By Danny Sanchez, Senior Vice President and General Manager, EnlivenHealth™
On National Pharmacist Day, we want to recognize the increasingly important role that pharmacists play in their communities as their role expands beyond the traditional tasks of dispensing medications to being true healthcare providers who help keep patients healthy. We all know that pharmacists are the most accessible, and among the most trusted, healthcare professionals. That is good news for the critical goal of improving patient health and wellbeing, which is the mission that we’re all working towards.
However, with the pharmacists’ expanding role there are challenges as well. With the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic, fueled by new variants, pharmacies are experiencing high patient demand and operational challenges. Even pre-COVID, pharmacies were hard-pressed to keep up with the time-consuming work-flow and administrative challenges, like dispensing medications and adjudicating insurance claims.
At EnlivenHealth™ we understand. That’s why we work hard every day to empower pharmacies to grow and thrive by building powerful digital technologies that automate everything from patient engagement and clinical operations to financial management and population health programs. Our mission is to orchestrate these proven, digital technologies to enable pharmacists to practice at the top of their license. EnlivenHealth’s recent acquisition of pharmacy technology leaders MarkeTouch Media and FDS Amplicare further strengthen our efforts to achieve that critical mission.
As we survey the healthcare landscape in the year ahead, here are some of the other challenges and opportunities that we believe will be critical for pharmacists in 2022:
- Expanding Provider Status for Pharmacists – This is a major, ongoing initiative that we believe is vital to fully realizing the tremendous value that a pharmacist can bring to community health and the healthcare system overall. There has been good progress on this front in recent months, but there are still many roadblocks to overcome to ensure that pharmacists gain the ability to provide a growing range of clinical services and get reimbursed for them. Another key goal of this important advocacy program is allowing pharmacists to prescribe certain therapeutics, such as some of the new drugs that have proven in clinical trials to reduce COVID hospitalizations. A clause in the FDA’s emergency authorization means that these promising new COVID therapeutics can only be issued by physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistant. We believe that by giving pharmacists the ability to prescribe these new COVID therapeutics, many more patients will be able to access these life-saving medications.
- Streamlining Pharmacy Workflows – Pharmacies can only meet today’s growing healthcare challenges if they have the right technology. An example of that technology is EnlivenHealth’s new Personalized IVR (Interactive Voice Response) solution. Personalized IVR is a cloud-based voice technology that authenticates callers and delivers them to the correct pharmacy workflow. By minimizing the time staff spends on the phone answering questions about medication refills, pharmacy directions and hours of operation, Personalized IVR enables pharmacists to spend more time providing the personal touch that patients appreciate, and that expand the pharmacy’s business results.
Pharmacies now have an unprecedented opportunity to move to the Main Street of healthcare. Today’s new era pharmacy will be an essential player in advancing the necessary transformation of healthcare access, quality outcomes, and affordability. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digitization of nearly every aspect of healthcare service delivery, with providers, plans and patients increasingly relying on digital-first technologies to stay healthy and safe. EnlivenHealth™ is providing the industry-leading digital technologies that are helping to fuel this historic transformation for pharmacies and pharmacists, and for healthcare overall.
Happy National Pharmacist Day! We look forward to continuing the journey with you during this exciting time of pharmacy transformation.