mart pharmacy on the trade show floor, you can see and experience ideas for upgrading your pharmacy and delivering high-quality care. Discover how to create a more welcoming and highly functional pharmacy.
- Network. When you’re at lunch, in the hallways or waiting for a session to start, introduce yourself to pharmacy owners from around the country. Every pharmacy is facing declining reimbursement rates and the pressure of preferred networks, and some are navigating those changes well. “We have a lot of pharmacies that are thriving,” Davidson said. Don’t miss an opportunity to learn from one of those owners.
- Bring key staff members. Many pharmacy owners take their chief technicians or pharmacy managers. That allows the team to cover more sessions, and it also ensures the owner isn’t the only person in the pharmacy who understands why making improvements is necessary. When you take the chief technician, for example, “She’s going to better understand the changing business model and help the owner change to the new model,” Davidson said.
- Be flexible. Be open to opportunities you weren’t expecting. Davidson makes sure he has his customers’ mobile phone numbers, so if he sees something that will benefit their business he can arrange to meet them at that booth.
- Follow up and execute. To make your investment in McKesson ideaShare pay off, you must take action when you return home. Last year the owner of Aubrey Pharmacy in Texas attended a CE session on medication synchronization, and Davidson said he jumped on it when he returned. “Within six months he had more than 200 patients on med sync.”
Davidson concluded, “McKesson ideaShare is really an opportunity for our customers and prospects to meet new people and learn new ideas that will help them thrive in the years to come.”