It is no secret that independent pharmacists are uniquely positioned to impact the health of their neighbors and patients as the most accessible health care professionals within the care continuum. Many pharmacists are heavily involved in their communities and the lives of their patients, often providing specialized care that transcends beyond the four walls of a pharmacy.
Why do independent community pharmacists go above and beyond? Because of their passion for helping their patients get better.
“We had another patient that we could not reach over the phone. I made a house visit and discovered that their phone line was disconnected. I had a friend that works for AT&T in the area that was able to help get the patient’s phone line reconnected,” Bill Nielsen of Nielsen’s Pharmacy in Bogalusa, LA, recalls a patient encounter. “‘Caring beyond prescriptions’ is a saying on our pharmacy vehicles. We’ve been caring for our patients for many years.”
Encounters between patients and pharmacists like Bill produce rich clinical information that health care providers appreciate, such as the patient’s medication fill history, a pharmacist’s assessment of the patient’s medication adherence, and how the patient is truly doing at home. Information from pharmacists improves patient outcomes.
However, historical deficiencies in health information data exchange have made it challenging for pharmacists to communicate their findings to the rest of the care team. In a developing age with cutting-edge communication technologies, pharmacists and providers still live in a world that is dominated by fax and answering machines. Key clinical information can be missed or miscommunicated, and data becomes difficult to track and analyze. Furthermore, most pharmacy dispensing systems have not been designed to allow pharmacists to capture and send findings and clinical interventions outside of the typical medication dispensing process.
Not PioneerRx Pharmacy Software. As a cornerstone strategy in our mission to save and revitalize independent pharmacy, we have designed the functionality to create and send Pharmacist eCare Plans within our pharmacy dispensing system.
The Pharmacist eCare Plan is a new content standard jointly developed by the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) and Health Level 7 (HL7), with support from the Pharmacy Health Information Technology (HIT) Collaborative, that collects clinical information regarding medication management from pharmacists. Essentially, this allows pharmacists to document findings and clinical interventions in a discrete format that can be sent to other systems such as electronic medical/health records (EMRs/EHRs) in hospitals and clinics.
The Pharmacist eCare Plan is a tremendous win for patients and pharmacists, especially in the community setting. It helps close the gap in communication with the care team and facilitates seamless continuity of care for the patient, and payors are taking notice.
In June 2018, Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network (CPESNⓇ) and a major medical payor launched an ongoing pilot that aims to reduce rehospitalizations of heart failure patients through a high-touch clinical management model with community pharmacists utilizing the Pharmacist eCare Plan. The pilot includes community pharmacies who are members of CPESNⓇ USA and CPESNⓇ TN, MS, LA, and KY. More importantly, pharmacies are also compensated by the payor for Pharmacist eCare Plans that they submit after patient encounters.
Ronnie Baggett from Baggett Pharmacy in Kingston, TN, realizes the importance of the Pharmacist eCare Plan functionality to document day to day interactions that he has had with his patients for years. “I always thought we needed to look at pharmacy in a different way — taking care of the patient as a whole,” he explains. “I’ve been wanting to document everything we do and have a platform to send it to. So when I heard about this pilot, I thought that it was great that someone was finally doing this. My pharmacy system is collecting our data and showing our worth.”
Not only does the Pharmacist eCare Plan facilitate pharmacist documentation for improved patient outcomes, it is also helping the pharmacy profession move towards a value-based model. Angie Wadlington, who manages three stores enrolled in the CPESN Heart Failure Pilot, states, “This is absolutely the direction that pharmacy should be moving towards. It’s a fantastic opportunity for pharmacists to utilize their skills and to fully embrace the whole idea behind patient. I like the idea of practicing at the top of our license and utilizing our skill sets.”
Nick Hernandez from Majoria Drugs in New Orleans, LA, agrees:
It gives us an opportunity to interact with our patients and the medical community a little bit closer. We monitor the patients for certain conditions that may become more visible to us before hospitalization is needed, or between doctor’s visits. It’s allowed us to fill prescriptions and manage the medication therapy aspect of medicine. We’re not just pill counters anymore. This pilot proves that. And the reimbursement aspect is great, too. We can get these manufacturers and payors to realize how important we are.
With PioneerRx Pharmacy Software and the Pharmacist eCare Plan, pharmacists now have the technology platform to keep doing what they do best — helping patients get better. Does your pharmacy software system create unique opportunities for value-based care and reimbursements? Click HERE to learn how PioneerRx goes above and beyond for its pharmacies.