L&S Discount Pharmacy and Parata go way back. As a pharmacy with one of the first 100 Robotic Dispensing Systems (RDS) in use, L&S was already familiar with Parata’s approach to improving pharmacy workflow. So, when Tripp Logan and his father Richard made plans to roll out a new medication adherence program that consolidates patients’ medications, increases convenience, and establishes regular, high-value touch points, they trusted Parata’s Max to help.
“We weren’t helping our patients manage their chronic conditions — we were reacting to their medication needs four to six times each month,” says Tripp.
L&S transitioned chronically ill patients on multiple medications to their new adherence program and — bolstered by the speed and efficiency of Max — was able to improve the quality of care for their patients as well as their own workflow.
“We were able to offer our patients convenience by reducing trips to the pharmacy and improve care by emphasizing the quality of each visit,” Tripp explains. “Our adherence program accounts for nearly one-third of our patients, so we’re able to plan ahead. We know when patients will receive their monthly medications and we can make the most of our interactions with them.”
Because the most common prescriptions in the adherence initiative are chronic medications, fast movers and generics, L&S is able to automate up to 70 percent of the program’s fills with Parata Max dispensing solution.
“With Parata Max filling the bulk of prescriptions for our adherence initiative, our technicians are free to engage patients through regular care calls,” says Tripp. “We check in with patients about their health, secure prior approvals or suggest more affordable drugs.”
Max allows the staff at L&S to be proactive in filling prescriptions. “Some days may look slow on the retail side, but behind it all Max is running non-stop,” says Tripp. “Our pharmacy staff members are then free to manage our most chronically ill patients — some manage up to 400 of the sickest patients.”
It’s been 10 years since the pharmacy team embraced Max, impressed by its speed and ability to keep working through medication, vial, and cap replenishment. With Max’s help, the team at L&S was able to launch an adherence plan so successful it caught the eye of many in the industry.
It wasn’t long before L&S could prove their success.
In 2009, the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations asked L&S Pharmacy to participate in a national pilot program around adherence. Results were so amazing that Pfizer couldn’t get enough. They analyzed five years of data to show the business impact of the adherence program, including significant increases in adherence measures, profit margins, and generic utilization.
What the data said about participants in L&S’s adherence program
With data telling such a successful story, L&S wasn’t about to stop just because the numbers were in. The Logans developed MedHere Today®, a comprehensive medication adherence service providing pharmacists with tools to create and track the impact of adherence programs.
“With MedHere Today, we’ve built a network of more than 60 pharmacies focused on patient care and prepared to make a difference in the health care system,” explains Tripp.
Back in 2009, the goal was to just get all a patient’s medications in sync, but L&S not only focused on syncing tablets but also coordinating sales and delivery.
“We found that syncing didn’t solve all the problems for patients who are very ill because their medications tend to change often,” says Tripp. “We decided a dedicated Pharmacy Care Coordinator assigned to patients really helped.”
With Max enabling the team to spend more time on patients and their care, L&S has continued to see their business grow.
“Every six months or so we have a re-invention. We think about how we engage with patients,” Tripp tells us. “It’s really more about care coordination, the right dose, the right prescription, the best cost, perfect timing for delivery, and access. Our focus is broader than just medication synchronization.”
With so much at stake, timing is everything. Before they open, when they’re open, and while the team is caring for patients, Max ensures L&S can fill a whole lot of scripts with minimal burden on staff.
“We are very dependent on Max,” says Tripp. “In the past 10 years, Max has proved to be very durable. When you use something so heavily, you expect it to need a bit of attention here and there. Any time we’ve needed them, Parata’s service and support are always very responsive.”
Having upgraded a few parts here and there over the years, Tripp says he’s met a few Parata techs and has been impressed by them all.
“We still know our Parata techs by name, and that’s a testament to the caliber of people working there,” he elaborated. “We know a dedicated person will come to work with us, and we know his name!”
“A pharmacist’s time is valuable, but so is the staff’s time. The more we can free up staff to capitalize on time with patients, the better care we can provide and the more patients we can retain. Instead of counting pills, our techs and patient-facing teams gain touchpoints with those we care for. In those instances, our staff’s time is more important than the pharmacist’s. Freeing up their time is a game-changer.”