How to Reach Patient Populations

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In this clip, Harshav Raval, PharmD, RPh, owner of Hickory Pharmacy in East Windsor, NJ, discusses how to reach patient populations through services, resources, and beyond. 

Harshav Raval, PharmD, RPh: I think reaching specific populations is through connecting with them. That’s the biggest way. What do you have in common with them to connect with them. For example, I am not Hispanic, but I have learned enough Spanish within pharmacy to be able to connect with my Hispanic patients so that when they come into the pharmacy, we can get them to the care that they need or we can get them the answers that they really are looking for, and when they see that I speak a little Spanish then they open up and they start asking all of these questions that they have. “My kid has this, I have this, my husband has this, and we don’t really know about any of it. We don’t know how to take the medication, we don’t know this.”

I think the benefit of an independent pharmacy is that number one, the pharmacist is there to educate the patient. Number two, we go above and beyond what a typical pharmacist would do and we would make sure that the patient leaves a pharmacy comfortable in any setting, so getting involved in the community is number one, but I think connecting with the patients on their level is a big thing as well. I’m Indian by heritage and by blood and connecting with my Indian population is also something that I do on a regular basis. Providing health lectures in my language to my patients is something that is key, because I can do it in English, but they’re not gonna get as much information on it as if I’m doing it in my own language, which is Gujarati. And, if I’m doing it in that language they’re gonna ask more questions after. They’re gonna say, “I tried this and it didn’t work or I did this and it didn’t work and maybe you can help me with my medications, maybe you can help me with this.” That just opens the door to so many different possibilities, and then you start seeing that there are many things that are left opened within healthcare that pharmacists are bridging the gap for.

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