PHARMACY

NCPA announces dates for ‘Re-Engineering Your Pharmacy Practice Boot Camp’

BY Michael Johnsen

 

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Community Pharmacists Association on Thursday announced a new educational program to empower community pharmacy owners to re-engineer their practices to participate in clinical service opportunities. The Re-Engineering Your Pharmacy Practice Boot Camp, to be held Aug. 12-13 in Alexandria, Va., will feature peer-to-peer learning and best practices from five speakers who have successfully implemented expanded clinical services in community pharmacies.

"The health care market is evolving to a value-based model, and it's more important than ever for community pharmacies to evolve their business model today to be more successful tomorrow," stated Bradley Arthur, NCPA president and co-owner of Black Rock Pharmacy and Brighton-Eggert Pharmacy in Buffalo, N.Y. "I am excited about this new program from NCPA because it will help many pharmacy owners get started with the process of expanding their pharmacy's clinical services and filling gaps in care in their local communities. I encourage pharmacy owners and managers to join us in August for this energetic and in-depth look at how to re-invent your business."

The day-and-a-half-long program will provide 7.5 hours of continuing education credits and cover topics such as optimizing the dispensing process; streamlining workflow and engaging staff; financial considerations for building an expanded services portfolio; how to use technology to document clinical encounters; and developing a brand to launch a new suite of services.

Featured speakers at the program include David D. Pope, chief of innovation at Creative Pharmacist; Joe Moose, co-owner of Moose Pharmacy in Concord, N.C.; Tripp Logan, part owner of L & S Pharmacy, Medical Arts Pharmacy and New Madrid Pharmacy in Missouri; Elaine Ladd, owner of Ladd Family Pharmacy in Boise, Idaho; and Ashley Branham, director of clinical services at Moose Pharmacy.

Boot Camp attendees will also have opportunities for ongoing interaction with the speakers after the program is over through a series of conference calls so they can continue to get advice and feedback while implementing changes in their pharmacy.

The Re-Engineering Your Pharmacy Practice Boot Camp is sponsored by Amneal, IMS Health, and PioneerRx, with additional sponsorship opportunities available, NCPA noted.

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Letters to House Ways and Means Subcommittee underscore pharmacy value

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON – Reps. Todd Yong, R-Ind., and Ron Kind, D-Wis., issued statements this week to the United States House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health in support of pharmacists having a larger role in health care as part of a hearing on legislation to improve and sustain the Medicare program, the American Pharmacists Association reported Thursday.

The Congressmen’s statements add fuel to feedback that the APhA provided to the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health earlier this month on how to improve and sustain the Medicare program. APhA referred to pharmacists as a valuable, but often overlooked, member of the health care team and strongly urged for support of H.R. 592 and the companion legislation in the Senate, known as S. 314.

Rep. Kind, an original cosponsor of the  Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (H.R. 592), highlighted the many services pharmacists provide within their scope of practice beyond the safe distribution of medication.

“They conduct health and wellness screenings, manage chronic diseases, provide medication management, facilitate care transitions and administer immunizations,” Kind noted. “This legislation would allow the pharmacists serving medically underserved communities to be reimbursed for the services they provide.”

Similarly, Rep. Young shared his support for H.R. 592 and awareness of the increasingly important role that pharmacists play in the delivery of services, including key roles in new models of care beyond the traditional fee-for-service structure. “In addition to medication adherence services such as medication therapy management, pharmacists are capable of providing many other cost-saving services, subject to state scope of practice laws, including health tests, helping to manage chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease and expanded immunization services,” he said.

Young added that the “lack of pharmacist recognition as a provider by third party payors, including Medicare and Medicaid, limits the number and types of services pharmacists can provide, even though fully qualified to do so. H.R. 592 will allow Medicare Part B to utilize pharmacists to their full capability.”

Congressman Young closed his letter with a key message: “This legislation would lead not only to reduced overall healthcare costs, but also to increased access to healthcare services and improved healthcare quality.”

“We are thankful that Representatives Young and Kind took the time to write statements in  support for the roles that pharmacists play on the health care team,” stated Thomas Menighan, APhA EVP and CEO. “Millions of Americans lack access to health care and with nearly 86% of Americans living within five miles of a pharmacy, pharmacists are well positioned to help improve patient access and quality while decreasing costs.”
 

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Is it inspiration or perspiration? Innovation as a repeatable process

BY Susan B. Levy

Companies large and small all want “innovation,” although most organizations don’t have a concise definition of the term or how to achieve it. The myth of innovation is that brilliant ideas leap fully formed from the minds of geniuses. The reality is that innovation is a repeatable process. And while “process” sounds like the boring antithesis of innovation, companies that focus on innovation process are more likely to achieve innovation than companies waiting for innovation to randomly strike.

Achieving innovation is the result of a repeatable process that requires the use of the following steps.

Step 1: Employing targeted ideation to generate relevant solutions to unmet needs. Best-in-class innovation requires input in the form of a clear strategic context, the establishment of a creative culture and an understanding of unmet needs. Only then can the organization efficiently stimulate ideas. 

Idea stimulation is an ongoing and, therefore, time-consuming process that requires significant external thinking: development of innovation networks, establishment of collaborations with suppliers and universities, actively maintaining an awareness of trends in competitive and related fields, attendance at conferences, etc. There is no “one size fits all;” even the smallest organizations can achieve greater ideation by engaging more “outside the box.”

Step 2: Understanding and selecting the most valuable ideas via development of an objective portfolio management process. Research has shown that most innovative companies also are the most ruthless at culling down ideas. Ultimately, the projects that a company selects to move forward are investment decisions, and innovative companies progress the best ideas that will deliver the greatest value for the resources required to implement them. This assessment requires an evaluation of the project’s likelihood of success and value. Rather than using a sales measure, the true value of a project resides in the difference between the “do something” and the “do nothing” scenarios — innovators need to be willing to obsolete themselves, and this measure enables an “apples to apples” comparison across different project types. Once the most valuable projects have been determined, the organization also should ensure that the portfolio is balanced — across a range of innovation types, brands, launch years, etc.

Step 3: Utilizing an effective and efficient project management process. An innovation process can’t be deemed successful if the valuable ideas can’t be brought to fruition. Detailed plans and clear roles and responsibilities are required. Scope creep must be aggressively managed (or the project reassessed). Best project management practices also include the identification of risk and the early mitigation or elimination of potential issues.

Thomas A. Edison, arguably one of the greatest American innovators, once said: “Unfortunately, there seems to be far more opportunity out there than ability. We should remember that good fortune often happens when opportunity meets with preparation.” Implementing a robust, three-step innovation process can certainly increase the likelihood that organizations will efficiently implement the most valuable new ideas to drive success.

Susan B. Levy is founder and principal of Susan B. Levy Consulting, a boutique consulting firm that works exclusively with consumer healthcare companies to develop and implement growth strategies. A CHPA associate member, Susan B. Levy Consulting’s engagements include acquisitions and divestitures, technology search, Rx to OTC switch, geographic expansion, brand management and marketing initiatives. For more information, visit: susanblevyconsulting.com

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