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An Opportunistic Time in Community Pharmacy

Daniel L. Krinsky, M.S., R.Ph.



Wow, it is a very challenging, yet opportunistic time, in community pharmacy! The recent New York Times article: “How Chaos at Chain Pharmacies Is Putting Patients at Risk,” (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/31/health/pharmacists-medication-errors.html) highlighting patient safety concerns in pharmacies, brings to light in a more public forum many issues we all recognize as important to our patients and profession. What are YOU going to do? We have a responsibility to our patients to practice pharmacy at the top of our license, addressing efficacy and safety issues, for each prescription. Pharmacists participating in the Flip the Pharmacy (FTP) campaign are well-positioned to deliver the highest quality care in a consistent manner.

In speaking with pharmacists who work in FTP locations, successes abound. Pharmacists and Patients love the expanded approach to patient care in community pharmacy! In addition to delivering traditional MTM services, the ‘change initiatives’ provide opportunities for more focused patient interactions. Instead of a more global discussion about ALL the changes a patient should make, a more specific discussion regarding how to get blood pressure under control is important and can be done in a few minutes. Taking small steps to help patients is showing positive results, is less confusing, and helps build rapport with those who otherwise were not engaged at this level.

Techs are critical for success. These pharmacists also mentioned how the additional pharmacy technician engagement has helped enhance customer and patient relationships and their job satisfaction. Techs are helping with expanded opportunities to recruit, ask initial questions to identify needs, work collaboratively with the pharmacists and free time for the pharmacists to deliver higher-level services.

The FTP Campaign is working, but this is just the beginning of a journey to advance our profession and improve the quality of life for our patients, and ourselves. All the Best!

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