Pharmacy U

Flu vaccination satisfaction survey demonstrates patient openness to additional pharmacy services

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  • Speed and convenient access key to patient satisfaction
  • Pharmacy flu vaccinations attract those not previously vaccinated, extend the reach of the healthcare delivery system and reduce the spread of flu and
  • Patients prefer speed and convenience of pharmacy flu vaccinations over other delivery channels

New research on patient satisfaction with pharmacy flu vaccinations demonstrates the importance of speed and convenience in increasing acceptance of pharmacy services, according to the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada (Neighbourhood Pharmacies). The research found that pharmacy flu vaccinations are extremely popular with Canadians, with more than 95 per cent of those surveyed indicating they were “very satisfied” with the care they received.

Speed and convenience are critical to patient satisfaction. Ninety per cent of survey respondents walked in without an appointment and 88 per cent reported waiting less than 10 minutes for their vaccination. Seventy-one per cent of respondents said they chose the pharmacy because of its convenient location.

“This new research has multiple important implications for retail pharmacy” said Denise Carpenter, President and Chief Executive Officer of Neighbourhood Pharmacies.

First, it shows that flu vaccinations can be implemented easily in pharmacies and that they can be administered on a walk-in basis. The research also shows that pharmacy treatments can reach patients who are not well served by other healthcare delivery channels.

Most importantly for pharmacies, this research shows that patients value speed and convenient access in obtaining healthcare, and that they recognize, accept and are satisfied by hands-on patient services beyond traditional dispensing services. Acceptance of patient services can also be leveraged to drive business at least three further ways – through incremental flu vaccine volumes, through additional hands-on services and, potentially, through the administration of additional vaccines, such as HPV, childhood diseases, travel vaccinations and shingles.

“The success of the pharmacy flu vaccination program has important public health impacts that result in more Canadians being protected against this under-estimated disease,” Carpenter added. “That means fewer people suffering, reduced healthcare costs resulting from hospitalizations and reduced economic losses from time away from work, including deaths.”

Slightly more than half of those who received a flu vaccination at a neighbourhood pharmacy this last season were new to the experience. While 20 per cent of those surveyed didn’t get a flu vaccination last season, even more – 29 per cent – switched to neighbourhood pharmacy from another kind of vaccination provider, such as public health clinic, workplace clinic or doctor’s office.

Looking ahead to the next flu season, more than 80 per cent said they planned to return to the same pharmacy, while only five per cent of respondents indicated they plan to go back to their previous provider. Approximately 10 per cent indicated they are uncertain as to their choice of flu vaccine provider.