The Biggest Little City in the World

Leaving Las Vegas…well kind of.  I am on an airplane leaving Reno!  Yesterday morning I had the pleasure of addressing new pharmacy owners at the NCPA Ownership Workshop.  It was great!  These guys and gals were so eager and so ready to get home and get to work.

After giving a keynote or CE class I always critique myself.  I think about all the information I delivered and usually think of at least three more key tips or hints or advice I wish I would have offered.  So here are my final thoughts from the workshop.

reno1 First of all the group I spoke with Sunday morning in Reno I believe were having a bit of information overload hangover…or maybe it was a genuine hangover.  Remember I mentioned we were in Reno truth be told.  As I spoke on the topic of Star Ratings and how they effect your pharmacy the pharmacists were feverishly taking notes.  I tried to pause and make directed statements on big points.  Finally a few minutes in heads started to lift.  The pharmacists started to make eye contact with me.  Then I realized they are scared.  These pharmacists are taking a huge leap of faith!  They are going to own a pharmacy.  Of course they want to take notes and soak in everything NCPA is offering them.  My hat goes offto you!  Better yet my prayers.  Community pharmacy can be so rewarding and making the decision to open your own place is amazing!  I can see the apprehension and wish I would have acknowledged their efforts in the setting of Ballroom B or the Ponderosa room (wherever we were on the fifth floor). Read more

The Perfect Pairing

This is a bit of a follow up to a previous post of mine. I promised it would be a work in progress! I think it is time to build on the concept of pharmacist led smoking cessation.

There are numerous collaborative practice agreements out there. One that we could specifically model after is the anticoagulation protocol. Have your local physician sign with an agreement with you. Use the protocol to dispense appropriate therapy. Monitor and check in with patient throughout course. Bill as a medication therapy management claim. Simple. You may say well no one is doing it? If we continue to wait for others to tell us how to care for our patients we will surely be left out of any decision making! Read more

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.

Read more

I’m going all in

I usually try and keep my posts as relevant to pharmacy practice as possible. This post is not that far off base. I do hope you will follow me.

This holiday season has been a very out of the ordinary one for me. I lost a very dear friend of mine. He was only 44. I want to talk about him for just a moment. I do not want to dwell on his illness or the past few months but rather on his spirit. Myles was a gambler. He was always looking for the next bet. The only time I ever saw him lose his cool was at ME in a Texas hold-em style card game. Myles did not like for anyone to “go all in” on cards unless your hand was appropriately suited. Once I went in on a 2 4 off suit and beat him on the flop card. He did not like that! Was not the way it was supposed to go! He threw his cards down and stormed off as I giddily swept up his poker chips. I will always remember that night. I beat Myles at his own game. I did not follow the so-called “rules” and the outcome was not what anyone expected. Read more

Cessation: It fits our skillset so let’s do it.

I am currently overly obsessed with a pharmacist led smoking cessation model.  I hear from colleagues that we don’t need a specific guideline or program to help us treat our patients.  I disagree with this approach.

The current practice is typical pharmacists believe we deliver great healthcare and are usually not reimbursed for these services.  Well I say why would someone “pay us money” if we cannot show what works.  We cannot simply expect to sit on our stools (yes reference to a previous post) and be compensated for helping our patients stop smoking. Read more

Let’s tell our story

Joe Moose believes that we should make the effort to tell our story. Creative Pharmacist has made “story” an integral part of the services they offer. Why is creating a narrative for pharmacists important? We know what we’re doing, right? We shouldn’t have to explain ourselves, correct?

 

In the spirit of college football season, let me say… “not so fast, my friend.”  As we’ve said here before, pharmacists complain that we don’t have a seat at the table. Well, what does it take to get that seat? Or maybe more pointedly, what are we not doing that’s keeping us on the fringes. Read more

Real life value in real life pharmacy. #RealLifePharmD

I’ve been focusing a lot lately on a vision for the future of pharmacy and how we can elevate our status in the health care realm. I do believe that you can’t achieve direction without vision and you can’t reach goals without an underlying principled foundation. However, I also understand that high-minded ideals and a lot rah-rah talk aren’t enough to get the job done alone. Trying to stay true to my mantra of “real life pharmacy, real life pharmacist,” I’d to give a few examples I’ve encountered of “keeping it real.” Read more

The Pharmacist from Whoville

WHO’s your pharmacist? (Not where is your pharmacy…)

The questions are always the same.

  1. Name?
  2. Date of birth?
  3. Which pharmacy do you use?

When people discuss other aspects of the healthcare universe it sounds like the phone book from a Dr. Seuss story: Who’s your endocrinologist? Who’s your cardiologist? Who is handling the procedure? Who are you seeing for rehab?

Can we pharmacists get a who?

Truth be told, it’s our own fault nobody gives a who. At the very least we haven’t helped ourselves very much. For a long time now we have been content to earn our salaries and be relegated to being highly educated vending machines. We have allowed the most accessible and in many instances more engaged touch point of the healthcare process to become commoditized. I know… there are a lot of us who have been actively trying to keep that from happening. Regardless, that is where perception has gone. And we all know perception is reality.

So how do we change that reality?  How do we get our who back? I think the answer is threefold: Read more

Get off your stool and pull up a chair…We’re about to have a seat at the table.

Pharm 2 Table, 2015. It starts here.

I knew I wanted to be a pharmacist since I was in high school. I entered into the profession just as the sea change in health care was on the horizon. Baby boomers were no longer booming but looming. “Biotech” was morphing into “Life Science” and redefining its relationship to Wall Street. Independent pharmacy was faced with the choice of being either Mom&Pop Mart or Wal-Mart. And I, as a fresh-faced wanna-be pharmacist, first heard how in the new health care landscape we “didn’t have a seat at the table.” Read more