For the month of March, we will publishing a series called What’s Your March? Effective change isn’t immediate; it’s a slow, gradual march towards success that requires thoughtful planning and execution. Whether your patients approach you for help with their goals, or you would like to proactively offer your in-depth care to the familiar faces you see each month, these strategies will make the pharmacy a key factor in improved patient health.
Health-related resolutions are common at the beginning of each year. Some of your patients may have mentioned their goals in passing, but talk is cheap. You can prove your pharmacy’s value to your patients through helping them stay on track. But, how do you even find the patients who need your help most?
Look and Listen
Pinpoint the patients who may not be directly asking for additional care. What OTC items are your patients asking for? Pill organizers are a good sign that your patient needs medication synchronization. Diabetic shoes, of course, indicate diabetes. If they are filling prescriptions for anti-smoking medications, they would greatly benefit from a smoking cessation plan. What your patients purchase may indicate a greater need that you can fulfill, so be proactive in your patient interactions and look for these opportunities.
Narrow it Down
Leverage your technology to find your patients who need extra attention. Your pharmacy management software should allow you to easily narrow down a list of high-risk patients. For example, PioneerRx’s Patient Risk Scores is an algorithm that looks for patients who may experience drug therapy problems and hospitalization in the near future. Arkansas pharmacist Brian Smith uses Patient Risk Scores to comb through his patient base at The Prescription Pad in Monticello to find the ones who need his immediate attention. “We target those high-risk patients for our packaging system because they’re the ones who affect our star ratings the most,” Brian explains. He began with the top 2% highest-risk patients and worked closely with them to lower their scores to less severe numbers. Decrease emergency room visits and improve adherence rates by narrowing your list of critical patients to the ones who need an immediate intervention.
Filter Them Out
Your software may also help you “filter” specific patients. Get creative with these filters! Make the suggestion above in “Look and Listen” easier by filtering patients who purchase products like diabetic shoes or anti-smoking medications, then creating system alerts that prompt you to take their care further. Another filter idea is to find all patients who are taking certain medications, such as ACE inhibitors; this can be an opportunity to work closely with them on lowering their blood pressure.