When we first met Amina Abubakar and her team two years ago at Rx Clinic Pharmacy in Charlotte, North Carolina, she was in the process of perfecting her clinical services and developing her role as health coach for her patients. Today, Amina’s business has expanded to a team of ten pharmacists at two thriving locations, and she has taken her educational setting beyond the four walls of Rx Clinic Pharmacy.
Amina expresses excitement for her current projects, but she is honest about some of the challenges she has faced. “I feel like it’s a great time to be a pharmacist,” she says, “But it’s been a tough road of building systems. It’s like building a plane when you’re already up in the air. It’s exciting because you know that you’re headed somewhere, but you start wondering who the pilot of this flight is. Is it me? Is it you? How long will it take us to get there?” However, Amina welcomes this challenge and loves teaching other pharmacists how to build their planes and pilot their flights to collaborative success.
Over the past two years, Amina has assembled all her knowledge and experience of clinical services into an online classroom called The Avant Institute of Clinicians. It was initially created with pharmacists in mind, but when Amina and her team started receiving calls from providers also interested in collaboration, she realized her online courses weren’t just for pharmacists; nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, and doctors all wanted to participate in this team-based approach to healthcare.
Amina took The Avant Institute a step further with a two-day “boot camp” she calls the Advanced Learning Immersion Experience. Some of her online students emailed her and requested to see her clinical services live and in action. With the help of a local physician’s group, Amina created a simulation lab and brought together a medical biller, a practice manager, and a pharmacist to offer one-on-one guidance to students. She proudly reports that from a boot camp of ten attendees representing eight pharmacies, five managed to secure contracts with physicians within a week. “At the end of the day, it’s not successful if it’s just Rx Clinic Pharmacy who is able to do this,” Amina says. “It’s not that we’re unique, special, or have special powers. It’s just that I’m meeting with the people who can form collaborative agreements. Pharmacists already have relationships in the community. They just need to know how to connect the dots.” For Amina, it’s all about having the right mentality:
I believe in abundance. For me, it’s been proven that every time I’ve shared, I’ve received ten-fold. It’s all about our mindset because maybe people are afraid that if they share, then other people will be successful. But the correct mindset is that this is our profession. If we all don’t step up and help others, then our profession will be gone. To me, it’s bigger than Rx Clinic. When people hear “pharmacist,” we want to make sure they see us as part of the healthcare team.
Another project Amina has worked tirelessly on is Rx Clinic Pharmacy’s specialty accreditation through the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission (URAC). She and her specialty pharmacist, Dr. Huyen Dang, were initially intimidated by accreditation because it can be an expensive process. “You can find ways to minimize the costs of accreditation by using your existing technology and building what you’re measuring into your workflow,” Amina explains. They looked at the URAC standards and measures and realized that PioneerRx already had all the tools they needed to organize their data into reports for validation. Instead of investing in technology that organized data for them, the Rx Clinic staff took the time to capitalize on the software’s reporting features and never hesitated to contact PioneerRx Support with their questions.
Amina and Huyen’s persistence and dedication to learning more about PioneerRx’s built-in capabilities paid off. According to Huyen, the URAC auditor was very impressed with Rx Clinic Pharmacy’s measures. “She said that PioneerRx made her experience as an auditor very easy and stress-free,” Huyen boasts. Amina adds excitedly, “Our scores were high. We received an A+, and we even aced our outcomes!”
The two-year journey to specialty accreditation was worth it to Amina and Huyen. It pushed the Rx Clinic Pharmacy staff to restructure their workflow, and the proof of their improvement was in the data. “We’re not just telling ourselves we’re doing a good job at impacting patient health. URAC has confirmed that we’re doing a good job, and we can take that data to our payers,” Amina says.
Aside from an opportunity to speak on pharmacogenomics in Dubai, Amina’s next endeavor is training her team to step into leadership roles and share their abundance of knowledge and insight with others. “We call it a Movement,” she explains. “My pharmacists will all tell you that I constantly push them to transform themselves and be leaders so they can transform others. It’s all about passing on that message.” Whether it’s on a completely different continent or right inside Rx Clinic Pharmacy, Amina’s message is loud and clear: community pharmacists are vital and necessary players in the healthcare profession, and it’s up to them to make providers aware of their impact.
Start from the beginning of Amina’s journey! Read her first interview here.