As new competitors and increasing challenges continue to shape the role of the pharmacy, savvy independent pharmacy owners are increasingly aware that they need to get creative to help keep their doors open. One way that pharmacy owners can add value to their pharmacy is by incorporating a med sync program.
Don’t believe us? That’s okay! Don't take our word for it. We’ve spoken with thousands of independent pharmacy owners who have told us time and again how a med sync program adds value for their pharmacy operations, as well as their patients’ health.
Recently, we were able to gain some valuable insight from Jason Turner, owner of Moundsville Pharmacy in West Virginia, who’s not only an independent pharmacy owner, but who also teaches synchronization “boot camps” to pharmacists nationwide.
We asked Jason a series of questions to better understand how med sync helps community pharmacies and their patients. Below is a Q&A with Jason… enjoy!
Q & A with Jason Turner -- an Independent Pharmacy Owner
Why did you choose to incorporate a med sync program into your pharmacy?
Jason Turner - “We incorporated med sync into our pharmacy back in 2013, partially because we wanted to be more cost effective. We were getting busier at the time, and so we wanted to become more efficient at serving patients. But then equally important, we were starting to learn more and more about performance-based models and DIR fees and how important performance was going to be. We knew that medication synchronization was going to give us a mechanism to help monitor our patients' adherence to their therapy.”
Why do you believe med sync is important to incorporate into a pharmacy?
Jason Turner - “I think the reason why med sync is important to independent pharmacy right now is because it offers the patient the absolute highest level of service that we can offer them. By synchronizing their medication, we can reduce their visits to the pharmacy, and we can make sure that they get their complete order at one time.”
How many patients do you serve with med sync?
Jason Turner- “At our Moundsville Pharmacy location, we have about 1,600 patients on our med sync program, which accounts for about 70% of our prescription volume. You really want to expand your program. You're not developing a medication synchronization program in your pharmacy to have 50 or 100 or 150 patients on your program. You're doing all this work to develop this program in hopes of maybe having 50 to 70% of your volume being processed to medication synchronization. And when you do that, that's when you really become super-efficient in your pharmacy operations.”
What steps does a pharmacy need to take when first incorporating med sync?
Jason Turner - “Get your team trained on performance-related issues, so they understand the insurance plans and their performance programs better, and understand Medicare star ratings, and understand their EQuIPP scores. Secondly, I think you need to define processes. Having tight processes, and having those trained across all the members of the pharmacy team is important.”
“Synchronization is something that you want to get out to your current patients. So I think the first thing to do is to get the program implemented across your current population base, so that you can work out some of the kinks to your processes. Your existing patients are going to be more patient with you as you develop processes and figure out better ways to prevent things from falling through the cracks when it comes to medication synchronization.”
What is the best way for a pharmacy to advertise their med sync program to reach patients?
Jason Turner - “Once you get a firm grasp on your policies and processes, I definitely think you'll experience a lot of word-of-mouth from your existing patients. And I think social media can be a great way to market medication synchronization. Finally, get out to [visit] your prescriber offices. Prescribers can be a great referral source for pharmacy services. They're interested in how it can help their office work more efficiently. And I think there's lots of talking points there.”
How does your current automation system help you manage your patient base?
Jason Turner - “We believe that by working more efficiently through medication synchronization, it's created the opportunity for us to offer additional services. We continue to offer free delivery to our patients. We offer a high level of immunization services, and so we're constantly focusing on immunization opportunities with our patients. We're completing 90% of our MTMs, and we are now offering free medication packaging as well. [Med sync] opens up doors for you to have time and staffing, and sometimes space available to do more new and exciting things for your community.”
Automation -- Looking for the Right Fit for Your Pharmacy?
Are you ready to start your own med sync program? Great! The next step is to choose the right adherence automation technology for your pharmacy. With a single tech, the RapidPakRx is able to pack up to 50 multi-dose patients per day, in one 8-hour shift. The RapidPakRx’s universal cartridges allow staff to easily fill each pouch with the correct medications, and integrated machine verification system ensures unparalleled accuracy and faster pharmacist review times. The RapidPakRx also prints the day, time and date that patients need to take each med pass directly on each pouch, making it easier for patients to take their medications on the go.
If you believe the RapidPakRx can help your pharmacy maintain a successful med sync program, visit our product page for more information or call now at (877) 978-2364 to chat with an adherence automation expert.