What’s kept you in this industry so long?
In long-term care, no two days are the same. And in spite of the many challenges they face daily, the people working in this space are always passionate about caring for residents and coming up with creative solutions to improve their outcomes and quality of life.
What does your team do and how does it impact the people we serve in the communities?
Our team develops all the application tools that our long-term care pharmacy operations, clinical staff, and billing teams utilize to help them do their jobs like pharmacy dispensing systems, order automation, medical records, infusion, and pharmacy consulting.
Our clinicians and operations team are among the smartest, most experienced people in long-term care. They work tirelessly with our customers to come up with ideas. Then they sit down with us to create solutions and innovative processes, and we work together to bring the ideas to life in our applications. That’s the rewarding part of it and what drives our staff.
How do you ensure the safety of residents with our pharmacy services?
We ensure the safety of long-term care residents with the substantial checks we do when orders are first entered plus all of the clinical checks we do related to clinical interactions and side effects. Even with logistics, we’re focused on safety – we tell the nursing home which medications are going to be delivered and when. There are no surprises. Every day is about safety.
What would you want customers to say about PharMerica?
I would want them to say how dedicated and passionate we are about making sure we’re bringing the best available long-term care pharmacy services to them. I hope they understand the thought processes and dedication our people put into making sure our products are accurate, safe, and timely.
What makes PharMerica different in the industry?
I think it’s our culture. It’s unique because we have shared goals and we are always trying to do things the right way. Some companies have great ideas, but they lack the resources and capabilities to realize them. That’s not true of PharMerica. We get behind innovations that will benefit our customers and the residents they service. We address medication accuracy and safety, prompt and accurate delivery, cost-containment issues, and everything in between.
What’s evolved over last five years that shows our progress in this industry?
I’d have to say it’s the evolution of our eMAR interfaces. Even though the long-term care industry is slower to adopt technology and we still sometimes use faxes, a growing number of facilities are embracing eMARs and we are doing more orders electronically. We’ve also advanced in our automation with remote systems for fi rst doses and our ability to capture data and bring it back through reporting dashboards. This enables us to be more efficient and deliver better pharmacy services. Every year, we make more progress in this regard. We strive to stay innovative and on the cutting edge.
What is your vision for real-time reporting?
The company’s vision for real-time reporting is taking all of the reporting capabilities that we have and providing the data in newer visualization technologies for customers for a more self-service feel on a real-time basis. We have a considerable number of reports that we provide currently, so it’s now more about how we can make them available to our customers in a more efficient way. We may even directly feed data to them if they already have their own visualization technology processes. So, it will become a more customized approach based on how they want to receive the data and visually see it.
Can you talk about our home health discharge initiative and how we’re being innovative?
We are working with a large long-term care facility chain and a local hospital so that when a patient is discharged from the hospital, we will be able to immediately receive their admission and order information instead of waiting until the person is admitted into the facility. That allows us to process orders sooner and get medications to the facility – sometimes even before the patient arrives so they don’t have to wait 30 minutes or an hour. That’s a huge advantage in terms of medication availability, safety, adherence, and quality of care.
How have we improved our communication to better serve customers?
We have back-up coverage that enables uninterrupted communication even if there is a storm or outage. We can provide those resources so if a pharmacy goes down or a facility loses power, we can route calls or medications from different locations. This happens to every long-term care facility at one time or another, but we have policies and experience in dealing with it, and that’s critical. That’s been an important piece our customers appreciate and why they stay with PharMerica instead of going with a smaller senior care pharmacy.
Another area involves our internal intranets and systems for communicating like Show ‘n Tell, which gives us live order and delivery status, and ViewMasteRx, which provides customers everything they need for their pharmacy information management in one convenient location. Every day, we’re looking at how to add more communication, remove paper, and provide information instantly so we can continue to improve and give customers what they need and want even before they ask for it.
What is the one thing you want people to know about your teams?
The first thing I want people to know about my teams is their dedication. It’s unbelievable what some of our team members do without being asked and the initiative they take to ensure the best possible pharmacy services. And that’s driven by their passion. We have a lot of people who have been here for years because they are passionate about the work they do because they understand the end game – and that’s taking care of our nation’s elderly.