As our baby boomers age, Generation X and the Millennial generation will be providing more healthcare services. Each generation has different needs and expectations. As pharmacists, we can be proactive in anticipating the needs and expectations of these different generations.
Will a person of the Millennial generation be interested in a pharmacy that mainly caters to the needs of baby boomers?
Would a non tech-savvy baby boomer appreciate an automated text message telling them their prescriptions are ready?
What about a Generation X child that is dealing with caring for an aging parent? What services would they require?
Pharmacy, especially community pharmacy, is an industry that has seen a lot of change in it's relatively short time. I cannot help but wonder how different the pharmacy my great-grandfather ran in the 1940's would look to us now. Him and his colleagues made their own capsules and tinctures, provided excellent customer service and laid the foundation for pharmacists becoming one of "the most trusted professions". However, they could not have ever imagined how intertwined we would become with the insurance companies and computers.
I hope they would be able to recognize that pharmacists still hold great value. I hope that would not see us as dissatisfied or stuck in a rut. I hope the pharmacists of my great-grandfather's time would be impressed with our increasing role in patient care and improving medication safety and efficacy.
The pharmacy of the Millennial generation will undoubtedly look much different from my great-grandfathers community pharmacy. Let us begin to anticipate those needs, adapt to our patients and become the pharmacy of the future.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dr. Blair Green Thielemier, PharmD is an independent clinical consultant pharmacist living and working in the Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri. Dr. Thielemier is committed to helping advance the practice of pharmacy through providing training and guiding implementation of new clinical services in community pharmacy. You can visit the BT Consulting website at http://btpharmacyconsulting.com
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