Debunking hub and spoke myths

In our latest blog we’re debunking hub and spoke myths. Recently we asked a panel of more than 100 independent pharmacists for their views on hub and spoke. We found that 60 per cent were interested in it, with 12 per cent saying they had already decided that they will use it when they can. Nine per cent said they wanted to see it in action first. Just 33 per cent didn’t feel it was for them – so we asked why.

It’ll take business away from the pharmacy.

We’re creating HubRx to enable independent pharmacists to grow their businesses, not take business away from them.

Many pharmacists have reached the point where they are saturated by dispensing. They can see a future where the income from this will reduce, and they want to use their expertise as highly skilled clinicians to offer services that they can charge a greater margin for.

But their hands are tied. In our research we uncovered that 49 per cent of independent pharmacists said the most time-consuming issue for them is checking prescriptions, especially repeat prescriptions. They said that they want to offer more clinical services, but time and physical space were holding them back.

And that’s where opening up hub and spoke to independent pharmacies will help. Multiples have been using the model to free up significant capacity allowing them to focus on higher value clinical services and increasing their profit margins for years.

There is no financial benefit, it isn’t cost effective

This is one of the challenges we hear most often and the main reason we created our Benefits Calculator.

The benefits calculator takes into consideration the savings made by releasing capacity and freeing up skilled pharmacists’ and technicians’ time to take on additional NHS commissioned and private services. It also factors in improved purchasing margins through HubRx’s ability to make high-volume purchases not currently available to independents and small chain community pharmacies.

To put this into context, our own number crunching has identified that for an independent pharmacy dispensing 7,500 items per month and using hub and spoke for 60 per cent of those items could make an extra £52,000 a year.

Also, a further benefit is the estimated £30k one-off capital release from stock that independents will no longer need to hold which could be used to enhance the pharmacy to support clinical services.

Patients won’t like it and I won’t feel comfortable handing out prescriptions we’ve not dispensed.

With the HubRx model clinical checks stay with the pharmacy. You and your business will always retain ownership of the patient relationship and the patient’s nomination.

Our automated pharmacy hub will support the highest clinical accuracy and safety standards, exceeding manual-dispensary assembly. It is anticipated that HubRx will be responsible in the regulations for the accuracy of assembly.  You can see exactly how this process will work here.

There will be medication delays and issues with items being out of stock.

Although manufacturing and supplier issues will impact us in the same ways as they would a pharmacy, we are putting into place processes to ensure that any stocking issues do not cause pharmacists or their patients prescription delays.

Our system will use cutting edge technology, combined with being fully integrated with PMR systems. Stock levels will be checked and if an issue with fulfilment is found a notification will be immediately sent to recommend local dispensing.

We’ll be able to carry large stock volumes for more than 200 pharmacies in our state-of-the-art facility and will have service level agreements in place with the pharmacies we’re supporting from day one.

It’ll take away the work from people and make them redundant

For us this isn’t about replacing people, it’s about giving highly skilled and trained pharmacists the capacity they need to do more than dispense regular medication. Our research revealed that currently 38 per cent of independent pharmacists don’t feel they can expand their clinical service offering because they don’t have the time. They also stated that they don’t feel they have the space.

It can provides pharmacies with the opportunity, and time, to upskill their the wider team. Again, in our research we found that 14 per cent believe a lack of staff training has inhibited their growth, with a further 15 per cent saying that their teams weren’t experienced or held the right qualifications to expand clinical services.

Debunking hub and spoke myths. If you’ve got a question about HubRx and how we’re planning to support independent pharmacists through hub and spoke get in touch.

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