I remember my dad taking me to watch the Atlanta Braves play the St. Louis Cardinals. I’ll never forget the Cardinals making their arrival, because their shortstop – Ozzie Smith – took the field with a trot, a cartwheel and a backflip. If a back flipping shortstop doesn’t make your heart race, you may not be a baseball fan. Theatrics aside, shortstops are exciting because they are often defensive captains whom others take cues from, the link between the infield and outfield and the second base ghost that keeps runners honest. Similarly, pharmacists are becoming the captains of the patient healthcare team: implementing patient care plans; connecting healthcare team members, patients and family members with meaningful assessments and therapy data; keeping conditions in check and intervening when necessary.
Enrich and Improve Lives: Campus Health Services Pharmacies at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
Good communication is essential to success; without it, opportunities to foster positive relationships diminish and growth is nearly impossible. Amy Sauls, R.Ph., director of Campus Health Services at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, has seen many changes in her 20 years in the pharmacy industry. One of the most monumental changes is the way she and her staff communicate with the student body.
Medicare is a beneficial program for Americans who are over age 65 or have certain disabilities, but providers sometimes find compliance issues a challenge. An understanding of mandates and how to properly submit claims will ensure organizations are reimbursed for Medicare Part B-covered medications, equipment and supplies, such as nebulizer-inhalation medications, oral immunosuppressive drugs and diabetic testing supplies. Occasionally, providers may unknowingly submit noncompliant or even fraudulent claims for the products and services they offer.
Your patients are adherent to their medication protocol, now you have to ensure they don’t wash the pills down with grapefruit juice or use an over-the-counter (OTC) herbal supplement that could unintentionally dilute or alter the benefits of their prescribed drugs.
I recently read a book, If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty, by Eric Metaxas. The book title is part of a quote from Benjamin Franklin in 1787, the year the Constitution was drafted.
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.