As a patient, I get so frustrated when I go to pick up a prescription on auto-refill only to be called the next day to pick up another medication. Many of these customers are the elderly or infirmed and I can’t imagine how they feel about making the extra trip to the pharmacy. Now pharmacy technician school students and patients alike can rejoice at the strides pharmacies are taking to improve their customer service.
On ModernMedicine.com, Valerie DeBenedette writes that there is a new program created by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) that helps with patient compliance and also can increase pharmacy revenue. This exciting new program helps pharmacists coordinate and synchronize their medications that their patients take on an ongoing basis.
DeBenedette explains that “A pharmacy technician calls the patient once a month to discuss his or her prescriptions, said Janet Kusler, RPh, who owns Kusler’s Pharmacy in Snohomish, Wash. If any refill prescriptions are needed, the pharmacy calls the physician to arrange them… When the patient comes in a few days later, the prescriptions are ready and waiting, and the pharmacist can consult with the patient about them.”
In this voluntary program in which patients can request to be a part of, their current medications may be partially refilled to coordinate with new medications until all are on the same cycle. DeBenedette said that “Having a pharmacy technician make the calls, synchronize the medication refills, and get the prescriptions ready ahead of time produced significant financial benefits and time savings in her pharmacy, said Kusler.”
There is also a benefit to pharmacies as patients are more likely to buy from a store that is implementing this program and are less likely to skip getting a prescription if everything is ready with one pick-up. This also saves a great deal of time for pharmacy technicians as they can process several medications for one patient in one sitting. The PT “manages the process. He will take orders and run labels and get them filled 2 to 3 days ahead of when the patient comes in,’ Kusler said.’ All I do is check the order.’”
There are always new and exciting advancements in the medical profession for both workers and patients alike. This is just another way to ensure patient health and to save precious dollars.
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