When we visited Rannon and his team at Tarrytown Pharmacy in October 2018, they were in the early stages of adopting med sync and expanding their patient communication strategies. Over the past seven months, Tarrytown has achieved many milestones. But, says Rannon, there’s always more to be done, and not just within the pharmacy.
“I’m cautiously optimistic about the state of our industry,” he begins.
He cites the recent PBM legislation in Georgia, the growing awareness of drug pricing, and the parties at fault. “There are still a lot of issues that need to be addressed, but for now, I’ve seen some changes I can get excited about.” Rannon has even gotten involved by testifying on behalf of collaborative practice agreements (CPAs) for pharmacies in the state of Texas. Currently, CPAs are not allowed, which inhibits the patient care that independent pharmacies in Texas can provide. Rannon would like to see this particular regulation pass so pharmacies have an opportunity to demonstrate their impact during flu season. This CPA would allow pharmacies to prescribe and dispense Tamiflu after a positive point-of-care flu test. (With this CPA, pharmacists may only test adults outside common office hours in order to avoid frustrating pediatricians and physicians.)
“If we can get this one passed, it’s like getting our foot in the door so people will eventually warm up to CPAs,” Rannon says. “In a perfect world, I want a CPA so I can practice at the top of my license. For the time being, we’re utilizing technology like telemedicine to get around this.” During the most recent flu season, Tarrytown conducted over 300 point-of-care flu tests. Patients who tested positively were able to speak to a provider via a telemedicine kiosk in an examination room, then received a prescription for Tamiflu, which solved the issue of no collaborative practice agreements.
In addition to making care more accessible for patients, Tarrytown has been working on their medication synchronization program. Coincidentally, the Connect 2018 conference is what encouraged Rannon and Mike, Tarrytown’s med sync technician, to really focus on boosting the program. “Talking with people like Bob Lomenick and Jordan Ballou and hearing how sync improved their workflow really motivated us. After that, Mike was excited to work on it, and our staff here has been super supportive.” During trial and error, Rannon and his team realized that setting up a separate office space away from workflow for med sync allowed for the most productivity. This meant pulling a technician away from the daily operations, but the Tarrytown staff worked harder to maintain the workflow. Their dedication paid off: 31% of their chronic medications are now synchronized! “Once we saw that percentage going up, we all started feeling the motivation,” Rannon recounts. “Now, we’re wondering what this will look like at 40% or 50%.”
Everything Rannon has learned and observed over the past year will lend itself to his Connect 2019 courses, especially his class on Effective Communication Tools for Optimal Patient Retention. “If we’re not communicating in a way patients respond to, we’re being left behind,” Rannon asserts. Connect attendees will walk away with knowledge of all the latest communication trends and all the PioneerRx tools that allow independent pharmacies to compete with chains.
Keep an eye on Rannon and Tarrytown Pharmacy team. We predict they will crush more milestones in 2019 and lead the way for more effective patient communication in independent pharmacies.