#pharmacists tweet for all they're worth

Friday, October 25, 2013

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Pharmacists do more than just fill prescriptions, and they recently let the world know—in 140 characters or less.

On Oct. 3, members of more than 40 pharmacy organizations nationally and around the world, took to Twitter to post tweets—using the hashtag #pharmacist—about any actions they took that day that helped patients. 

“This is an opportunity to celebrate all the contributions they make to health care and all the services they provide,” said Stephanie DuBois, associate director of marketing and communication for the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA). “We all help patients in our own unique way, and we want everyone to hear those stories.”

The tweet-a-thon, which garnered more than 5,000 tweets, was a collaboration of many pharmacy organizations. Pharmacists from as far away as New Zealand took part.

Pharmacists provide patient education and monitor patient histories, give vaccinations, and work with doctors and other healthcare providers to help patients live healthier and lower healthcare costs, says DuBois.

Like home medical equipment and other providers, pharmacies are dealing with decreased reimbursement, audits and increased competition from mail-order. The tweet-a-thon is a way to remind people of the importance of having pharmacists in the community, says DuBois.

DuBois said she’s seeing more and more members of the pharmacy community use social media, especially among students.

“We are hoping this will encourage more of them to use this forum to connect with customers,” she said.