Datascan Featured Pharmacy: Accudose

Datascan Featured Pharmacy: Accudose

Datascan Featured Pharmacy: Accudose

Successful independent pharmacy owners have come to understand that finding a niche will make or break their businesses.  Pharmacist Mark Franceschelli, owner of Accudose Pharmacy in Boardman, OH has found his.  As we continue to see pharmacists playing a much larger role in patient care, enhanced medication management has become the key to seeing better outcomes.  Despite the many challenges facing independent pharmacy owners, Accudose has made its mark and sees a bright future ahead with their unique pharmacy model.  Finding the right software partner to support your pharmacies unique needs has become equally as important—especially as your business evolves.

Datascan: Tell us about Accudose pharmacy—how did you get started?

Accudose:   Accudose Pharmacy started a little over four years ago as a long term care pharmacy with the idea of helping patients manage multiple medications and improve health outcomes.  Being in the long term care industry and owning a consultant pharmacist practice as well, I personally saw the challenges facing patients when leaving a hospital or nursing home as it relates to medications.  Many patients are overwhelmed with trying to return to everyday life and simply taking their medications safely is a challenge.  Almost 40% of hospital readmissions can be attributed to medications—underutilization, overutilization, drug-drug interactions, poor compliance, and adherence, etc.  With this in mind, my cousin and I developed our pharmacy around addressing these issues as well as helping assisted living facilities, group homes, and home health companies reduce medication errors, decrease nursing time, and improve care.  We decided that there was a unique opportunity to enter the space in which we planned to operate.  We opened our doors in January 2017, and although it hasn’t been easy, we are now servicing patients in 5 states and looking to expand into more states in the coming years.

D: What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as an independent pharmacy over the years?

A: One of the biggest challenges we’ve faced as an independent pharmacy is obviously reimbursement.  Prior to starting the pharmacy we were aware of the headwinds that impacted independents.  However, we didn’t have a full appreciation for it until we began living it every day.  With shrinking margins, we realized from the beginning that we needed to operate the business extremely lean and focus on efficiency and growth.  Additionally, the need to provide greater service and separate ourselves was important but with reduced reimbursements, we knew it would be challenging.  Therefore, focusing on unique areas that are underserviced has helped position us to expand our bottom line even in the current environment.

D: How did you combat those challenges and set your pharmacy up for success? What are some of the unique things you’re doing to set yourselves apart?

A: We are constantly focused on our growth and enhancing our partnerships throughout the communities we service.  These partnerships with different healthcare providers, agencies, and community organizations have helped us expand our reach and increase our patient base by over 80% over the past year.  Additionally, since we are designed to effectively manage patients with multiple medications, we service proportionately more patients who have complex drug regimens.  This in turn has helped increase our growth trajectory.

Some of the services we provide include multi-dose packaging for our patients, monthly compliance calls, free delivery, pharmacist follow up, and more, to help alleviate the problems patients and caregivers encounter.  Our customized program has truly impacted the lives of so many patients and is extremely gratifying to know we are making a difference as [healthcare] providers.

What really separates us from a lot of places is our team.  We have a wonderful and caring group that makes all of this possible. We can offer all of the latest and greatest programs if but if you don’t have a team that truly cares about the patients, none of it matters.  We focus on making ourselves better each day and always try to do what’s best for the patient.

D: What made you decide to go into community pharmacy?

A: After being a pharmacist for 20 years in many different capacities I have been fortunate enough to see what works and what doesn’t.  I realized I had the opportunity to try and create a pharmacy that was different from the norm and make it something unique.  There is a sense of pride that comes with being creative, and in the end, hopefully making something special.  There are always moments when you question yourself, but then you realize the amount of people who depend on you—both your patients and your team.

D: What are some of the ways you use Datascan’s pharmacy management software to help in your pharmacy?

A: As our fast growth put additional strain on our process, we soon realized that our previous software was not suited for our needs. What really stood out to be about Datascan was their willingness to customize the software to our needs.  We are a very unique pharmacy with our workflow and Datascan has been able to help us through our rapid growth.  In particular, we have a specialized way of handling our prescription processing each month based on multi-dose packaging and they have helped design a workflow that improves our efficiency.  Part of this workflow design was the customized integration with our TCGRx machine, which has helped our team better handle the nuances of filling prescriptions in multi-dose packaging and improve efficiency.  One of the best features is the prescription refill request process.  Tracking prescription refill requests in our previous pharmacy system was becoming untenable as we have hundreds of requests a day.  Datascan’s software automatically matches incoming prescriptions from physicians whether arriving via e-scribe or fax to the original refill request in the queue.  This eliminates the need to manually handle this process which was becoming confusing and time consuming for our team.  Additionally, the software provides for the ability to track these requests by date and add notes so the team can follow up with the physician and/patient.  On top of this, we have the option to schedule pending refill requests to automatically be resubmitted to the doctors.  This has saved our order entry technicians and call center technicians inordinate amounts of time.  There are also a multitude of other features that truly streamline our day to day operations such as integrated SMS and IVR messages that help to automate our workflow and build a better patient experience.  We view it as a partnership and realize both companies contribute to each other’s success.  As our needs change it’s nice to know that our software provider is willing to help us and collaborate on ways to adapt to those changes.

D: What is your outlook on the future of independent pharmacy?

A: I think independent pharmacies have a tremendous opportunity in the years ahead.  Independents provide such a unique and valuable service to their communities and it’s more evident now than ever before.  There are a number of studies showing the positive impact independent pharmacies have on a community—not only in a rural and underserved area, but in all community types throughout the country.  The care and improved outcomes they help provide is truly remarkable and the ability to innovate the industry sets them apart.  As rules and regulations continue to change, both federally and at the state levels, I think independent pharmacy will only continue to get stronger.

Diversity among pharmacy models is encouraging for the future of independent pharmacy.  Partnering with the right software vendor ensures you’re setting your pharmacy up for long-term success and growth.  Accudose Pharmacy’s focus on medication adherence and compliance requires an adaptable workflow and flexibility—a perfect match for Datascan

Datascan Featured Pharmacy: Cherry’s Pharmacy

Datascan Featured Pharmacy: Cherry’s Pharmacy

Datascan Featured Pharmacy: Cherry’s Pharmacy

With the ongoing struggles facing Independent and Community Pharmacy, it is an inspiration to hear that many of our client’s are not only surviving, but helping to change the game.  As Pharmacy fights to survive, Datascan finds solace in the success of so many of our clients across the country.  We continually spread the idea that we are “Stronger Together,” knowing that there is strength in numbers and together we can bring about change.  Since 1978, Sedgwick Pharmacy located in the Bronx, NY, has been providing its community of patients with next level service.  Working year after year to reconstruct their pharmacy model to fit the changes of the industry, Sedgwick Pharmacy continues to successfully manage their business driving their pharmacy into the unforeseeable future.
D: What are some of the ways you’re setting your pharmacy apart from the chains?

S: We offer service that you just can’t get from the chains.  Our customers and employees are on a first name basis with each other.  When you walk in, customers are greeted with a lively atmosphere and a fun place to “get healthy.”  Our pricing is comparable and in most cases lower than most chain stores, and we make sure our customers know it!  Your overall experience in our pharmacy and with our staff is far superior to any of our competitors.  We offer conveniences like text messaging for refill reminders and prescriptions ready for pick up, we do free Med Sync for all patients, and even offer special ordering and delivery for any item we may not have in stock.  Our same-day delivery is free and even faster than Amazon!

D: What are some of the unique services you offer to your patients?

S: Our pharmacy, while providing retail services to the public, also focuses heavily on servicing the needs of Long Term Care and group home facilities.  We offer daily deliveries, bubble packed medications, med review though on-site pharmacy consulting, and much more!  Thanks to some of the program features that Datascan offers like Med Sync, and our nursing home portal, we are able to offer the homes we work with and our patient’s great convenience through technology.   Many of the automated utilities in our pharmacy software also frees up a lot of time, allowing us to spend extra time with our patients to develop better programs and care plans.  We also offer adherence packaging to help patients’ better tackle their medications as easily as possible.  We offer full immunization services and even hold flu clinics during flu season.

D: How do you combat the PBMs and ever decreasing profits?

S: There are a few different ways we’re doing this.  First, we are one of the founding pharmacies of CPESN NYC, which is an organization dedicated to generating revenue streams for pharmacists outside of traditional medication reimbursement.  CPESN helps to enhance patient care by bridging the gap between providers such as doctors and pharmacists.  Through contracting with hospitals and medical centers, our pharmacy can provide services such as medication reconciliation, adherence packaging, and medication therapy management.  This is all done outside of the control of the PBMs.  We are also beginning to look into becoming a site that participates in research trials for new medications.  Retail-wise, we also offer convenience services such as the vision test for DMV license renewal, UPS package drop-off, password photos, and notary services.   We are also in the midst of revamping our front end OTC department to offer more “non-traditional” products that you won’t find in most pharmacies.

D: What advice would you give someone looking to open an independent/community pharmacy?

S: I’d say that, by far, the #1 thing to know is—be different.  Find your niche.  Find as many niches as you can that separate you from not only the chains, but from other local businesses and maybe most importantly online conglomerate giants like Amazon.  What services can you offer that nobody else is offering in an environment that nobody else is offering them in?

In Conclusion

Pharmacy is still among the most trusted professions in the US.  While the traditional dispense and fill model may not be what it once was, that doesn’t mean independent pharmacy is doomed.  At Datascan we continue to diversify and reinvent our products with the demands of the industry.  We work hard to make sure our clients are never left behind, and we encourage you to do the same for your patients.  Like Sedgwick Pharmacy, you should be taking a look at your business and searching out non-traditional sources of revenue and ways to drive traffic to your business.  Look into the products and services you’re using every day and see what more they can do for you.  Your pharmacy software system is the center of your business—it offers incredibly useful tools, most of the time free, to help you better manage your business.  Reach out to your vendors and sign up for training, and talk about ways you can build more technology and automation into your workflow.  The future of pharmacy depends on the success of each and every individual community pharmacy.  While we still, as a group, outweigh the number of CVS’s and Walgreen’s combined, we must work hard to keep standing out and proving our place in pharmacy.   

Datascan Featured Pharmacy: Sedgwick Pharmacy

Datascan Featured Pharmacy: Sedgwick Pharmacy

Datascan Featured Pharmacy: Sedgwick Pharmacy

With the ongoing struggles facing Independent and Community Pharmacy, it is an inspiration to hear that many of our client’s are not only surviving, but helping to change the game.  As Pharmacy fights to survive, Datascan finds solace in the success of so many of our clients across the country.  We continually spread the idea that we are “Stronger Together,” knowing that there is strength in numbers and together we can bring about change.  Since 1978, Sedgwick Pharmacy located in the Bronx, NY, has been providing its community of patients with next level service.  Working year after year to reconstruct their pharmacy model to fit the changes of the industry, Sedgwick Pharmacy continues to successfully manage their business driving their pharmacy into the unforeseeable future.

D: What are some of the ways you’re setting your pharmacy apart from the chains?

S: We offer service that you just can’t get from the chains.  Our customers and employees are on a first name basis with each other.  When you walk in, customers are greeted with a lively atmosphere and a fun place to “get healthy.”  Our pricing is comparable and in most cases lower than most chain stores, and we make sure our customers know it!  Your overall experience in our pharmacy and with our staff is far superior to any of our competitors.  We offer conveniences like text messaging for refill reminders and prescriptions ready for pick up, we do free Med Sync for all patients, and even offer special ordering and delivery for any item we may not have in stock.  Our same-day delivery is free and even faster than Amazon!

D: What are some of the unique services you offer to your patients?

S: Our pharmacy, while providing retail services to the public, also focuses heavily on servicing the needs of Long Term Care and group home facilities.  We offer daily deliveries, bubble packed medications, med review though on-site pharmacy consulting, and much more!  Thanks to some of the program features that Datascan offers like Med Sync, and our nursing home portal, we are able to offer the homes we work with and our patient’s great convenience through technology.   Many of the automated utilities in our pharmacy software also frees up a lot of time, allowing us to spend extra time with our patients to develop better programs and care plans.  We also offer adherence packaging to help patients’ better tackle their medications as easily as possible.  We offer full immunization services and even hold flu clinics during flu season.

D: How do you combat the PBMs and ever decreasing profits?

S: There are a few different ways we’re doing this.  First, we are one of the founding pharmacies of CPESN NYC, which is an organization dedicated to generating revenue streams for pharmacists outside of traditional medication reimbursement.  CPESN helps to enhance patient care by bridging the gap between providers such as doctors and pharmacists.  Through contracting with hospitals and medical centers, our pharmacy can provide services such as medication reconciliation, adherence packaging, and medication therapy management.  This is all done outside of the control of the PBMs.  We are also beginning to look into becoming a site that participates in research trials for new medications.  Retail-wise, we also offer convenience services such as the vision test for DMV license renewal, UPS package drop-off, password photos, and notary services.   We are also in the midst of revamping our front end OTC department to offer more “non-traditional” products that you won’t find in most pharmacies.

D: What advice would you give someone looking to open an independent/community pharmacy?

S: I’d say that, by far, the #1 thing to know is—be different.  Find your niche.  Find as many niches as you can that separate you from not only the chains, but from other local businesses and maybe most importantly online conglomerate giants like Amazon.  What services can you offer that nobody else is offering in an environment that nobody else is offering them in?

In Conclusion

Pharmacy is still among the most trusted professions in the US.  While the traditional dispense and fill model may not be what it once was, that doesn’t mean independent pharmacy is doomed.  At Datascan we continue to diversify and reinvent our products with the demands of the industry.  We work hard to make sure our clients are never left behind, and we encourage you to do the same for your patients.  Like Sedgwick Pharmacy, you should be taking a look at your business and searching out non-traditional sources of revenue and ways to drive traffic to your business.  Look into the products and services you’re using every day and see what more they can do for you.  Your pharmacy software system is the center of your business—it offers incredibly useful tools, most of the time free, to help you better manage your business.  Reach out to your vendors and sign up for training, and talk about ways you can build more technology and automation into your workflow.  The future of pharmacy depends on the success of each and every individual community pharmacy.  While we still, as a group, outweigh the number of CVS’s and Walgreen’s combined, we must work hard to keep standing out and proving our place in pharmacy.   

Datascan Featured Pharmacy: City Chemist & White’s Apothecary

Datascan Featured Pharmacy: City Chemist & White’s Apothecary

Datascan Featured Pharmacy: City Chemist & White’s Apothecary

As a software vendor, we have the opportunity to work with some really unique clients and support the growth of their pharmacies.  Many of our most successful customers have seen that to sustain longevity in community pharmacy, you must go beyond the traditional “stand behind the pharmacy computer and fill” model.  Finding a niche in this industry can be difficult, but City Chemist and White’s Apothecary has done just that. Servicing customers in Brooklyn, Long Island City, and the Hamptons, City Chemist and White’s is where pharmacy meets luxury. The gorgeously designed front end captivates customers from the moment they walk through the door. 

Clients can choose from a wealth of wellness products, lifestyle and luxury beauty brands.  In addition, each store provides in-house consult with beauty experts to pinpoint the perfect products.  Pharmacy patients welcome a variety of conveniences such as online refills, wellness checks, free delivery, and special order medications.  Pharmacists are at your service to answer any concerns to give you meaningful advice to fit your lifestyle.

We sat down with the masterminds behind City Chemist and White’s to find out some of their trade secrets and how they’re able to capitalize on the technology in their Datascan pharmacy and point of sale software to build such a successful business.

What sets City Chemist and White’s apart from other pharmacies?

  • We are elevated in our brand selection, allowing our clients to find a niche that fits their specific concerns.  We are able to join the two worlds of cosmetics and wellness related products.  This allows us to create a more global experience and comprehensive approach to each one of a client or patient needs. 

What tools are you using in your Datascan system to attribute to your success?
 

  • With Datascan and the reports integrated in our systems, we are able to look at the breakdown of sales per hour.  This allows us to better predict our traffic patterns to give our team strategy for success.  Meaning we are able to give a benchmark for associates to push forward to hit higher average dollar transactions.  This also allows us to schedule smarter.  In addition we also benefit from the extensive reporting.  “Sales by category” is our most frequently used report.  This gives us clean digestible data with we are able to see what drives our business, examine margins, and have a stronger idea of profitability.  This also strengthens our team to hold each member accountable for their area of expertise.  With that we are able to build benchmark goals and develop strategy to attack the month.       

How has your partnership with Datascan helped White’s and City Chemist and why would you recommend working with Datascan?
 

  • We’ve had some of our stores with other systems and for us it was not a good fit.  All of our locations use Datascan and we would never go anywhere else.  As our pharmacies are unique in nature, we often have some special requests that only Datascan has ever been willing to be able to accommodate.  The ability to centralize our reporting and analyze our business is something we value and even more of a reason we love working with our software vendor.

How does WinPharm assist in streamlining your pharmacy department’s workflow?
 

  • There are so many options we set up in WinPharm that have helped us maximize our reimbursements on claims.  We use profit watchers to evaluate losses in real time, and even set up alerts in our fill screens to warn us for things that may be auditable.  We’ve also started using auto refill and MedSync to help our pharmacies better manage our patients with chronic conditions and multiple medications.  We offer free delivery to our patients so being able to sync them up and helped to reduce the number of deliveries we’re making every day.  Datascan is always introducing us to new features that continue to help our business.

What are some recommendations you’d make to other pharmacies looking to increase sales?
 

  • Do better in gauging your client wants.  Do your research on the area you plan to open your pharmacy.  Different demographics expect different products.

You can visit City Chemist and White’s Apothecary in Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo, Long Island City, Williamsburg, Southampton, and East Hampton, NY.  We guarantee you’ll never need to shop anywhere else! 

Datascan Featured Pharmacy: Lorenzo Apothecary

Datascan Featured Pharmacy: Lorenzo Apothecary

Datascan Featured Pharmacy: Lorenzo Apothecary

Lorenzo Apothecary, owned by pharmacist David Lorenzo, is really making a name for itself in Sterling, Colorado.  With so much competition from the chains, dwindling profits, and PBM interference, we were curious what Lorenzo Apothecary is doing to build such an impressive business.  Their pharmacy is beautifully designed and eye-catching even from the outside, but when you step in you can really see why their customers love coming in!

A true “hometown pharmacy,” Lorenzo Apothecary offers their customers such a unique experience and service that they couldn’t imagine going anywhere else.  As soon as you walk in you are greeted (by your first name) from one of their friendly employees—most of the time by David himself.  They offer services like free home delivery, curbside pickup, custom compression stocking fittings, and are proud to be the only compounding pharmacy in Northeast Colorado.  Lorenzo Apothecary epitomizes community pharmacy; they sponsor many local community groups, The Sterling Fund, and even sponsor a local little league team!

If you’re looking for a unique product Lorenzo Apothecary is the place to go!  They carry specialty candies like Jelly Belly Jelly beans and Chukar Cherries, unique skincare products from L’occitane, homemade goat soaps, and even Paddy Wax Candles.  The front end boutique focuses on health and wellness and offers something for everyone.

Not only is Lorenzo Apothecary running a successful front end, but they’ve also managed to fill an impressive volume of prescriptions almost immediately after opening.  The pharmacy utilizes several tools within their Datascan Pharmacy Management software to help organize and manage their daily workflow.  Through the Maintenance Medication utility in WinPharm they are able to automatically request refills for patients before they run out of their medications.

It allows for pharmacy staff to order and prepare prescriptions ahead of time, and also helps build better adherence, maintain 5 star ratings, and lower DIR fees.  Lorenzo Apothecary staff also uses the Medication Synchronization, or MedSync, in their pharmacy.  By synching their patients prescriptions they’re able to organize all medications and allow them to get all rx’s on one trip into the pharmacy—ultimately helping build better adherence and lower those pesky DIR fees.

We asked the team at Lorenzo Apothecary what advice they would give to someone opening a new pharmacy and it was simple—Do your research!  With so many partnerships in pharmacy, it’s crucial to do your own research and partner with the best vendors to help promote growth and profitability in your business.

From PSAOs to wholesalers it’s so important to find the best fit for you.  We also wondered how they’re reaching out to their current customers and how they spread the word—By advertising through Facebook, local radio and newspapers, they’re able to reach out to Sterling residents and encourage them to join the Lorenzo Apothecary family.  They’ve also had much success in offering customer sack stuffers and promoting their services to local doctors in the area.