Keep patients on track with medication synchronization, compliance packaging, and just-in-time delivery
Seven years ago Tyson Drug Co. owner Bob Lomenick started to hate his job. “I didn’t have time to eat lunch or go to the bathroom,” he explained. Today, however, his three pharmacies are filling four times as many prescriptions and are performing well on adherence-focused quality measures, and he has more time. “Now I love what I do,” Lomenick said.
His moment of enlightenment came when he visited another pharmacy during his time as chairman of Mississippi’s independent pharmacy board. During that visit, he saw how efficiently a pharmacy could operate if it synchronized customers’ medication refills.
“The growth we’ve seen over the past five years is proof that this model works,” Lomenick said. Med sync has improved his business and his personal life. “I did it for selfish reasons,” Lomenick said of his decision to start a medication synchronization program. “I was trying to make my life easier.”
But the program did more than free his time. Synchronizing medications:
Streamlined pharmacy efficiency. Their med sync program alone accounts for 800 patients across three pharmacies, totaling 18,000 prescriptions a month in a rural area of Mississippi with heavy enrollment in Medicare Part D and Medicaid. This allows the staff to better manage their time and frees up time for pharmacists to interact with patients in the store.
Improved patient adherence. In addition to synchronizing medications, the pharmacy offers free delivery and free strip packaging with the date and time for every dose. “We do everything we can to make sure patients are taking their medications correctly,” Lomenick said.
Provided better information to doctors. Before filling patients’ prescriptions each month, the pharmacy calls and asks patients whether they are having any problems or have made any medication changes. Synchronizing medications also reveals when patients don’t take their medications as prescribed because they are out of sync and aren’t ready for a refill on schedule. When the pharmacy finds a patient is not adherent, it sends a letter to that person’s physician. “A lot of times physicians assume patients are taking medications correctly,” Lomenick said. Knowing a patient isn’t fully adherent allows a physician to consider alternative treatments.
Eased the burden on patients and caregivers. The pharmacy explains how its synchronization and packaging frees patients and their caregivers from sorting out doses into a pill box every week. Afterward, they can see at a glance if they have taken a scheduled medication.
Boosted the pharmacy’s performance on quality measures. Lomenick’s records show patients at 100% PDC in several categories. And although many of the health plans his pharmacy works with don’t participate in EQuIPP™, which limits the amount of quality measurement data that is available, each of the Tyson Drug pharmacies has scored above the five-star goal level for at least one adherence measure.