Like most independent retail pharmacies, Heritage Pharmacy thrives on providing patients personalized care every time they walk through its doors. Based in Palm Springs, Calif., Heritage knows that patients prefer a higher level of service than chain pharmacies can typically provide.
“A lot of times we are seeing a lot of transfers from competitors like the chain pharmacies because patients are not getting the service that they need and deserve,” says Chandra Patel, owner of Heritage Pharmacy. “We differentiate ourselves from our competitors by offering several unique services, such as compliance packaging and free delivery service,” adds Patel.
As more patients transfer from chain pharmacies to Heritage Pharmacy, Patel chose to invest in a RapidPakRx to help manage patient growth. “Having the RapidPakRx in my pharmacy has done wonders and I think it is going to help us grow,” says Patel. The RapidPakRx is a pouch packaging automation system that can complete packaging for up to 50 patients per day, using one technician in an 8-hour shift.
Universal Cartridges = Faster Filling
Prior to investing in the RapidPakRx, Heritage Pharmacy staff members would manually prepare blister cards. “Having 100 patients on Dispill, that meant that we're doing five to six a day, and it was very challenging for our pharmacists to keep up,” says Patel. Not only was it expensive and labor intensive, using blister cards slowed down the pharmacy's workflow, Patel said, and limited the number of prescriptions that could be filled by the pharmacy in a single day.
“What attracted me to the RapidPakRx is the fact that it uses a universal cartridge,” says Patel. The RapidPakRx can run 20 bulk-loaded universal cartridges simultaneously. There are no trays or filling stations; instead a technician can quickly load a cartridge with any oral solid medication, such as capsules, tablet, gel caps, half tabs, new generics, etc. The universal cartridges help reduce labor costs by minimizing the time required to prepare each patient's adherence packaging.
Reaching More Patients
With the high patient demand for compliance packaging, “I would say we are acquiring eight to ten new patients a month,” says Patel. The unmatched speed and accuracy of the RapidPakRx makes it easy to add new patients to a pharmacy's workflow. “We currently have 170 patients on adherence packaging,” says Patel, “We have gotten a lot more patient volume because of the RapidPakRx.”
Along with producing 50 multi-med pouches per minute with almost no rework, the RapidPakRx uses a 3-step integrated vision verification system to improve accuracy. “The verification system is very good at what it does, it’s more reassuring for the pharmacist when they are checking because it’s very accurate,” says Patel. Pharmacists can quickly check each pouch to ensure that every patient is receiving the correct medications.
“The RapidPakRx has relieved the pharmacist from checking duties; that’s a big time savings for us. We can focus on helping more patients, and do more things like vaccines,” explains Patel. With the help of the RapidPakRx, Heritage Pharmacy is able to dedicate more time to patients as well as growing its profitable services.
“The main benefit is that we are able to ramp up and help more patients without adding more staff,” adds Patel, “You can take care of a lot more patients per day because the RapidPakRx can handle a lot of volume.”
DIR Fees: A Tale of Two Pharmacies
Not only has the RapidPakRx increased profitability, but it also positively impacts DIR fees. Chandra Patel is able to see the impact of adherence packaging automation by comparing two of his pharmacies -- one with RapidPakRx, and one without.
“For the pharmacy without the RapidPakRx, I always see that the DIR fees keep going up and up,” says Patel, “It is doing fairly poorly on the Star ratings and thereby decreasing my performance with respect to DIR.” At Heritage Pharmacy’s other location, the RapidPakRx helps create a different story.
“The store with the RapidPakRx has a very good Star rating; it is as close to five as possible,” says Patel, “We are impacting our Star ratings by having better compliance and thereby improving our overall performance and seeing a decrease in DIR fees.”
The RapidPakRx can dramatically improve patient adherence. Each pouch is clearly labeled with the patient’s name, the name of the medications, and the day, date and time each med needs to be taken. Additionally, patients receive their medications neatly packed into a box where they can tear off only the pouches that they need to take each day. Using this system, patients don’t miss doses, take too many meds, or take the wrong drug at the wrong time.
An Affordable Solution
“I recommend the RapidPakRx to other pharmacies because it is an affordable solution to help grow your pharmacy, help more patients, and become more profitable,” says Patel. “Chain pharmacies can’t compete with the level of service and level of attention that we give to our patients when we have the RapidPakRx as part of our toolkit.”
The RapidPakRx offers the smallest footprint of any pouch packager, while accurately and quickly packaging medications for patients. The all-in-one design makes it easy for a pharmacy to start onboarding patients, without the worry of purchasing more automation, such as separate final inspection cameras with expensive maintenance contracts.If you would like to learn more about Heritage Pharmacy’s experience with the RapidPakRx, please watch the video above. To get more information about the RapidPakRx, please visit our product page or call (877) 959-9815 to speak with an adherence expert now.