Unlock the key to pharmacy's future

Monday, November 23, 2015

David Pope is excited about the future of community pharmacy and its push toward “quality.” Pope, a pharmacist and CDE, is the chief of innovation and co-founder of Creative Pharmacist, which has created a documentation and communication system for pharmacies. Pope helped develop content for the National Community Pharmacists Association’s new five-part video series, “Rethink Pharmacy.” Pope spoke with HME News recently about adopting a more clinical mindset.
The clinical community pharmacist
All pharmacists are clinical by nature, says Pope, even those in small communities. They are well positioned to help in chronic care management, and are more readily accessible.
“Patients may see their physician four times per year, and see their pharmacist 30 times a year,” he said. “If we have that access, why don’t we change the refill process to say, ‘OK, here’s your medicine,’ into a quick session where we can determine (how the patient is doing) and answer the question: Is this drug effective?”
Technology as backbone
As new models evolve where pharmacists are getting paid for clinical services, technology is key for tracking services, chronic care management and communication, says Pope.
“We are not just focused on meds,” he said. “We are now focused on the lifestyle side and can help hold them accountable. If we can offer information on disease states and how to improve their lives—from a smoking cessation standpoint, from a COPD standpoint—we can provide that information, as well as encouragement and accountability. That’s a powerful combination and technology is key for that.”
Marketing with intent
Gone are the days of naming your business “discount” and waving a flag touting your great customer service and 50 years in business, says Pope.
“Those things still matter, but they are not part of the DNA of the pharmacist,” he said. “The key now is quality. When you come to a pharmacy that is exhibiting the ideals of the clinical community pharmacy that we outline in the videos, you are more than likely to drive farther or pay differently for those services because you as a diabetes patient want help. People have better outcomes. Therefore, you have to market yourself that way.”