It’s no secret that digital health has gone mainstream, fueled mainly by the rise of telehealth and the recent coronavirus pandemic. In turn, new health technologies are redefining the patient’s journey—and the benefits for healthcare providers, facilities, and consumers are incredible.

Real-time patient monitoring is a cornerstone of digital health that helps detect and mitigate problems early, leading to enhanced patient outcomes. It also makes data gathering objective, continuous, and highly impactful.

For pharmacies, in particular, the rapidly advancing digital health technology is truly a significant change. It has driven pharmacists to embrace a patient-first attitude and meet consumers where they are, improving drug delivery. 

Nonetheless, the pharmacy sector must adhere to strict compliance policies and regulations while demonstrating high returns on technology investments. This is especially crucial now, as pharmacies must maneuver increasingly limited budgets and complex objectives. 

Fortunately, digital health will continue to have a long-lasting impact on how drugs are delivered and on the real estate that houses pharmacies. As they embrace an array of sensors, telehealth applications, artificial intelligence, mobile apps, robotics, voice assistants, mobile apps, and automation, pharmacies will certainly see digital health play a pivotal role in pharmacy real estate management.

Here is how this will maximize return on investment (ROI) in pharmacy real estate management.

First up – How to Determine ROI in Pharmacy Real Estate

ROI is a crucial profitability metric used to evaluate most investments, and pharmacy real estate is no different. Specifically, it measures the profitability of your pharmacy property investment.

Before you can calculate the ROI on a pharmacy real estate investment, you must first determine two things:

  1. The total costs of real estate investment: This entails all the costs associated with acquiring and getting your pharmacy property up and running. Here, think of renovations and repairs, the purchase price, closing costs, and other upfront expenses.
  2. Net operating income: Popularly abbreviated NOI, net operating income refers to the pharmacy real estate’s incoming rent and other income sources minus operating costs (property management fees, insurance, and property tax). NOI is what remains after you deduct operating expenses from the gross income.

Calculating the ROI, once you have figured out the total investment costs and NOI, is a certainty. Just use the formula shown below:

ROI = (NOI / Total Investment Costs) x 100

For instance, if your pharmacy property’s total costs of the investment amount to $0.5 million with an NOI of $75,000, the ROI would be 75,000/500,000 x 100 = 15%.

Why Now Is the Best Time to Become a Franchise Owner of Pharmacy Real Estate

Retail drug stores like CVS and Walgreens are adapting to consumers’ evolving shopping habits, driven by the boom in online shopping. Experiential retail solutions are at the forefront of innovation for both companies to increase store traffic and enhance the consumer shopping experience.

CVS has rolled out nearly 1,000 HealthHub stores across the country. These stores embody the additional 20 percent of floor space dedicated to health services, such as on-demand health kiosks and yoga classes. In essence, they have transformed CVS stores into healthcare service centers, emphasizing preventive care, chronic disease management, and wellness counseling.

Walgreens has adopted a similar approach. As part of its business model shift, Walgreens is focusing more on high-margin merchandise like beauty products and health equipment. The company has also expanded its Partners in Primary Care centers with VillageMD, providing specialized services to seniors with Medicare Advantage healthcare plans. To learn more about purchasing a Walgreens as a franchise, you can visit Pharma Property Group.

How Digital Health Maximizes ROI of Pharmacy Real Estate Management

  • – Digital Health Reduces Non-Compliance and Eliminates Associated Fines

As with all healthcare-related facilities, pharmacies must comply with a series of stringent compliance policies and regulations, particularly those concerning controlled medications. The consequences of non-compliance are serious and far-reaching: hefty fines, poor patient outcomes, and loss of reputation.

Digital health techs like Automatic Dispensing Cabinets (ADCs) provide efficient and cost-effective ways to ensure compliance. ADCs, in particular, help pharmacies stick to security protocols while storing controlled drugs in-house.

For instance, pharmacies serving long-term care centers – most notably Residential Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing Homes – must comply with DEA-controlled substance policies by having hard copies of narcotic prescriptions before drugs can be removed from an ADC. 

Accordingly, ADCs are equipped with remote authorization add-on features that safeguard units and ensure that only approved personnel can access the controlled medications. They also limit unauthorized access to drugs by allowing nurses to access them only for a limited time before re-locking the cabinet.

Pharmacists enjoy plenty of other compliance benefits beyond improving medication management processes in healthcare facilities and off-site pharmacies. Digital health’s automated systems keep accurate records of the medications and their administration, which reduces errors and saves time. 

The inventory control benefit eliminates the need for manual documentation of prescriptions. The end goal is to reduce any loopholes that could lead to time-consuming and expensive monthly reconciliations, as well as risking violations and non-compliance with regulators.

  • – Improves Medication Access and Enhance Patient Satisfaction

Digital health solutions like ADC ensure that patients and nurses get immediate access to vital medications. This results in improved efficiency for pharmacies. That is because they can trace every transaction down to the exact dosage. It’s a win-win.

Patients who can get their drugs quickly and efficiently are more likely to become loyal customers. After all, digital health makes accessing even controlled drugs more straightforward and safer. Additionally, pharmacies can stock up on more medications on-site, eliminating drug waste and spoilage.

In nursing homes, for instance, this will reduce complaints from both patients and nurses about the availability of drugs.

An Integral Part of a Pharmacy’s Medication Diversion Prevention Strategy

ADCs and other digital health technologies have become powerful tools in the fight against medication diversion, overcoming security inadequacies of traditional medication management systems. With every transaction being traceable down to the lockable bin and exact medication, there is little room for medication theft to go unnoticed. 

The latest digital health analytics software can streamline labor-intensive and manual processes, providing real-time data for patient records and audit logs. Safeguards built into the system proactively monitor all drug dispensing actions and transactions, providing pharmacists with a clear overview of any suspicious activity that may indicate medication diversion.