Independent pharmacies across the country are uniquely positioned to best serve their local communities, especially when it comes to adherence. McBain Family Pharmacy, located in Michigan, exemplifies this service to its community in the myriad of ways care is delivered.
“We’re in a rural area, so lots of patients drive a long way to get to our pharmacy,” says Clayton Gilde, pharmacist and owner of McBain Family Pharmacy. “We can deliver to them as well. We do a lot of deliveries to the neighboring areas,” explains Gilde. As a community pharmacist, his goal is to provide personal care that is accessible.
A Little Extra Help
Strip packaging is another way that McBain is helping improve adherence by conveniently packaging patient medications. “Our typical patients are older adults who may need a little extra help,” says Gilde. “These patients have multiple medications [and they] come to us to organize their meds and get them all filled at once.”
Gilde says that, for patients who have multiple prescriptions, receiving their medication packed and sorted can reduce the number of missed medications. Patients no longer have to worry about carrying multiple pill bottles. Instead, they can simply tear off the appropriate pouch and easily take it with them.
With the help of the RapidPakRx, McBain Pharmacy is able to quickly and accurately pack patient medications. The RapidPakRx is an adherence strip packaging automation system specifically designed for retail pharmacies. Each pouch in the strip is labeled with the day, date and time that the medication needs to be taken. “[Patients] can see where it's great value to them,” says Gilde, “Some patients can't remember if they took their meds for that day, so we'll explain to them that on each pack it shows the date and the time, so they can easily see if they've taken their meds.”
Many patients with multiple prescriptions often lack the ability to make multiple trips to the pharmacy to pick up their monthly medications. Some patients even miss their medications, which can lead to their treatments being ineffective. Because many patients have to travel so far to visit the pharmacy, incorporating adherence packaging incorporating adherence packaging made even more sense for McBain’s patients.
“Our patients love that it's easy to come [to the pharmacy]. They come to our pharmacy only one time a month. It makes it easy for them, and it's all coordinated and ready to go,” says Gilde. Once the pharmacy team knows a patient’s medication regimen, they can fill the prescription a few days before a scheduled pickup. “Patients no longer have to fill out weekly planners each week, which has saved them a lot of time. And they tell me, it makes it a lot easier for them,” says Gilde.
Efficiency = More Patients
“[Our adherence packaging] was all manual before, and it would take quite a bit of time to do it. One patient might take an hour, compared to now with the RapidPakRx, we're able to complete a patient in less than 15 minutes from start to finish,” says Gilde. The RapidPakRx utilizes universal cartridges that allow staff to easily and quickly fill prescriptions, whether the NDC is a tablet, capsule, gelcap, supplement, OTC med, or split-tab, all without calibration
“Previously, our manual system allowed us to do about three to four patients a day, and once we received the RapidPakRx, we found that we were able to do at least 10, upwards of 15 patients a day,” says Gilde. The RapidPakRx can pack 50 multi-dose patients in one, 8-hour shift, with one technician. With a built-in vision system and streamlined pharmacist verification process, errors are also easier to catch and fix.
“Now we're able to have everything bottled up ready to go and run through the machine where we can do other tasks while we're waiting for the process to be completed and packaged,” says Gilde. ”Currently we have over 150 patients that we do per month using the RapidPak system. So yeah, we have a lot of opportunity for growth right now.”
Improving the Bottom Line - $1,000 per week in savings
“After we purchased the RapidPakRx, we were able to see the cost savings and pass it on to patients. The cost of the RapidPakRx was quite low for us, based on our manual way, from labor savings as well as the material used to package,” explains Gilde. Automating the packing system reduces the number of hours staff spend preparing each prescription. Cutting down on hours helps reduce labor costs, and allows more time to be allocated to other programs.
“Using the RapidPakRx has given us more time to spend with our patients, and have more meaningful conversations. This has led to more clinical services, including vaccines for the patients, as well as MTM,” says Gilde. By spending more time with patients, McBain Family Pharmacy staff are able to recommend additional services offered by the pharmacy, which positively impacts patient health and generates additional profit.
With the addition of the RapidPakRx, McBain Family Pharmacy has been able to decrease its inventory and labor costs. If you are interested in learning more about how the RapidPakRx can help your pharmacy improve its bottom line and increase patient adherence, please visit our strip packaging automation page, or call now at (877) 797-2332 to speak with an RxSafe representative.