Benjamin Franklin has been credited with coining the phrase, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.” But a 21st Century update of that phrase might be: “If you need to accomplish the impossible, give it to a pharmacist.” That’s because, as U.S. healthcare models have shifted from fee-based to value-based, pharmacists have assumed a larger role in patient care. And with that larger role have come increased administrative responsibilities and compliance mandates – along with opportunities to become more directly involved in patient care.
It’s a busy time for pharmacists, but it’s essential work, and a chance to really make a difference in their communities.
Just ask Hitesh Patel, co-owner of the Rapps Pharmacy Group, which has three facilities located across central New Jersey. Those pharmacies include:
- Rapps West Pharmacy, located within a mental health facility, which provides medications and personalized services throughout the entire Trenton area.
- Rapps Pharmacy, located in Plainville, is a full-service retail pharmacy that serves patients from all over New Jersey, with plenty of patient-focused services including free delivery, an on-site long-acting injection nurse, products geared for Spanish-speaking patients, and mental health care services.
- Rapps LTC Pharmacy, located in Middlesex, is a closed-door long-term care pharmacy that offers a wide range of services to healthcare facilities throughout New Jersey.
“We have a lot going on,” Patel says, clearly understating the scope of activity in his pharmacies, “which is why it’s so important to automate and simplify and take advantage of opportunities to improve efficiency wherever we can.” He credits the PrimeRx pharmacy management system with “helping to make things easier,” by offering an easy-to-use platform that includes functionality needed for each type of pharmacy.
Patel explains that, in the early days, Rapp’s LTC pharmacy operated alongside the retail pharmacy, serving healthcare facilities along with patients from the community. “We were doing both from a single location and needed to differentiate our LTC services from our retail activities. It had the potential to become very complicated, but PrimeRx allowed us to manage both.”
In fact, Patel was so impressed by the PrimeRx system’s extensive functionality – and ease of use – that once the LTC pharmacy became a closed-door facility and moved to a separate location, he decided to keep PrimeRx as the core operating system for all three pharmacies.
“The system has been a godsend,” he says, and cites specific capabilities that include:
- Ease of Use. PrimeRx is extremely user-friendly with pharmacists able to quickly perform tasks with a minimal number of keystrokes. The system is organized in a logical progression that tracks with how most pharmacies operate. PrimeRx offers intuitive text and auto-fill capabilities, and extensive drop-down menus, which allow staff members to access required fields without having to click between multiple screens.
Patel tells the story of a pharmacist friend, who also uses PrimeRx. The friend hired a new pharmacist, and after a quick review of PrimeRx, told her to ask if she had any questions. “The entire day went by,” Patel recounts, “and she didn’t have a single question. That’s how easy it is to use.”
- The system allows each pharmacy to configure settings to meet its specific needs. “I’m able to set up columns the way I want, so that our staff has quick access to the information they need. At the same time, we can hide columns that aren’t necessary and can become a distraction.”
- Long-Term Care Functionality. Not surprisingly, Patel gave a lot of thought to selecting a pharmacy software solution that included comprehensive LTC functionality. “Long-term care is very complicated,” he explains. “It’s much more than just putting medications in a bottle. PrimeRx was clearly designed by people who understand the specific needs of a LTC pharmacy.” Patel cites several PrimeRx capabilities that include:
- eMAR Integration. PrimeRx facilitates the creation and maintenance of electronic medication administration records (eMARs), which are an essential – and mandatory – process in long-term care pharmacy services.
- PrimeRx offers direct integration with packaging solutions including Parata, Synergy Medical, RapidPakRx, and Dispill. Patel can integrate directly with these third-party solutions which allow patients to receive their medications in either a vial, bingo card, or bottle format. In addition, packaging can be customized for each patient’s preferred needs. This includes multi-drug packages with as many as 12 drugs in each pouch, single-use packaging, and easy to open package options.
- Cycle filling. PrimeRx offers cycle filling capabilities, which LTC pharmacists can use to schedule medication refills. If a pharmacy does not wish to use these features, it can quickly be disabled with a single click of the mouse.
- Third-Party Interfaces. In addition to the packaging solutions referenced above, PrimeRx offers direct integration with 100+ other third-party providers. This ensures PrimeRx pharmacies have access to the industry’s most exciting, most innovative solutions. “I take advantage of so many different products,” Patel says, “and I’m not shy about suggesting new interfaces to my PrimeRx representatives.” Interfaces are available that address just about every aspect of pharmacy management, with a few options that include:
- Real-Time Prescription Benefit from Surescripts. Allows real-time information about a patient’s covered medications. Should a prescribed medication not be covered, the solution will suggest alternatives that are included on the patient’s plan.
- CoverMyMeds. Automates the prior authorization process. Allows patients to receive medications faster, and streamlines records management.
- Local Inventory on Google. Allows a local pharmacy to appear as a buying option in consumer internet searches for specific consumer goods and OTC products.
- Script Management Partners (SMP). Allows pharmacies to automatically report immunization records to state/local immunization information systems (IIS).
- CPESN. Clinically integrated network of community pharmacies that allows pharmacies to record clinical services, track patient outcomes, and document all services for potential reimbursement.
- Report Generation. With three different pharmacies generating reams of data, and each having its own compliance and accounting requirements, it’s essential for Patel to have full visibility into the pharmacy group’s operations. This includes full visibility both at the individual store level, as well as into the entire organization. PrimeRx seamlessly records all data, and allows real-time analysis of that data, in the form of customized reports.
Pharmacists can request reports on just about any metric, related to just about any aspect of pharmacy operations. Popular report topics include inventory sales, refills, payer information, employee performance, and pharmacy accounts payable/receivable.
- Customer Service. Last but not least, Patel is very complimentary of the high levels of customer support he receives from PrimeRx personnel. “It’s truly amazing customer service,” he says. “Sometimes I’ve called either with a question about how something worked, or with a suggestion about how to improve functionality. Each time, PrimeRx took my suggestions seriously and came back with an improved solution. You don’t get that level of service too often.”
As Hitesh Patel looks to the future, he sees an even greater role for pharmacists in providing patient care. As busy as he and his staff are today, Patel realizes that Rapp Pharmacies will become even more essential, and provide even more services in the days to come. And he’ll be ready. “We work hard, but we work smart too,” he says. “I learned to rely on my software, and it has proven to be a very good investment.”
Unlock the power of PrimeRx for your pharmacy! Schedule a demo now to discover the transformative benefits awaiting your business.