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A Bright Future for Community Pharmacy

Eric Dierkes, PharmD, RPh

Ohio Northern University Healthwise PGY1 Resident

Before the start of my residency, I knew that I would have to adjust and learn numerous new policies, procedures, and workflows. One area that I felt like I knew I could handle well was going to be my time in our independent pharmacy, ONU Healthwise Pharmacy. I spent most of my college career working at one of my local independent pharmacies, Cheffy Drugs, located in Barnesville, Ohio. Familiarizing myself with the general workflow of an independent pharmacy for multiple years made me feel like the transition to a new pharmacy would be seamless.

During my first week, I was exposed to and explained how our pharmacy would be participating in a new program called “Flip the Pharmacy.” As I learned more about the path we would be embarking on, I was optimistic and eager! This venture would allow us to actually provide patient care in ways that pharmacists have always wanted to be involved in. Instead of just dispensing hypertension medications, we can check and record their blood pressure to see how these medications are working. Instead of just dispensing chronic opioid medications, we can work to see if we can get naloxone prescribed in case of emergency. As pharmacists, this program allows us to dive deeper into the problems we consistently see and actually document what pharmacists are doing each day!

In terms of the patient, their benefit is massive. The opportunity to have their health evaluated but not schedule an appointment that the patient may not have time to schedule is critical. The patient also has a great opportunity to forge a meaningful relationship with their pharmacist and receive valued healthcare knowledge as well. The more the pharmacist does and communicates with the patient, the stronger the bond should become.

With the trend of pharmacists being recognized for doing what we have been doing for so long, the future is bright for pharmacy. “Flip the Pharmacy” showcases this effort that we have put in and the more pharmacies that get involved with the program, the more that we as pharmacists can showcase all that we do for our patients and why we deserve to be seen as healthcare providers who can be trusted and utilized!

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