For clinical pharmacist Vicki Einhellig, what began as a move to the mountains turned into realizing her own uncharted passion for community pharmacy.
Originally a hospital pharmacist from Iowa, Einhellig was excited to relocate to Colorado for her next adventure, working ‘temporarily’ in her cousin’s pharmacy until she found something more permanent in a clinical, hospital setting. Almost 28 years later, she is now the CEO of that very store – Good Day Pharmacy.
“It was just very interesting to see, you know, coming from clinical training and then coming into the community, how much clinical work could be done in the community,” Einhellig recounts.
Over her years at Good Day Pharmacy, Vicki Einhellig and her staff have won numerous awards recognizing their innovative practices, clinical services, and business operations in their community. Most recently, she was awarded NASPA’s Excellence in Innovation Award for her work with both patients and pharmacy operations.
To her praise, Einhellig humbly replies, “We’ve been fortunate to have a good team for several years. So you know, it makes it fun when you can kind of see something and that everybody gets on board and carries it out.”
Starting as a consulting pharmacist to nursing facilities, Einhellig moved into several roles including location manager, COO, and now CEO. She has seen one location turn into the current 10, with services and technology evolving over time. She gives a very special thank you to Joseph Poling, operations manager and “a wiz at PioneerRx,” for being instrumental in implementing and leveraging technology.
“Over the years we’ve really tried to make sure we were practicing at the highest level that we could,” says Einhellig. By assessing the needs of her patients, Einhellig and her team were able to identify care gaps and provide services to meet their needs. Good Day Pharmacy currently has 25% of prescriptions on Med Sync, offers compounding at two locations, and has protocols in place to provide hormonal contraception, smoking cessation products, and naloxone to the appropriate patients.
Of all of the services offered, Einhellig expresses “Med sync has really been a game-changer for us, not only for the patient adherence improvements…but the ability to maintain inventory and just really create efficiencies in what we order.” She elaborates that med sync is “the foundation of everything that [we have] been working on.”
Einhellig’s advice on pharmacies interested in expanding clinical services is to reach out to your network. “If they’re working in the community, they already have relationships that they probably don’t even think about as the start to something more.” She also recommends getting in touch with industry leaders who are already offering clinical services and learning from them.
“The best clinical work that can be done is in the community when you’re actually seeing the patient, you’re talking to them, and you can impact their lives [by] helping them with their drug therapy,” Einhellig regards.