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The Business of Taking Care of People

Over the past two years, I have transitioned from the role of student to resident to full-time pharmacist. From my days as an intern at an independent pharmacy in Morgantown, WV, to my residency at Asti’s South Hills Pharmacy in Pittsburgh, to my current role at Moundsville Pharmacy in the Northern panhandle of WV, I have learned that taking care of people is a business.

Pharmacists pride themselves on knowing their patients. Community pharmacies far and wide will tell you that they always go the extra mile for their patients. We as pharmacists provide excellent patient care, and in many cases serve as the most accessible healthcare provider in our communities, especially in rural areas! Additionally, many community pharmacies across the country provide exceptionally innovative paint care services. So, why do we do it? To take care of the patient!

The problem is, taking care of people is not that easy! It’s a business, and pharmacists effectively give away a large portion of their time and many of their services every day. So whether we are engaging a patient in motivational interviewing for smoking cessation, or helping a technician learn a new role to help kickstart a new medication synchronization program, we are tapping into skills that we never learned in pharmacy school. We are constantly moving people, and we are doing so in order to build sustainable business practices that allow us to continue taking care of our patients.

So, if we assimilate the action of moving people to sales, allow me to share with you my Flip the Pharmacy “Pixar Pitch.”

Once upon a time there was a pharmacist. She was the best in town!

Everyday her patients would comment on the excellent service. However, she often questioned how she could sustain the level of care she was providing, let alone take her patient care services to the next level.

One day the pharmacist discovered Flip the Pharmacy. She got in touch with the team leads in her state and decided to follow along with the change packages.

Because of that, the pharmacy team was able to grow their Med Sync program and began submitting ECare plans.

Because of that, the pharmacy team was prepared to optimize their performance in value-based payment opportunities with local payer groups in addition to maximizing their outcomes on MTM opportunities.

Until finally, the pharmacist enrolled her pharmacy in her local CPESN Network. In part due to Flip the Pharmacy, this network had expanded and advanced to the point that they were able to secure a payer contract with a local MCO. This allowed the pharmacist to happily sustain her pharmacy’s patient care services and continue taking care of her patients.

It is a privilege to serve as a coach for Flip the Pharmacy. As a West Virginia University grad, it brings me great joy to give back to our newly formed CPESN Network in West Virginia. I carry with me the lessons that I learned during my residency with the University of Pittsburgh and Asti’s Pharmacy through their involvement with PPCN in Pennsylvania, and I am beyond excited to continue to be involved in this movement. Flip the Pharmacy: ensuring that we all stay in the business of taking care of people.

Written by Evan Turco, PharmD, Pharmacist at Moundsville Pharmacy and PTT Coach

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