How the American Pharmacists Association launched a pandemic strategy that inspired staff and members alike.
COVID-19 caught the world off guard, and after those initial uncertain days passed, organizations began learning in real-time about best practices, about their members’ needs—and about themselves.
“I would say that this pandemic exposed a quality of our organization that I don’t think we knew we had,” says Angel Baltimore, Vice President, Digital Strategy and E-Commerce at American Pharmacists Association (APhA). “That is, the ability to be nimble and to stop and turn on a dime. It is a quality we’re very grateful to have so that we can do whatever needs to be done to help pharmacists who are on the frontlines 24/7 helping fight this pandemic.”
As COVID-19 testing becomes more and more critical to understanding and controlling the spread of the virus, pharmacists are playing an increasingly crucial role in the health of Americans. And so the APhA has been hyper-focused, says Baltimore, about “getting pharmacists information about testing procedures, and making sure that they get paid for that service as well.”
Here are some of the ways that the APhA is aiding its members during this critical time.
Innovative virtual learning programs
“The facts about the virus change almost daily, so we’ve spent a considerable amount of time making sure that our members and the people who serve patients have the most up to date information,” explains Baltimore. “And so one of the innovative things that we did was we developed a ‘15 on COVID-19’ video series that delivers 15 minutes of education on Covid-19 in self-paced webinars.”
To manage this series and all of the association’s offerings, APhA takes a three-pronged tech approach. “We have Drupal for our content management system, a separate learning management system and Personify360 to manage all the registrations – in fact Personify is the system of record for all of our members and nonmembers,” she says.
To make better-informed business decisions, APhA developed a COVID dashboard using member and non-member data collected from transactions. They synthesize and analyze this data to better understand opportunities and needs.
“One of the largest opportunities we’ve realized here is geolocating,” explains Baltimore. “We’re exploring using data to know where pharmacies and pharmacists are located, and then comparing that to areas where there might be a need for more assistance due to the pandemic. So it’s really helped us from a business intelligence perspective.”
Looking at the data, says Baltimore, also helps the organization better understand user behavior. “Personify is the heart of our organization. We’re able to segment and look at the analytics on session attendees to see things like who are members, who are nonmembers, who are repeat customers.” Armed with this information, the APhA gains better insights on the products and services they should be developing, and the high-value users they should be targeting.
Tech solutions to meet urgent needs
Baltimore reiterates that the pandemic has given her association a reinvigorated sense of purpose and a new sense of urgency for the work they do. When the pandemic first hit, the APhA made an immediate decision to cancel its annual in-person conference. They had no choice to table the meeting but felt compelled to find an alternative way to get this vitally important information out to healthcare providers. Letting down their members at this critical moment was simply not an option.
“We’re using technology to be faster and more agile because, at the end of the day, we’re helping with the health of all Americans,” she says. “And it’s an honor to serve the pharmacists who are on the front lines.”
Personify—We know this challenging time has created new and unique challenges in engaging with members, managing financials and driving your organization forward. Personify is committed to helping you adapt and emerge from COVID-19 or any crisis, more connected and resilient than ever. Our trusted solutions help you manage during and through these times with digital connections, virtual programming, a single source of truth for your data, and peace of mind for your members.