Austin Brown, PharmD
Vice President, Advanced Care Provider Network
Luminary, CPESN of Michigan
After the initial push administering COVID vaccines for the first nine months of the year, our team is now setting their sights on the next elephant in the room: addressing patients who need additional doses in the midst of flu season. Of course, there are patients that are more than capable of visiting us in the pharmacy. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last year, there are far more people we can help that don’t have that ability.
Establishing mobile drive thru clinics was a popular option to give people easier access to vaccines earlier in the year, especially from elderly and special needs patients. We were lucky to have the support from our community in making these efforts a success, and word about our efforts spread quickly. By participating in these types of activities, more doors have opened for the pharmacy.
Local agencies and providers tasked with caring for these high-risk, low income patients have struggled to ensure they not only have equal access to immunizations, but a team who is able to administer them. With many healthcare companies spread thin, finding qualified staff to give vaccines has been a challenge. Our pharmacy group also recognized this need, and brought our mobile immunization team back into action. We have now established a contract with a local agency to provide immunization and pharmacy services in the homes of high-risk, underserved patients. The initial focus will be protecting patients from COVID, but from there, our goal is to begin providing other services (adherence packaging, prescription delivery, etc) to improve health outcomes for the patients who need it most.