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Your Rx count: predictable or not?

Pharmacy leaders appreciate that some percentage of their Rx count is predictable and the rest is unpredictable. The leverage comes in pushing the scale toward the predictable side

I can predict the future. Allow me to make a prediction.

There will come a time in the not-so-distant future where your pharmacy telephone will ring, you will stop what you are doing and take a request to refill someone’s medication. While this is not an Earth-shattering, Nobel prize-worthy premonition for the pharmacy industry, imagine how often that simple transaction occurs. Recognizing predictability, this is something you can leverage.

Pharmacy leaders appreciate that some percentage of their Rx count is predictable and the rest is unpredictable. The leverage comes in pushing the scale toward the predictable side.

 

Jason Chenard chart

Dispensaries with high unpredictable Rx counts are reactively pulled in various directions and end up being inefficient, more error-prone, have less time for training and less time for deep patient interventions. Recognising that the walk-in-clinic Rxs, antibiotics and hospital discharges will not go away, the power is optimizing the Rx count you can control. The compliance packaging, med synchronized refills, called-in ahead work can be fine-tuned to complete when you are less busy.

It changes the urgent work into non-urgent work, opening the door to more meaningful patient interactions, maximized clinical services, more seamless staff development and as a by-product, better business models.

Adding in more and more predictability techniques will empower your pharmacy to have patients come in for high-value visits, less often (instead of low-value, high frequent trips). To fully realize the benefits, stack as many techniques as you can like central fill, using Regulated Technicians to their full scope, faxing prescribers on last refill, converting to blister packs, creating task lists for different staff positions, batch billing your blister packs, using autofill software, implementing IVR and mobile app reordering.

Know where your time-of-day and day-of-week strengths and weaknesses are. When is your foot traffic happening? Where are your routine projects like sale tags or seasonal projects like flu shots? Power up with the best staff schedule for the predictable need.

Make a chronological list of your cyclical injection patients. Have a 'fast-mover' drug shelf, pre-count common antibiotic regimens ordered from the walk-in-clinic next door, stock bottles of 100s instead of 500s to reduce counting. 

Understanding your patients’ habits, look for repetitive areas to take the lead of patients' drug regimens. Fill other medications that are due (along with their spouses) around the same time to optimize their trip.

Have the right systems to have their meds ready ahead of time, without ownings or insurance problems so you can inject, perform medication reviews, recommend OTCs, tapper opioids and prescribe.

The Labcoat to Leader course describes common areas where you can take control of the chaos and spin it to your advantage. By being a leader of predictability, your pharmacy can capitalize on moments to create time when your patients need it most.

 

 

 

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