It’s now official! Ninety percent (90%) of all Americans actually do live close to a pharmacy. Why this is so impactful is that for decades we’ve all been saying that the pharmacist is the most accessible healthcare professional, but there’s never before been any proof to actually back up this statement. Until now that is!
No peer-reviewed studies have previously been successful at measuring patient distances to community pharmacies across the Unite State. Now according to the latest study released by a major accredited healthcare news source, nearly nine of every ten US residents live within 5 miles of a pharmacy, and about half (or fifty percent of the population) live within one mile of a retail community pharmacy in the US.
What Does The Pharmacy Distance Research Reveal?
This research, aimed at finally verifying the long-used statistic about pharmacists being the “beginning of interactions” with the US Health Care System, was co-sponsored by the the University of California at San Diego and the University of Pittsburgh), according to a recent press release from the University of Pittsburgh on this past July 28th.
According to the findings reported in JAPhA, nearly half (48.1%) of all Americans live within one (1) mile of a pharmacy, almost three-quarters (73.1%) live within two (2) miles, and a unbelievable nine (9) out of ten Americans (88.9%) do live within five (5) miles of a retail pharmacy. Additionally, the study revealed that a “whopping” 96.5% of all people living in the US are residing within ten (10) miles of a retail community pharmacy.
One other finding from the research data available was the significant differences found in rural areas versus urban areas. In urban areas such as cities, chain pharmacies accounted for a majority (almost two-thirds or 63%) of available pharmacies to residents while independent pharmacies held a larger majority (over three-quarters or 76.5%) in what are designated rural communities.
Lastly, the research revealed low pharmacy access (defined by at least half of the state’s residents living further than 10 miles away from a retail pharmacy) in only four states:
3.) South Dakota
4.) North Dakota
Why Is Distance From A Pharmacy Important?
The entire US is already currently seeing a shortage of qualified pharmacists and technicians available, but the newest statistics point to an even darker scenario over the next decade. Employment of pharmacists is projected to decline almost 2 percent during the decade of 2020 to 2030. Many find this so very disappointing after the aggressively forecasted growth rate that had been predicted of 4-6% that was expected to be seen between 2019 to 2021.
Especially true in many rural areas of the nation, the current shortage of pharmacy staff has had a noticeably negative effect on the quality of healthcare that some patients are currently receiving. The staffing shortage has led to reduced operating hours for many retail community drugstores and pharmacies, longer prescription dispensing waiting times, decreased customer satisfaction with the pharmacy’s operation, plus the turning away of some patients who were seeking to get COVID vaccinations.
The leading researcher involved in the project, Lucas Berenbrok, PharmD, a pharmacy professor at the University of Pittsburgh, noted that our nation’s access to community pharmacies is a major public health concern for three primary reasons:
1). The expected shortage of pharmacy personnel will continue and actually worsen, plus this will be compounded by the predicted shortage of doctors and physicians over the coming decade within the US.
2.) The recent trends of pharmacy closures, which have quite obviously disproportionately affected independent retail community pharmacies.
3.) The growing essential roles of pharmacy locations in the administration of COVID-19 vaccines (plus other expanding pharmacy responsibilities).
Contact a Pharmacy Staffing Firm NOW and be Prepared
Although increasing compensation, allowing flexible scheduling, plus offering new benefits such as tuition reimbursement and/or childcare allowances are all excellent retention strategies, perhaps the best way to deal with pharmacist burnout and employee turnover is to institute a working relationship with a proven and established national pharmacy staffing agency! The right staffing firm can provide experienced temporary “fill-in” pharmacists and technicians to help reduce workloads, stress, plus provide immediate much needed relief to overworked pharmacists and leads to a reduced occurrence of burnout among your workers. The right pharmacy staffing agency can also assist by providing qualified permanent full-time placement and can help find new team additions that fit your specific needs. The right staffing firm can also offer an independent pharmacy owner “temp-to-perm” options. In the long term, the owners themselves can relax and focus once again on what’s essential in making their independent pharmacy operation more profitable!
Choosing the pharmacy staffing firm that best suits your potential requirements and needs is essential. Choose a firm that’s not too small as to be geographically constrained and has a limited number of available pharmacists that meet your business’s needs. If you own or run a “smaller” pharmacy operation, it’s important that the staffing agency you partner with is not too large itself and, therefore, is service oriented when dealing with a “smaller” client’s immediate needs like yours.
The perfect choice is HCC (Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing & Consulting)! Our pharmacist staffing service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. HCC maintains one of the largest active pools of relief and temporary pharmacists in the nation, allowing us to quickly locate available, qualified and reliable pharmacists during any emergency situations that may arise. Our proprietary online system allows HCC to match your needs with the most qualified available candidates to work temporary relief during emergency times as these. HCC also ensures that our emergency pharmacists comply with all HIPAA requirements and also have and maintain professional liability insurance. Please also note that HCC can also help fill all of your staffing needs regarding pharmacy technicians too!
We strongly urge you to be proactive regarding establishing a relation with us now (this way all required paperwork is completed before an emergency situation actually occurs or, as is the case of the coronavirus we presently face, escalates). Then, when you do actually require an a relief pharmacist, HCC will be ready to meet your needs so that you can relax and rest easy. Call us now at (800) 642-1652 or take a moment and Contact Us Online and an HCC in-house staffing consultant will contact you as soon as possible to discuss all of your staffing needs.
About HCC Pharmacy Staffing & Consulting
With over three decades of experience in pharmacy staffing and pharmacy consulting, HCC has helped hundreds of pharmacies with staffing problems. As one of the nation’s premiere pharmacy recruitment and placement agencies, HCC can help you find you the best candidates available to fill your job openings. Being a national leader since 1989 in regards to staffing, recruitment, permanent placement and direct hire, with HCC as your partner, you can rest assured that staffing is one less area that you need to focus your limited and precious time on. So you can relax and concentrate on the profitability and growth of your pharmacy operation.
Contact us on line or call us today at 800-642-1652 for a Free Consultation to find out how we can help you too.