By Brittany Benson, manufacturer research specialist, for the Resolutions for Independent Pharmacies blog series

Ever feel like you make life or your business more complex than it needs to be? Do you buy into the idea that to be productive and grow your business you need to stay busy and constantly be doing something? Take a step back with me and let’s revisit one of the basics for your business.

Recently, my home internet provider was acquired. I learned about it through billboard advertisements. It prompted me to check my next bill, and sure enough, the price increased even though my services didn’t change. Odd thing is, when we called to ask why, it resulted in us being able to double our current internet speed and lower the cost that we were paying previously.

I won’t pretend to understand the technical aspects of what changed – that’s not my area of expertise, but I do understand that technology changes rapidly. From the consumer standpoint though, it was odd to me that the company didn’t tie in the change in company news with being able to save customers money automatically – without the hassle of calling to “fix” the increased bill amount. From the business perspective, I suppose the company might have feared losing sales by automatically reducing everyone’s prices, but I’m not sure that offsets what they did do by raising prices (I can’t say how widespread, but the few customers I did speak with had the same story as I did).

Simple – calling your vendors periodically to check for changes in services or prices.

Maybe not so simple – understanding and keeping up with technology as it rapidly changes.Check on data security

Pharmacies deal with highly sensitive patient information, and that needs to be protected, not only by law, but also for the sake of your patients and business. When is the last time you spoke with your vendor(s) regarding your electronic patient data and how secure it is? Most likely, I’d assume your area of expertise deals within the realm of pharmacy operation and the scientific aspects of what goes on behind the pharmacy counter, not in the technology realm regarding data protection and breaches. So, question your vendors and rely on their expertise to help protect you, your business, and your patient information. A few questions to ask can be found in this DSN article by Jim Smith.

Start inquiring. You might be able to increase your data protection and even save yourself some money.