In 2016, John Bodtker was working at an independent pharmacy in the San Francisco Bay Area and seriously considering pharmacy ownership. His direction shifted a bit when a job posting appeared for a startup pharmacy manager in his hometown of rural Placerville, California.
The Shingle Springs Health & Wellness Center is an Indian Health Service/Tribal/Urban Indian Health pharmacy owned and operated by the local Miwok Tribe. Serving a unique community can change some of the usual assumptions of pharmacy management, including the common constraints around relying upon a specific formulary.
“Our philosophy is not the same as a typical retail pharmacy,” Bodtker noted. For example, he said, “We don’t have a strict focus on lean inventory. We try, instead, to have everything in stock to provide the best customer service possible.”
Maintaining an expansive inventory, however, can create spatial, organizational, and access challenges that could potentially contribute to inefficiency and dispensing errors. The right solution would provide storage, enable speed, and enhance safety, all at the same time.
Bodtker was a decision maker involved in choosing equipment for Shingle Springs before the doors even opened in June 2017. He researched shelving options and found the Beacon System’s variety of high-density storage cabinets were a very attractive feature for a new startup pharmacy with large storage needs. “They provided us with a lot of space to start with,” Bodtker said, “and we have room to grow.”
Beacon also provides the ability to pull medications directly from storage, without having to rely on or bypass a robotic dispensing system. “This was a key point for us,” Bodtker said.