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Walgreen’s Redesign Boosts Role of Technicians

A dramatic transformation is taking place at the nation’s top pharmacy retailer.  Walgreens has embarked on a bold initiative that aims to turn the company from a traditional drug store into a full-service “destination for health and daily living,” as Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson describes it.

Walgreen’s new design, which it calls the “Well Experience,” adds momentum to the revolution in pharmacy-based patient care. A key feature of the design is a new approach to the way pharmacists and pharmacy technicians perform their jobs.

“We’re moving our pharmacists from behind the counter out to where … they’re able to talk with our patients,” said Kermit Crawford, president of pharmacy, health and wellness services and solutions. “We are deliberately transforming the way we practice pharmacy from a transaction-based environment to one that is more about patient relationships.”

“In essence, we took the clinical aspects of pharmacy and the production aspects of pharmacy and completely separated them,” said Nimesh Jhaveri, the company’s executive director of pharmacy and healthcare experience. “We put the pharmacists on the clinical side and the technicians, who are all certified and trained, on the production side.”

Jhaveri added, “The area where the pharmacist now works is all about care and outcomes. Where the technicians work is about quality and efficiency. And when you combine those two areas together, you get highly efficient, high-quality service and care.”

Jhaveri said that technicians working at the new format stores are working with enhanced technology and applying advanced techniques for ensuring accuracy throughout the prescription dispensing process. They have also received additional training and are all fully certified by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, Jhaveri noted.