Three BIG ideas from small groups

It has been a while since I have had time to sit down and put my thoughts on paper…well pages…well type on my Mac.  You know what I mean!  Things have been busy and I could not be more proud of that!

Pharmacist Jamie is here to report to you some things I’ve been noticing.  At Creative Pharmacist we have developed what we call ReThink groups or small groups.  Our intent was to tackle the CP Basics::  Medication Adherence, Medication Therapy Management (MTM) and Immunizations.  Innovation in practice is our driving force but we understand the importance of quite honestly keeping the pharmacy doors open.  Anyway, first groups have already had their second call and some of the newer groups are just getting started.  Let me tell you what we found.

  1. First of all, there is no clear cut answer to adherence.  Yep I said it!  No one has the definitive answer to adherence programs.  Some pharmacists use paper based systems like Simplify my Meds from NCPA or strictly a box with index cards of medications due that day.  Some pharmacists use technology based systems like Prescribe Wellness or ATEB.  No matter the system, no matter the protocol the results are the same.  The program will not work unless you commit to it!  You, the Clinical Community Pharmacist, have to change your mind set.  A program you sign up for is not going to bring up your star ratings by clicking a button.  I wish it were that easy.  The truth is adherence is about ensuring the patient is taking the medications prescribed to them correctly!  How do you propose to do that?  We have had so many great ideas coming out of our group calls.  Synchronizing medications to one date is usually very easy  to increase compliance but that is not the only answer.
  2. Secondly, there are so many awesome rockstar pharmacists out there working alone in their pharmacies.  They have really big amazing plans and dreams.  I am blown away everyday at the absolute drive in many of these pharmacists.  The hours in the day just do not cooperate for these guys sometimes.  How can we make that better?  Staff involvement.  And make no mistake, I do understand the demand for doing more with less time and less resources.  Your technicians are busy and your phone is ringing off the hook.  Priorities.  Many of us practice in pharmacies with drive thru windows…how is that for quality healthcare?  I understand that is the nature of our business.  I also understand that patient in the drive thru may not feel well, or has a sick child or is in a hurry.  The drive thru, fast service will sometimes distract us from goals.  Example I gave the other day was use your MTM dashboard as a guide for the week.  5 patients are usually on your home screen…5 patients a week.  Set a tangible goal!  That would equal 20 claims per month.  It is a start.  If you do not complete your MTM claims another pharmacist (who knows where) will.
  3. Thirdly, my favorite moments over the past few months have come from our “ice breaker” type questions.  This week we asked each other what we really wanted to be when we were growing up.  Not a single person admitted pharmacist.  There were answers like pediatricians, teachers, moms, dentists, etc….  Are you ready for this?!?  Are you sure you are ready?!?  We are all of these things.  Ah ha!  I had a strange sense come over me as we talked this out.  We, Clinical Community Pharmacists, can be all of these things.  We have such a unique opportunity to care for our patients in many ways.  We can check in on the kiddos after they fill antibiotics to see if their tummies are doing ok.  We can host education/ wellness classes in our pharmacies or community centers.  We can be the best parents we can be by coming home and sharing our interventional and rewarding experiences with our children versus blaming the fax machine jamming for being cranky.  We can refer patients to specialists when they know they just aren’t feeling right.

This blog is meant to ra ra!  It is what I do best!  I can’t help it.  I am proud to be a Clinical Community Pharmacist.  I know you are too!  If you are interested in what we have to offer at Creative Pharmacist let me know!  I am just so very proud of all the pharmacists I have been working with and want to share their stories as much as I can!


  1. Alex Barker says:

    Love that perspective Jamie! I never wanted to become a PharmD either. But I get to do what I love : teach. Sometimes it’s about finding a skill then fitting it into a profession!

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