Transitions Can Boost Transactions

July 23, 2016By Industry Intuition, Views


By Dave Wendland for Drug Store News

June 23, 2016

For most, transitioning from hospital to home recovery is anything but smooth. Today’s fast-paced healthcare environment faces mounting physician shortages, increasing health premiums, and a health system that ushers patients quickly from the care in a hospital setting to either self-care or family caregiver support at home.

Statistics suggest that about one in five Medicare patients discharged from the hospital are readmitted within 30 days. Reducing this crippling burden to the healthcare system and aiding in the smooth transition from hospital to home recovery presents an unrealized opportunity for retailers and suppliers.

Imagine if a retailer created an in-store solution set that helped solve this issue? I see it as a market basket builder for the retailer that creates incremental sales opportunity and a valued-focused customer proposition. Whether organized into a new in-store category or connected throughout the store in some other way, retailers who provide a comprehensive solution for “transitions” will boost transactions, increase loyalty, and position themselves as the go-to resource during recovery and beyond.

Actually, I’ve been envisioning a significant shift within retail category management to address four unique transitional times facing consumers:

  1. Prevention (e.g., vitamins/dietary supplement, weight management, fitness equipment, personal well-being, and general health needs)
  2. Monitoring (e.g., diagnostic testing and technology/wearables)
  3. Recovery (braces, supports, nutritional supplements, and daily living products)
  4. Management (condition-specific items and prescription support to improve compliance)

The self-identification of a patient’s transitional stage and the alignment of the retail offering to meet these needs could improve the general health of the U.S. population — one of the goals of the Triple Aim initiative. Recognizing that the transition following hospitalization or some other condition or ailment can often be traumatic for the patient, family members, and healthcare team members, becoming the go-to resource and counselor may be “just what the doctor ordered.”