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The Seven Parts of an Effective Community Pharmacy Contingency Plan

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 @ 12:15 PM


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We want to start this blog by saying that our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the storms in the south this past week.

With the news of the last week, it strengthens our resolve to make sure we bring this topic up to every pharmacy owner we meet.  That topic is contingency planning.

Every successful community pharmacy owner should have a contingency plan for the business.

A contingency plan can help your pharmacy survive when times get tough. By tough, I mean you or one of your key employees being unable to come to work for an extended period of time (or permanently) for whatever reason.

It is imperative for your pharmacy's long term success because, it's not a question of "if" something will happen, it's a question of "when." 

Understanding this will happen if you own a pharmacy long enough is the first part of any solid contingency plan. Another is understanding who your key employees are (we will discuss this in a future blog). Once you understand this, you can formulate a plan to help your pharmacy survive if you or one of them are gone for an extended period of time.

The seven parts of a solid pharmacy contingency plan are:

  1. An understanding that this type of plan will eventually be necessary (see above)
  2. A detailed record of the essential processes you and key employee perform - these should only be the essentials to making the pharmacy operate (i.e. filling prescriptions, compliance, etc.).  Without these happening (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.) the whole operation suffers or comes to a grinding halt.
  3. The tasks and steps necessary to perform the essential processes. these should be the things that support the essential processes (i.e. confirming orders, reading yesterday's script reports, reordering based on sales during the day, etc.). Without these, the essential processes will break down.
  4. Dependencies and contact information - these are the tools or people that are required to complete the tasks and steps necessary to perform the essential processes (i.e. computer software contact information, other employees in your pharmacy, etc.). If there is any question about who to go to for help, this is where they would be listed.
  5. Priorities: assessing the priorities of each essential process can help you allocate time and money in the most efficient way.
  6. Assigning responsibility: describing beforehand who does what task or essential process if a key employee is out for an extended period of time can save you time and money when something does happen.
  7. Training and preparation: when you choose someone as an alternate responsible for an essential process when another employee is out, you need to train that person to effectively manage the process and prepare them for the day when they will be needed.

As you can probably imagine, this is not the easiest thing you will ever do in your pharmacy.  This planning requires thought and due diligence because the better you prepare, the greater the chance of your pharmacy surviving. Please enlist your team of advisors, employees and whoever else you can think of to help you with this process. The future of your pharmacy and community pharmacy in general is at stake and the stakes are extremely high.  

I will end this blog with one of the greatest quotes of all time:

"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too." - John F. Kennedy

Download the Contingency Planner

Who are Waypoint Pharmacist Advisors?

Why do we do what we do?

Our vision and mission is to help community pharmacy transition through a life of pharmacy into a life of independence. In order to do this, we have decided to focus on protecting community pharmacies and family pharmacies for future generations.

Our process, The Inspired Independence Process, is designed to help pharmacy owners, no matter where they are in their pharmacy lives, achieve all their goals and dreams, inside, outside and after their life in pharmacy. In doing so, we are helping community pharmacies survive for many years to come.

The content of this blog is inspired and verified by our experience helping independent community pharmacists enjoy financial independence inside, outside and after their life in pharmacy.

When a pharmacist reaches out to us for information and help, we endeavor to give them as much free value as is possible. In addition to providing educational, self-assessment and strategic planning tools, we invite qualified pharmacists into our formal discovery process.

The first step of the process is completing The Inspired Goals Workshop. This complimentary 90-minute session enables us to deliver a detailed and personal Inspired Independence Blueprint. The blueprint provides a roadmap for achieving your goals and enables you to fully understand the value of joining The Inspired Independence Program.

If you wish to learn more about any aspect of our work, the free value we offer, or to be considered for The Inspired Goals Workshop, visit our web site at or call 843.873.4420 and ask for Ben or Matt Coakley.

At Waypoint Pharmacist Advisors, we take care of you!


Topics: pharmacy contingency plan, community pharmacy contingency plan, pharmacy contingency planning