Where do you envision your pharmacy business in the next five years? Do you see an increase in the number of patients you serve or an opportunity to offer additional services to attract new customers?
In order for community pharmacies to thrive in today’s healthcare industry, they must be flexible and adaptable to growing demands. Pharmacies no longer exclusively fill prescriptions; now, they focus on providing the best overall patient care. Finding new ways to set your business apart from others is a must. Fortunately, as the industry evolves, there are multiple avenues to explore that could enhance your patient care offerings and lead to additional revenue streams.
There’s a Service for That
QS/1’s systems are designed to help organize and manage community pharmacy’s services. Services provide additional tools to manage patient medication adherence, serve patients who require specialty medications, identify if patients are eligible for pharmacogenomics testing and more.
Medication Therapy Management (MTM)
Community pharmacies are on the frontline when striving to adopt the pay-for-performance model. Patient-centered MTM “promotes collaboration between the pharmacist, patient, and physician to optimize safe and effective medication use.”1 MTM can include medication reviews, consultations and health screenings with an increased focus on improving patient outcomes with preventative care. MTM can also include prescription synchronization, which can improve patient medication adherence with services such as Time My Meds® and eNGAGE as well as synchronization tools, such as Health-Minder®, that are built into QS/1’s systems.
QS/1 partners with the following vendors to provide MTM services:
- Arete Pharmacy Network
- CarePoints® by PDR®
Continuity and Care Coordination
A patient walks into a pharmacy carrying a bag of pill bottles and empties them on the counter, and unbeknownst to the prescriber or pharmacist has not been adherent with his medication regimen. Unfortunately, cases like this leave much room for error. The ability for pharmacists to review a patient’s aggregated electronic medication history not only prevents potential prescription error, it is also “useful in detecting drug-related pathology or changes in clinical signs that may be the result of drug therapy.”2 This all-inclusive electronic availability through electronic health record (EHR) systems can improve medication reconciliation across a patient’s care continuum.
QS/1 partners with the following to provide medication history and patient-care coordination services:
- ESI Rx History™
- Medication History by Surescripts®
- Creative Pharmacist
- MedHx by DrFirst®
It’s 2018, and to say we are living in the digital age is an understatement. Many prescription refills and communications with patients can be handled electronically. Meeting patients where they are technologically is an effective way to disseminate information and increase engagement.
QS/1 offers or partners with the following to provide messaging and online refill services:
- QS/1’s mobileRx®
- QS/1’s CornerDrugstore.com®
- QS/1’s IVR module
- QS/1’s Express Prescription Refills
- Text and Email by PDR®
Specialty Pharmacy Services
As specialty drugs become more prevalent, there is a greater chance for growth in community pharmacy. “Specialty drugs comprise a large amount of prescription drug revenue and that trend is expected to continue as new drugs are approved.”3
“According to the 2013-2014 Economic Report on Retail, Mail and Specialty Pharmacies developed by Fein, specialty drugs now account for approximately 22% of total pharmacy industry revenues.”4 Specialty drugs require special care. Specialty platforms offer back-end patient support services for independent pharmacies (e.g., prior authorization, patient contact and clinical/adherence services). “With specialty-trained pharmacists as part of the collaborative care team, enhanced patient satisfaction has been documented with fewer complications in drug treatment; improved laboratory monitoring; reductions in unnecessary medications; and shortened hospital stays resulting in lower treatment costs.”5
Among these specialty platforms, consulting software provides an easier way for pharmacy to not only extend services to patients with specific medical needs, but provide them optimal care and medication management while boosting the pharmacy’s bottom line. In today’s healthcare industry, there are multiple channels open to pharmacists, including partnerships with specialty pharmacies. These partnerships allow pharmacies to outsource some back-end clinical services that often accompany the use of specialty pharmaceuticals, while enabling the pharmacy to continue to maintain its relationship with the patient and, ultimately, give the pharmacy a competitive edge.
QS/1 partners with the following to provide specialty pharmacy services:
The ability for patients to optimally process the medications they are taking is a growing trend in healthcare. A patient’s lifestyle and genetics can play a major role in how well they metabolize medications. Pharmacists are experts when it comes to how medications are manufactured and how the human body absorbs and/or metabolizes different kinds of medications. Pharmacogenomics, or pharmacogenetics, give pharmacists the tools they need to screen patients who may benefit from testing. This form of testing could potentially save pharmacies from dispensing wasted medications and provide better patient health outcomes. This testing is expected to revolutionize healthcare.
QS/1 offers the following pharmacogenomics interfaces:
- CareKinesis® - available soon
A lot of pharmacies serve non-English speaking customers. Being able to communicate with these individuals not only demonstrates good customer service, it has the ability to expand the pharmacy’s customer base.
QS/1 partners with the following vendors to provide translation services:
- RxTran by Language Scientific, Inc.
Pump It Up
There are more and more opportunities for pharmacists to expand their roles in patient care and receive reimbursement for those value-added services. According to Drug Topics, “Almost half of Americans over the age of 40 would transfer their prescriptions to a pharmacy that provides preventive care services and would prefer to pay cash for those services.”6 Services help automate processes that enable pharmacy staff to keep their focus on patients. They also help pharmacies increase prescription sales, which means patients adhere to their medication therapy. In turn, patient compliance increases, which could have a positive effect on your pharmacy’s Star Ratings as issued by CMS.
In addition, services create greater opportunities for pharmacies to grow their customer base. The trick to outshine the competition is to identify early on what is needed, observe what is being done and see how your pharmacy can evolve to provide better services. To explore what services QS/1 offers, click here.
1 Shah, Monica, Pharm.D. Expanding the Pharmacist’s Role in MTM Services. Nov. 1, 2012. Web. 31 January 2018. http://drugtopics.modernmedicine.com/drug-topics/news/modernmedicine/modern-medicine-news/expanding-pharmacists-role-mtm-services
2 Fitzgerald, RJ. Medication Errors: The Importance of an Accurate Drug History. June 2009. Web. 31 January 2018. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19594536
3 Toich, Laurie. Specialty Pharmacy: Where Are We Now and Where Are We Headed? Specialty Pharmacy Times. June 20, 2017. Web. 02 January 2018. www.specialtypharmacytimes.com/publications/specialty-pharmacy-times/2017/asembia-2017/specialty-pharmacy-where-are-we-now-and-where-are-we-headed
4-5 Sederstrom, Jill. Pathways to Specialty Pharmacy. July 10, 2014. Web. 31 January 2018. http://drugtopics.modernmedicine.com/drug-topics/content/tags/hospital-pharmacy/pathways-specialty-pharmacy
6 Vecchione, Anthony. Patients Like Pharmacies That Give Preventive Care. Drug Topics. Jan. 29, 2018. Web. 04 February 2018. http://drugtopics.modernmedicine.com/drug-topics/news/patients-pharmacies-give-preventive-care