If you work in a pharmacy, you probably do a little bit of everything: customer service, marketing, maybe even some maintenance and janitorial work, too. It’s easy to be swept up in the chaos of operating a pharmacy, which means you might be neglecting some major tasks that could have a huge impact on your store.
With a new year approaching, now is the perfect time to consider new goals for your practice. If your goal is to take your pharmacy to new heights, here are 10 starting points to kickstart your journey.
1. Pharmacy Advocacy
The 2018 midterm election saw a huge spike in voter participation: 50.1% of the voting-eligible population cast a ballot, which is the highest turnout this nation has seen since the 1966 midterm elections. It’s time for independent pharmacies to step up and join the surge of political activism. Should pharmacists run for office? They should, and they do! For now, getting involved is as simple as hosting a representative at your pharmacy to show them how vital your business is to your community. Read NCPA’s “Take Your Legislator to Work” for tips on hosting political visitors at your store.
Community pharmacy enhanced services networks have been all the talk during recent years, yet several states have not established their own networks. These networks are a critical move towards better care coordination and effect change within the industry. Click here to view CPESN’s partner network map and begin your journey to optimized patient services.
3. eCare Plans
On that note, Electronic Care Plans are one of the most vital tools in offering enhanced services to high-risk patients. This is a strategy that combines a patient’s current therapies and concerns along with the pharmacy’s interventions in order to document outcomes over time. Currently, 25 technology vendors, including PioneerRx, offer integrated capabilities that allow users to create and share eCare Plans. Click here to read an in-depth piece that explores how four PioneerRx pharmacies are impacting patient health with the use of eCare Plans.
4. RxLocal™ Partner Network
Now, it’s easier than ever for PioneerRx pharmacies to engage in specialty medicine. Rather than turn a patient away, retail pharmacies can utilize the RxLocal Partner Network to find a specialty pharmacy to fill the prescription. Check out this article for more details about the RxLocal Partner Network.
5. PMP InterConnect
What started out as a prescription monitoring program (PMP) amongst a handful of states has now expanded to 45 states across the nation, thanks to Appriss Health and the National Association of Boards of PharmacyⓇ. Through InterConnect, pharmacies and physicians have the ability to conduct health information exchanges (HIEs) in a secure manner that help prevent controlled substance abuse. Providers may even send data across state lines on the occasion patients are attempting to fill prescriptions in different states. PioneerRx pharmacies are already some of the thousands of pharmacies that have put the Appriss PMP integration to use for their patients.
6. Chronic Care Management
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it would reward providers who offer non-face-to-face chronic care management (CCM) services to patients, via phone call or telehealth, who need additional attention. According to Blair Thielemier, this is an opportunity for pharmacies to align with other practices to take advantage of this program. “A pharmacy could subcontract with a group practice to manage all of the chronic care needs of its patients,” says Blair. “Under a collaborative practice agreement, the pharmacy could make a larger impact on patient care and help generate revenue for the group practice.” Read Blair’s breakdown of eligibility and billing for more information on offering CCM services.
7. Functional Medicine
Before you assume functional medicine has nothing to do with your business, consider this: a CDC report found that Americans annually spend around $13 billion on supplements and natural products. See how this PioneerRx pharmacist is shifting his focus from the “pill for an ill” approach, to functional medicine.
8. Antibiotic Stewardship
Also known as Antimicrobial Stewardship, healthcare providers are urged to be more mindful when prescribing and dispensing antibiotics to patients. According to the CDC, 20-50% of all antibiotics prescribed in U.S. hospitals are deemed “unnecessary or inappropriate” due to adverse reactions and the increase in antibiotic-resistant organisms, which leads to approximately 23,000 deaths each year. Antibiotic stewardship programs are a mandatory practice in hospitals, and pharmacists are positioned to have a tremendous impact on this health threat. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) explains the pharmacist’s role in promoting better antibiotic practices in this statement.
Pharmacists are well-positioned to play a role in informatics, or the process of maintaining and analyzing data. Because they usually keep regular, up-to-date records of patients and their outcomes, pharmacists can be integral in following patient outcomes and informing clinicians of optimal care practices. “As the scope for the development and complexity of systems that support medication management continues to grow, so does the need for individuals to lead, manage, and evaluate them,” says ASHP in this document. PioneerRx offers real-time reports, customizable clinical decision support, and the eCare Plan functionality to take your clinical care to the next level.
10. Med Sync
Last, but certainly not least, medication synchronization is a practice guaranteed to be a win for everyone: your patients become more adherent, your workflow becomes more organized, and your business reaps the benefit of consistent, monthly refills. According to this account of a PioneerRx pharmacist who has synced over 40% of her prescription volume, “If you’re not syncing patient medications, then your pharmacy is probably sinking.”
Whether it’s a new year or midyear, it’s always the right time to embrace new ideas and practices in your pharmacy.