Role Of The Pharmacist ELearning Series, Part 2: Just How Big Are The Gaps?

Role of the Pharmacist eLearning series, Part 2: Just How Big are the Gaps?

This eLearning series, which we will release over the next few weeks, addresses the changing healthcare environment, the importance of technology as a tool to achieve improved care and efficiency, and the opportunities for pharmacists to play new strategic roles.

In the long-standing traditional model of healthcare, providers and payers act in silos, without communicating with the patient or with each other. To provide more efficient, effective patient care, our system must change. In this second part of our eLearning series, we’ll look at some of the gaps in our current healthcare system.

Part 2: Just how big are the gaps?

While healthcare in the U.S. is considered among the highest in quality, it is also among the most costly with inefficiencies and significant gaps in care. The 2011 National Scorecard on U.S. Health System Performance found that care coordination is rare and almost half of Americans reported communication problems with their primary care physician.


Emerging Role Pharmacist Healthcare Ecosystem - Part 2 - Big Gaps Say a patient interacts with a primary care doctor, then a specialist, a pharmacist, a hospital and an insurer. In many cases, the patient’s health information is left behind while that patient moves through the system, leaving the various providers to work without full awareness of the patient’s history, health and care plan.

Only 43% of adults with health problems could rapidly get an appointment when they were sick, 19% of U.S. patients reported undergoing duplicate tests, and only half received all recommended screening and preventive care.

— National Scorecard on U.S. Health System Performance, 2008

This lack of coordination leads to duplicate processes and care, such as the patient filling out separate forms for each care team player and providers authorizing duplicate tests or prescribing conflicting drugs — driving the cost of care up and the quality of care down.

Later in the series, we will identify opportunities to bridge these gaps in patient care. Check back soon for Part Three: What’s Missing in the Current Healthcare Ecosystem?

And, be sure to download our complete related eBook, “The Emerging Role of the Pharmacist in the Healthcare Ecosystem,” and its accompanying infographic.


NEW! ELearning Series: The Emerging Role Of The Pharmacist In The Healthcare Ecosystem

NEW! eLearning Series: The Emerging Role of the Pharmacist in the Healthcare Ecosystem

This eLearning series, which we will release over the next few weeks, addresses the changing healthcare environment, the importance of technology as a tool to achieve improved care and efficiency, and the opportunities for pharmacists to play new strategic roles.

In developing this six-part series, we worked with a team of industry experts to provide perspectives from a variety of healthcare team members, including pharmacists, technology providers, regulatory experts, accountable care organizations and collaborative care networks.

Part 1: What’s ailing the traditional model?

While healthcare in the U.S. is considered among the highest in quality, it is also among the most costly with inefficiencies and significant gaps in care. Payments are based on volume, not value or outcomes.

Emerging Role Pharmacist Healthcare Ecosystem - Part 1 - The Ailing Traditional Model

Such gaps and fragmented care highlight the need for a whole-system approach to care delivery, where performance is measured and providers are held accountable across the continuum of care. As initiatives under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are advanced, patient care is becoming more integrated and coordinated, focusing on the value and quality of care rather than on volume of services provided.

Increasingly, pharmacists are being recognized as strategic members of a patient’s integrated healthcare team. They have the qualifications and experience to play an even greater role in patient care, expand their businesses and increase their revenue streams.

For the 11th consecutive year, pharmacists have ranked among
the top three most trusted professionals in the U.S.
— December 2013 Gallup poll

Later in the series, we will identify opportunities for pharmacists to make a big impact. Check back soon for Part Two: Just How Big are the Gaps?

And, be sure to download our complete related eBook, “The Emerging Role of the Pharmacist in the Healthcare Ecosystem,” and its accompanying infographic.


Webinar on March 17: Pharmacist + Technology = Momentum

The changing healthcare landscape presents its challenges, but it also creates big opportunities for pharmacists. Now is the time for pharmacists to take a more strategic role on the healthcare team — to improve outcomes for your patients and your pharmacy.

We’ve teamed up with two experts in the changing healthcare industry to present a webinar on the topic.

Pharmacist + Technology = Momentum
Promising Players on the Healthcare Team

Join us Monday, March 17 at 3 p.m. EST to learn how pharmacists can:

  • Navigate the changing healthcare system
  • Form partnerships with key stakeholders to improve adherence and patient care
  • Leverage new business models and technology to create business opportunities

This webinar is geared towards pharmacists of all types and to other players on the integrated healthcare team looking to partner with pharmacists who can impact outcomes and bottom lines. Register for the webinar today.

Register Now

About the Presenters

Nancy Blough, Executive Vice President at American Health Data Institute, works with ACO teams across the country. She’ll tell you that right now, most pharmacists aren’t at the table. Nancy will share how you can define your role on the healthcare team and your involvement in ACOs.

Ryan Moore is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist with Cornerstone Health Care, one of the largest ACOs in the Southeast. Ryan will discuss strategies for community pharmacists to get their foot in the door with ACOs and provide examples from Cornerstone’s experience.

Questions for the presenters?

If there are specific questions you’d like Nancy and Ryan to address, please let us know in the comments below, or in an email to

Parata CEO Tom Rhoads to Speak at World Congress Summit

We’re excited to announce that our very own CEO Tom Rhoads will be speaking at the 2nd Annual World Congress Summit to Improve Adherence and Enhance Patient Engagement.

He’ll join Jon Easter of GlaxoSmithKline and Troy Trygstadt of Community Care North Carolina on March 10 at 9:30 a.m. for the presentation, “Interesting Times, Interesting Partners.”
They’ll discuss how the healthcare system is shifting towards a value-based model and how predictive analytics can help identify opportunities for adherence counseling and medical therapy management in a way that impacts outcomes before patients are sick with multiple chronic conditions.

Tom will specifically discuss the “touch gap” and how community pharmacists can take a proactive approach to fill this role. He’ll explain how implementing high-tech, high-touch technology, systems and processes can empower pharmacists as critical members of the interdisciplinary team.

The World Congress Summit to Improve Adherence & Enhance Patient Engagement will convene leaders across the healthcare industry to share innovations and strategies that address the challenges of achieving better adherence. It will be held at the Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philadelphia on March 10-11, 2014. Learn more about the event.

Good luck, Tom!

Parata’s Director of Sales Operations, Andrea Overfield, wins 2014 Stevie Award

Andrea Overfield - Stevie AwardWe’re thrilled to announce that Andrea Overfield, our director of sales operations, was recently awarded a Silver Stevie Award for Sales Operations Professional of the Year!

Andrea has spent more than 10 years playing a key role in building the infrastructure, processes, and procedures to support our team of sales professionals.  During Andrea’s tenure, the company earned a 25% reduction in velocity (number of days from opportunity creation to close) for Closed/Won opportunities and a 19% average annual rise in opportunity creation. With support from our HR and training teams, Andrea has also been instrumental in the customization of The Brooks Group’s IMPACT Selling® and Sales Management Workshop™ training and reinforcement programs for our sales force. In 2013, she was named one of the Top Sales Operations Leaders to Watch by sales and marketing consulting services leader, Sales Benchmark Index.

Our executive vice president of sales and business development, Jay Blandford, commented: “Andrea has the unique ability to think about sales operations with a comprehensive past-present-future mentality. This trait, combined with her deep understanding of the importance of a supportive, unified sales force, is what makes her such an incredible asset to the team.”

To read more about today’s announcement, see the full release.

Please join us in congratulating Andrea!

How Does the Affordable Care Act Impact Independent Pharmacists?

It’s no secret that health care reform and the Affordable Care Act are changing the game for all the players on the healthcare team — including pharmacists.

As we look for ways to support patient wellness and combat our climbing healthcare costs, everyone is going to have to play differently. We’re on the fast track to a collaborative, integrated approach to caring for patients.

How did we get here, and what does it mean for independent pharmacists?

Let’s talk business in the new healthcare system.

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to dive deeper into these issues. What is the pharmacist’s role on the new healthcare team? How do independent pharmacists stay relevant in this new, value-based system? How do you become a critical part of new care models and show your impact? How do you use this time of uncertainty as a huge opportunity to drive business growth?

Stay tuned. We’re working with industry experts to gather answers and insights, and we’ll share them with you soon.

Video Transcript

“The healthcare crisis.”

We’ve all heard that phrase tossed around lately. Health care reform and the Affordable Care Act are changing the rules — significantly and rapidly. Let’s look at how we got here in the first place.

To put it simply, our healthcare costs have been climbing since 1990. Despite the spending, we’re not getting any healthier. Patient outcomes continue to decline.

A few things are contributing to this. We have a large aging population and higher life expectancy. And, a significant portion of our population is managing one or more chronic illnesses. Heart disease, diabetes, and cancer account for 80 percent of America’s health care spending.

So we have more people — sicker people — living longer, and requiring treatment over a longer period of time.

This led to a volume-driven healthcare system. Physicians, hospitals, and pharmacists were paid for each transaction. More transactions meant a bigger paycheck.

Well, healthcare reform is changing all of that — Obamacare or not. The shift has started, and there’s no going back.

We’re moving towards a value-based healthcare system, focused on a triple aim:
Parata’s pharmacy technology solution
1) better care
2) healthy people
3) and reduced costs

This means providers have to follow new rules. They must focus on the quality of care and impacting patient outcomes.

For independent pharmacists, this raises a big question: Will you be relevant in this new system?

We think you can be.

To pull it off, you’ll need a new approach. You’ll have to forge new partnerships to create the volume you need to stay in business. You’ll have to leverage technology to keep up with that demand and reduce your costs. And you’ll have to put the patient’s wellness first.

We’re here to help. Learn how Parata’s Pharmacy Technology Solutions put you out in front.

CVS Tobacco Ban a Sign of the Times?

CVS Caremark announced yesterday that they will stop selling tobacco products in their stores. This change, effective October 1, 2014, will affect all 7,400 CVS Caremark stores across the United States, representing about $1.5 billion worth of sales in tobacco products each year.

cvs-caremark-stops-selling-tobacco-in-pharmacies1<“Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health,” said Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO, CVS Caremark. “Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.” Merlo continued, “As the delivery of health care evolves with an emphasis on better health outcomes, reducing chronic disease and controlling costs, CVS Caremark is playing an expanded role in providing care through our pharmacists and nurse practitioners. The significant action we’re taking today by removing tobacco products from our retail shelves further distinguishes us in how we are serving our patients, clients and health care providers and better positions us for continued growth in the evolving health care marketplace.”

What do we think about the CVS ban on tobacco?

Well played, CVS. We commend your decision to put your customers’ wellness before your company’s profits!

Lung cancer, just one of the complications associated with the use of tobacco products, is the second most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women in the United States. The American Society of Clinical Oncology estimates that in 2013 alone, nearly 230,000 adults were diagnosed with lung cancer. Add that to about 375,000 Americans living with lung cancer, and you have a pretty grim picture.

Until this point, pharmacists’ role in supporting patients with conditions like lung cancer has consisted mostly of helping manage medications during the treatment process. Perhaps some forward-thinking pharmacists were also offering lifestyle coaching or tobacco cessation programs.

CVS’ bold move goes much further, positioning pharmacies and pharmacists to help prevent disease by eliminating the sale of tobacco at their stores.

As America works to reform our healthcare system, this is the type of stance and action that key players on the healthcare team will be challenged to take.

At Parata, we encourage our employees to make healthy choices by providing a price differential on insurance premiums for being tobacco-free. We also cover the cost of tobacco cessation programs to support employees who want to quit.

As a technology partner to pharmacies, we provide tools that empower pharmacists to take an active, personal role in patient care so they can play a critical part in keeping patients healthy — even before disease starts.

And we can’t help but wonder: will other pharmacies follow suit?

Tell us: do you sell tobacco products in your pharmacy? Will you continue? And if so, why?

For more information about CVS’ decision, read the full press release from CVS Caremark.


Nominations Open for 2014 Next-Generation Pharmacist Awards

Do you know — or are you — a pharmacist who is defining the future of the industry? Nominate him, her or yourself for the Next-Generation Pharmacist awards.

About the Next-Generation Pharmacist Awards
Co-founded by Parata and Pharmacy Times, this national awards program honors pharmacists, technicians, students and industry advocates who are defining the future of pharmacy. Since 2010, more than 100 pharmacy leaders have been named finalists or winners.

“We are so proud of how this program has grown. Over the past five years, this program has gained tremendous industry respect and continues to evolve to better serve and honor pharmacists,” said Ashley Talamo, Associate Publisher, Pharmacy Times. “We expect this year’s milestone event to exceed all expectations and attract even greater participation from the pharmacy and healthcare industries.”

The Next-Generation Pharmacist awards will be held at the Fairmont Copley Square, Boston hotel on Sunday, August 24th.

Encouraging Innovation and Inspiration in the Industry
In addition to the awards, this year’s Next Generation Pharmacist program will host a panel of experts dedicated to sharing their thoughts on the future of pharmacy, including the growing role of pharmacists in the value-driven healthcare ecosystem.

“The healthcare industry, and its impact on patients, is changing at an unprecedented pace. Pharmacists are redefining their role in this evolving value-driven healthcare system. Our vision of a Next-Generation Pharmacist is one who not only embraces this change but is helping to shape the future,” explained Tom Rhoads, CEO, Parata Systems. “Our Next Generation Pharmacists are leveraging new ideas and innovations to improve patient outcomes and earning a more strategic role at the healthcare table. We look forward to recognizing and honoring them at this event.”

Nominate a Pharmacist
Nominations are now open and may be submitted through April 1st, 2014. To submit a nomination, visit

Want to learn more?
For more information about the Next-Generation Pharmacist awards, nominations and sponsorship opportunities, visit

And, connect with Next-Generation Pharmacist on Twitter (@nextgenpharm) and Facebook for regular updates.

5 Steps for Pharmacists to Secure a Spot on the New Healthcare Team

For years, America’s healthcare costs have continued to climb, but we’re not getting any healthier. Patient outcomes continue to decline. Healthcare reform aims to change all that with a triple aim: better care, healthy people and reduced costs.

In response, healthcare providers are learning new rules, trying out new tactics and developing new teams. For progressive pharmacists, this time of uncertainty provides a window of opportunity.

To secure your spot on the new healthcare team, follow these five tips:

1. Become familiar with your medical neighborhood.
As a community pharmacist, you’re already a central part of your local healthcare system. You have the influence and the access needed to motivate patients to make good choices. (According to Gallup’s 2013 poll, pharmacists are one of the most trusted professionals in the country, second only to nurses.) You’re the perfect player for the new healthcare team, so take this first step to secure your spot: Get to know the local organizations and practices that are working to develop new care models.

2. Approach the players in your area now.
Now that you know the players, it’s time to get in the game. Don’t wait for a proven formula for partnering with healthcare systems or accountable care organizations (ACOs) — that could be too late. Start conversations now with physicians, hospitals, home health agencies and other providers who are trying to figure out how to improve patient outcomes. Listen to their goals and needs. Help them understand what you offer so they realize how much they need it.

3. Define your own role on the new healthcare team.
How will your pharmacy help the team achieve its goals? If the organization struggles with transitions in care, develop a plan to help. About 30 percent of medications reviewed by a pharmacist post-discharge require an intervention. That’s an opportunity to catch costly mistakes and improve a patient’s care experience and wellness. Take control by identifying these opportunities and implementing plans to address them.

4. Look to high-tech, high-touch services for better care.
Technology is playing a critical role in new care models. Tools that keep patients engaged in their care plan and allow providers to monitor what’s going on with patients outside of office visits will help healthcare providers intervene when appropriate and determine the best use of resources for each patient. If you have solutions that could improve patients’ experiences and outcomes while reducing costs, bring them to the table.

5. Track your impact.
Establish a comprehensive, reportable way to track your involvement with patients. Document the extra touch points you establish, note patients’ participation in health screenings or immunizations, and file any medication interventions you assist with. The industry is redesigning care models, and much is in flux. Be prepared with data to show your impact — someday, someone will ask for it. When you can prove a positive impact on patient outcomes, everyone will want you on their team.

Join us at the 2014 Independent Pharmacy Business Growth Conference.

This is just the beginning. Join us at the PDS Growth Conference (February 27– March 1) to learn more about pharmacists’ changing role and how to ensure your success in the new healthcare arena.

We’re hosting an accredited CE session, “Pharmacist + Technology = Momentum: Promising Players on the Healthcare Team.” You’ll get actionable insights from industry leaders. Nancy Blough, who works with ACO teams across the country, will show you the formula for ACOs and pharmacists’ involvement. Ryan Moore from Cornerstone Health Care, a North Carolina-based ACO, will discuss strategies for community pharmacists to get their foot in the door and provide examples from Cornerstone’s experience.

Haven’t registered for the PDS Growth Conference yet? Register here and take advantage of our promo code (PARATA) to receive a $500 discount on your ticket to the conference!

To learn more about Parata, or to schedule a demo during the PDS Growth Conference, email us at

Pharmacists: Key Players in the Healthcare System

What can you expect from Parata at the 2014 Independent Pharmacy Business Growth Conference?

“Be prepared for actionable advice about how you, as independent pharmacists, can pursue business opportunities in a world with the Affordable Care Act,” said Jay Blandford, our executive VP of sales and business development during a recent webinar with Pharmacy Development Services.

The Affordable Care Act has created a shift in our healthcare system. The game is changing — fast. To stay relevant, independent pharmacists who want to grow their businesses need to get in the game.

Watch the video to learn:

  • How did we get to the ACA and this new healthcare landscape?
  • What does a value-based healthcare system mean for pharmacists?
  • How do you claim your seat at the table?
  • What will it take for pharmacy owners to thrive in 2014?

Watch the Video

Back To Top