How med sync with FDS ENGAGE enabled Campbell’s Pharmacy to improve both their patients’ and their pharmacists’ lives
What It Means To Be An Independent Pharmacy
In a March 2019 Consumer Reports article, staff writer Lisa L. Gill wrote, “Personalized care seems to be what people value in a drugstore — and where independent pharmacies often seem to excel.” The article was based on survey responses from 78,000 Consumer Reports members, and it offers high praise for the value independent pharmacies bring to their community. “Mom-and-pop stores earned high marks on such measures as courtesy, helpfulness, and speed of checkout and filling prescriptions,” Gill continues, “as well as pharmacists’ knowledge and accuracy.”
Campbell’s Pharmacy is a shining example of how the article defines an independent pharmacy. Their four full-time pharmacists, two part-time pharmacists, and team of pharmacy techs fill between 500 and 600 prescriptions a day for their community, never losing sight of the personalized care that has made them a trusted community health provider for the past two decades. Their website states, “Our commitment to patient care and health is priority one here at Campbell’s Pharmacy. We believe in the value of providing personalized service and quality products.”
Staff Pharmacist Victoria Belko takes every opportunity to connect with her patients. She oversees patient management for the pharmacy while also carving out time to handle Medication Therapy Management (MTM) cases.
The work can be challenging, but she takes it in stride. “It gives me a chance to talk to the customers and get to know them a little bit better,” she says. “I get to see what’s going on in their lives, and [determine] how we can make their lives a little bit better and easier.”
Fueled By The Desire To Improve
Sometimes, there aren’t specific challenges that inspire action. There aren’t always particular hurdles to jump or milestones to reach. Occasionally, someone simply looks around and realizes that things could be better. Processes could be smoother. Methods, more effective. For Campbell’s Pharmacy, there wasn’t an exact problem that needed to be addressed in order to improve the care they provided for their patients. They simply knew there was more they could be doing — and for them, that was enough.
For the customers of Campbell’s Pharmacy, managing their medication wasn’t always easy. Patients would often come to the store multiple times per week to pick up prescriptions with different refill dates. Many had a dozen or more daily prescriptions to keep up with, and getting off track of even one could be detrimental. Some were no longer able to drive to the pharmacy to pick up their medication; while Campbell’s offered delivery, only so many deliveries could be made in a day. Campbell’s was doing a lot of things right, but that didn’t mean they couldn’t be done better.
The staff of Campbell’s Pharmacy were handling hundreds of prescriptions a day for their community. Pharmacists and pharmacy techs filled orders as they came in. Without a systematic way to prioritize which prescriptions should be filled first, busy days could be stressful. For a pharmacy whose priority is the health and convenience of its patients, that was unacceptable.
The Difference Med Sync Can Make
One way Campbell’s could improve their customer experience — as well as address potential issues before they became problems — was to implement a medication synchronization solution.
For patients, a med sync program would help them better manage their prescriptions and adhere to their medication plans. It also made getting their refills more convenient. Having their prescription refills synchronized would drastically cut down on trips to the pharmacy. Instead of driving to the store multiple times per month (with some even coming three to four times every week), they would only need to make one monthly visit. For customers with limited transportation, this would be a game changer. But it wasn’t just patients who would benefit.
For the staff, a med sync solution would put many customers’ medications on a regular, easily-anticipated schedule that would allow pharmacists to better prioritize refills. It would also allow the pharmacy to make better financial decisions about how often to order medicines and how many to keep on the shelf.
Medication synchronization could be a game changer for both the pharmacy and its patients. They just needed to choose a platform.
When it was time to select a medication synchronization solution, the staff at Campbell’s didn’t immediately land on FDS ENGAGE. Belko recalled their search: “We tried a couple other med sync platforms,” she said, laughing. “They just didn’t work for us.”
Once they tried FDS ENGAGE, they were sold. “It’s a great program,” said Belko. “It’s very clean, and very easy to work with.”
Good For Business, Great For Patients
Today, over 200 of Campbell’s Pharmacy’s patients are on their med sync program, which accounts for around 14 percent of their patients. More are signing up every day.
For Belko, one of the best gifts FDS ENGAGE has given Campbell’s Pharmacy is the gift of more time. “The workflow has just gotten a lot better,” said Belko. “Patients know when they’re getting their next fill. It gets them prepared, and it gets us prepared. Everyone isn’t just running around trying to get everything done at once.”
With improved workflow, pharmacy techs can better prioritize which orders to fill first and make better use of their time. “When everyone knows they have time, they can slow down and review what they’re filling,” she added. “I think everyone’s more at ease that way.”
The staff’s workflow isn’t the only area that has seen improvement with FDS ENGAGE. Medication synchronization has helped make their delivery system more efficient, enabling them to serve more clients with fewer trips. FDS ENGAGE has also helped them take a more proactive approach to patient care, enabling the staff to contact patients’ physicians when they are about to run out of refills. That way, there’s no lapse in medication. “In the past, it wasn’t unusual to give some customers a couple tablets until the doctor got back to us,” said Brian Campbell, pharmacy technician at Campbell’s Pharmacy. “We don’t have to give that many partial refills anymore.”
In addition to med sync, Belko also uses FDS ENGAGE to zero in on specific segments of customers — or even specific customers — to get a better feel of the needs of their patients. The Star Measures feature helps her see which patients are slipping into non-adherence and potentially hurting the pharmacy’s Star Rating. Armed with this kind of information, she can consult patients and get them back on track.
Patient Care Is The Priority
For Campbell’s Pharmacy, patient care is their top priority, and FDS ENGAGE has helped them improve the health and well-being of their patients. But FDS ENGAGE also helped improve the health and well-being of the pharmacy itself. “It just saves you time and money,” said Belko. “Time, to me, is a huge thing. Being a mom of three, you don’t have a whole lot of it. Anything to make [our customers’] lives easier.”
Originally established as a small retail pharmacy devoted to filling prescriptions and offering vitamins and over-the-counter remedies, Campbell’s Pharmacy, with two locations in New Jersey, has transformed into a full-service pharmacy complete with home healthcare and long-term care departments and vaccination services. Campbell’s Pharmacy utilizes state-of-the-art equipment and industry-leading technology to demonstrate their commitment to the highest standards of patient health and safety.