The healthcare industry in its entirety is becoming more aware of what QS/1 has known for some time now; pharmacists are the heroes of healthcare. As heroes, pharmacists can intervene, nurture patient populations, help lower overall healthcare costs and decrease patient hospitalizations.
We often equate regulatory mandates to government overreaching that impose roadblocks, which prevent pharmacists from providing solid healthcare to patients. However, changes and goals stemming from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could actually give community pharmacies a new competitive advantage.
When the Meaningful Use process started, practices started being more diligent in collecting Business Associate Agreements from all their contractors who had access to their software.
The role of the pharmacy in patient care is constantly changing. It’s all encompassing from offering trusted advice to filling prescriptions and providing transitional care assistance. It’s more important now than ever to expand pharmacy services to reach more members of the community.
Healthcare is ever changing and with those changes must come adaptation. There is a focus on quality of care versus quantity of care. Team-based care and pay-for-performance models are on the rise and pharmacists are a part of the equation.
In the previous edition of Insight, I said, “One competitive opportunity that never changes in pharmacy services is the percentage of your current customers who would recommend you to others.” I also mentioned, “Accomplishing high percentage scores requires a full-court press inside your operation for every employee to excel.”
From drug and patient safety to cyber safety and personal safety - pharmacies must always be on top of their game. The healthcare industry is always evolving, from drug scheduling to processing credit card transactions. An article in Pharmacy Times explained it best, “Pharmacists are like the umpires of the health care game. They enter, verify, and triple check prescriptions, orders, and final products until they are satisfied.”
Earlier this year, QS/1 partners, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) and the Kentucky Pharmacists Association (KPhA), participated in a showcase to display the region’s overall capabilities to respond to a natural disaster or emergency and demonstrate services the state could provide, including fire, police, pharmacy and other disaster-response resources.
Flu season is here, meaning it is a great time to evaluate your status as an immunization provider. Since pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare professionals, we are valued members in our communities. Expanded scope and authority have provided pharmacists the ability to impact the availability and utilization of vaccines to a patient base that may not have otherwise been immunized.
When you made the decision to become a pharmacist, you knew you were entering a profession that was honorable, respected and would bring you great rewards when helping people in your community. But most jobs with high-reward payouts tend to bring a level of stress also. As more demands are placed on pharmacists, and the pharmacy staff, work hours tend to be nonstop. It’s rare to take a break to catch your breath and ensure you are not only filling prescriptions correctly but also keeping up with the many regulatory demands that cannot be overlooked.