No Silver Bullets: The best Pharmacies blend Technology and Teamwork

Episode 13

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On this episode of the Pharmacy View podcast, Scott gets the latest on a range of digital technologies from Marta Stybowski, a pharmacist who has consulted widely across the industry. She currently represents the groundbreaking SiSU wellness platform whose stations are popping up in retail, Pharmacy and office spaces offering individuals a secure online portal to measure, track and improve a range of critical health biometrics.

Marta shares the latest in terms of new technologies available to pharmacies looking to streamline workflow, enable team success and offer customers the most seamless possible experience. But just as importantly, she explains what makes the difference between success and failure in the choice and implementation of various platforms. “Technology alone,” she says, “won’t transform your business.” Hear about some of the exciting tech solutions available to optimize your pharmacy, and the very human elements necessary to ensure ultimate success. Clear goals and appropriate tech tools are a start – but it’s communication that guarantees the necessary buy-in among staff and customers.

Marta also unpacks the exciting new SiSU Health Stations that today offer an easy way to stop at the pharmacy to privately test and track important physical and mental health markers. In addition to the four-minute health check, SiSU stations also offer supplemental health and lifestyle. Enjoy this conversation about opportunities to leverage health technology to create the best possible pharmacy operation and the most supportive available customer experience. Each pharmacy has its own specific needs and, with her deep experience on the forefront of health tech implementation, Martha shares with Scott some key factors to consider when charting the best path forward for your particular demographic, workflow and team.

Topics Covered:

  • A bit of background about Marta’s early career and travels as a pharmacist and her growing interest in the business element of the industry.
  • Moving beyond branding to implement design and technology to improve workflow, training, operational systems.
  • Marta enumerates a series of technologies that can significantly improve  operations, but there is no “silver bullet.”
  • When it comes to implementing transformational change, there is one ingredient all success stories share: Strong, clear communication.
  • The role of staff (both internally and public-facing) and importance of their buy-in when new systems are introduced.
  • It’s critical to get clarity around what technologies your business actually needs to adopt to meet business goals — versus potentially getting lost in an ill-fitting fad.
  • Martha’s current role working with a digital technology company measuring and keeping track of lifetime health biometrics.
  • SiSU is installing stations at API pharmacies (primarily Priceline) across Australia and also within corporate environments on a rotating basis so employees can keep track of wellness data (which can also be anonymously aggregated to indicate trends and benchmarks).
  • Strategically protected customer data can be tremendously useful for pharmacies that wish to understand and cater to the needs of their particular client base.
  • Metrics tracked at SiSU’s healthcheck stations: height, weight, body fat composition, blood pressure, diabetes risk, mental health stress as well other measures under development.
  • Professionally managed pharmacies driven by clear goals and communication provide optimal experiences for the entire staff as well as for customers.

Key Quotes:

  • “There is still a huge potential to improve the way pharmacies operate, particularly when we’re talking about patient experiences and providing professional services.” (3:28)
  • “A lot of moving parts need to align to make a pharmacy work efficiently and effectively.” (4:58)
  • “Technology alone won’t solve the problems and it won’t transform your business.”(6:22)
  • “If you’re implementing technology to improve the business, make sure the customers understand that you’re doing it because you’re invested in providing them with a better service or experience.” (7:32)
  • “Do your homework. Understand what value that piece of tech is going to bring into your business. Does it fit your strategy and is it going to help you achieve the goals you want?” (11:38)
  • “Understanding by the team helps bridge acceptance … implementation and integration of the technology in their day-to-day work and then the excitement they share.” (13:14)
  • “Technology alone won’t solve your problems or transform your business, but technology as a tool to support a strategy and engage a team can deliver exceptional experiences to your customer.” (14:16)
  • “(SiSU wellness) is in general to improve health literacy and allow people to understand where their health is at and what they can do to improve it.” (17:03)
  • “There is a lot of emphasis in the business that the data is secure and the patient owns the data” (20:42)

Social Media Clips:

  • Design and workflow within pharmacy operations can be improved to the benefit of staff and customers alike. (4:58-5:20)
  • There are amazing technologies to improve pharmacy workflow and operations, but they are just tools and not on their own enough. It also requires a clearly communicated vision. (6:28-6:44)
  • The importance of communication in customer experience and adoption. (7:19-8:25)
  • What is required to ensure staff successfully integrate and embrace workplace change and share their enthusiasm with customers. (8:46-10:24)
  • The positive buzz customers can feel when new technologies and processes are seamlessly and enthusiastically incorporated by pharmacy staff. (13:27-14:05)
  • The role – and limits – of technology as a tool in the business. (14:16-14:28)
  • About SiSU Health and its digital platform for tracking and managing health and wellness biometrics. (15:55-17:02)
  • Understanding data protection and privacy with SiSU tracking. (20:40-20:57)

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Episode 13