Why Community Pharmacy Is the Future of Patient Care
Patrick U. Di Chiro, Senior Director of Marketing, EnlivenHealth™
When it comes to identifying comforting community institutions, people think of houses of worship, schools and the friendly local café. More recently, the local pharmacy has transformed from a place to pick up your prescriptions and maybe some shampoo to a trusted, full-service healthcare destination for the community.
It’s easy to see why. More than 95% of Americans live within 5 miles of a community pharmacy, making the pharmacist the most accessible and trusted healthcare provider – only nurses rank higher.
Local pharmacists have always strived to be more than medication dispensers. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, pharmacists now have the opportunity to practice at the top of their license, offering comforting support and vital healthcare expertise right next door.
Point of care testing, medication therapy management, opioid counseling, and even tips to help quit smoking are examples of the range of health and wellness services now offered by community pharmacies. The neighborhood pharmacy’s central role in healthcare has taken on new urgency as they are on the front lines of the national effort to administer the COVID-19 vaccine quickly and safely to hundreds of millions of Americans.
Digital technologies like EnlivenHealth’s CareScheduler solution are helping retail pharmacies nationwide to manage increased patient demand and workloads due to COVID-19. By automating the manual, paper-based processes of scheduling, consent collection, patient outreach and registry reporting, CareScheduler enables pharmacists to efficiently manage their vaccination programs, empowering pharmacists to shift focus to more value-based care services. Crucially, CareScheduler keeps patients and staff safe during the pandemic by minimizing the physical time spent in the pharmacy filling out and signing paper documents.
Other patient engagement tools, such as Medication Synchronization (Med Sync) solutions, have become essential components of medication adherence and patient retention programs. A pioneer in this appointment-based technology, EnlivenHealth™ has deployed its industry-leading Med Sync pharmacy software to more than 23,000 pharmacies across the U.S., helping them to efficiently manage appointment-based prescription refills while enhancing patient adherence.
Community pharmacies are using these pharmacy transformation technologies and tools to deliver a more personalized experience for patients, leading to measurably better health outcomes, lower costs, and healthier pharmacy businesses, too. In the process, these frontline healthcare heroes are helping to transform both the practice and business of retail pharmacy.