PHARMACY

Gaining insight on quality measures

BY Michael Johnsen

Picking up almost 600 new stores in 2014, McKesson’s Health Mart is a forward-thinking pharmacy franchisor that focuses on a key component of community pharmacy success — the pharmacist-patient relationship. That personal relationship is becoming more important as the industry moves toward value-based reimbursements influenced by measured patient outcomes.

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“To help our Health Mart pharmacies get more insights into their performance on the important quality measures, Health Mart has provided our members access to EQuIPP, an online platform that makes pharmacy performance data available to health plans and community pharmacy organizations,” Sarah Torbin, McKesson spokeswoman, told Drug Store News. “Using this platform, the stores can review their performance data, compare their performance to industry benchmarks and identify areas in patient care and clinical outcomes that could be improved.”

To help pharmacists build relationships with healthcare professionals in their community, McKesson offers its Physician Outreach Program that provides physician-specific data on more than 1.5 million prescribers, identifies high-opportunity prescribers and determines the best mix of services to offer. Last year, McKesson added patient visibility to the program, where users are able to see aggregated de-identified patient data.

And Health Mart in 2014 added more flexibility to its Local Marketing Support program in an effort to make marketing efforts more local. Health Mart pharmacies now have access to the Marketing Hub, Health Mart’s marketing portal designed to give owners the flexibility to promote their specific service offerings.

Health Mart also expanded Your Pharmacy Online, a consumer-facing customizable pharmacy website and mobile application that offers pharmacies a suite of services to support patient medication adherence and positive health outcomes, while driving prescription refills.

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PHARMACY

Enhancing front end, clinical work

BY Michael Johnsen

In the past year, AmerisourceBergen has introduced a number of initiatives to help their Good Neighbor Pharmacy franchisees not only build out the clinical aspects of their business, but also develop the front ends of the pharmacy business and better connect to the patient.

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“Access to patient care is extremely important,” David Neu, EVP retail strategy at AmerisourceBergen and president of Good Neighbor Pharmacy, told Drug Store News. “We do a lot to make sure that we help the pharmacist with some of their clinical needs,” he said. “We’re trying to find the balance between the training that we do on the clinical side … and what we are trying to do on the front end by giving them support from the supplier community,” Neu added.

To help improve front-end performance, Good Neighbor Pharmacy introduced its Pharmacy Transformation Services program, in which they remake a pharmacy’s front end to better meet the demands of today’s business. “This has really taken off,” Neu said, pointing to the overall 2070 lift in front-end sales across the stores that had been transformed. Other benchmarks of success include a 2.7% lift in gross margin and an overall 870 increase in prescription volume.

Supplementing that program is another true differentiator for GNP — the company’s 20 business coaches deployed across the nation. “They really just look at the overall financial health and ways to improve it,” Neu said.

To help support pharmacists’ clinical work, AmerisoureBergen recently introduced its GNP University, which so far features 11 interactive training modules. More than 25% of GNP University users are enrolled in a course bundle regarding compliance, Neu noted, offering them a one-stop-shop for the most prevalent compliance issues they face.

To better connect GNP pharmacies to patients, AmerisourceBergen boosted its social media offering with a newly refaced GNP Facebook and GNP website, and a new GNP app. “We see this as a platform for growth,” Neu said.

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PHARMACY

Riding momentum, customer loyalty

BY Jim Frederick

The supermarket industry’s biggest engine appears to be firing on nearly all cylinders.

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Kroger has become one of the nation’s leading operators of in-store clinics. “Due to years of strong growth, The Little Clinic expansion is becoming more aggressive,” Kroger reported last year, “with 55 clinic openings … [in] 2014, including expansion into two new divisions [Central and Mid-Atlantic].” That aggressive strategy boosted The Little Clinic network to 165 units in eight states, including Colorado, Arizona, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia and Georgia.

Kroger’s pharmacies also continue to reach customers with new preventive health-and-wellness services. “Everyday pharmacy services include vaccinations, medication therapy management and a variety of health screenings,” the company reported. “Many locations offer more intensive education and management programs, such as diabetes and heart-healthy coaching, diabetes self-management education, fitness, nutrition and weight management, and smoking cessation. Kroger also is utilizing innovative methods to improve medication adherence, reduce hospital readmissions and lower total healthcare costs.”

“Collaboration has been a key to our success,” said Kroger clinical coordinator Jim Kirby. “Partnering with organizations like the APhA Foundation, health systems and universities has enabled us to develop and test unique interventions. These programs are using a team-based approach to provide patient-centered care and improve health outcomes.”

Key to Kroger’s overall success has been its ability to tailor its customer loyalty and health-and-wellness programs to local markets and regional preferences. “We continue to differentiate ourselves through customer insights gained by analyzing customer shopping habits and behavior,” Kroger reported. “Years of experience in data analytics have made us exponentially better at personalization and individualized rewards.”

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