We have been working diligently to leverage the appointment-based model, improve workflow, master technology platforms and involve all staff in practice transformation. Up to this point, much of the transformation has been internal – inside the pharmacy’s four walls . Now it is time to direct our eyes through that front window to the physician offices down the street or perhaps in the same building. It is time to become external. We must continue to amass a collection of highly valuable and beneficial clinical data that physicians need. Then, we must market pharmacy’s value with this amassed data, demonstrating how we can significantly inform provider decision-making.
Making that first contact, most effectively in person, is all important. It’s not that our pharmacists have never reached out to physicians before, they just have not typically reached out to them in this manner – as a peer provider discussing mutual patients as potential referrals for pharmacy services. This requires a degree of extroversion. This venture is not with empty hands, however. The pharmacy provider will possess a shared patient list and a collection of clinical data on these shared patients. What the physician has used previously as decision points (blood pressure measurement taken in an exam room) has now become a higher-resolution picture of blood pressure at tighter intervals of time. Consider what can be added to this clinical treasure trove: blood glucose and HgA1c, opioid management notes, social determinants of health assessments, and more.
The potential return on this outward venture can re-write the trajectory of a community pharmacy and physician practice, and while doing so positively impact patients’ lives.