[HACK] Improving Patient Care and Profitability With a Little-Known Strategy

Here at PDS, we take pride in highlighting some of our incredible solutions partners. We know these companies have the potential to revolutionize pharmacies just like yours through their products and services. We’re excited to introduce Liberty Software; read on for their sponsored blog post about the benefits improving patient care and profitability through strategic efficiency.


Independent pharmacy is no stranger to competition. The industry becomes tighter by the day and owners have to look for innovative ways to stay above the curve. We can all agree we’re in the business of helping others, but we also need to make a profit to stay in business.

One solution many owners ignore lies behind the pharmacy counter. Improving the workflows behind the pharmacy counter will drive your business into better productivity, better patient care, and better profitability.

Below, we’ve included five significant steps that you can take to improve your pharmacy’s workflows – in turn improving both the care you provide your patients and your profit margins.

  1. Examine the Status Quo.

    Examine the current state of your business. How are technicians and pharmacists operating now? Are there pain points or bottlenecks in existing workflows? Speaking with technicians and pharmacists who do the work every day is one of the best ways to identify areas for improvement.

  2. Establish Metrics.

    If you don’t measure where you are now, how will you measure whether changes are positively impacting your business? Scripts filled per hour is a good starting point. Consider using software to track data entry errors. Customize your metrics to your company’s unique practices and needs.

  3. Improve the Use of Space.

    You want to physically minimize the amount of movement involved in filling a script, as well as make sure technicians and pharmacists aren’t vying for the use of the same space at the same time. Small slowdowns can add up to big drops in productivity, so focusing on your most-used spaces and heavy-traffic areas, both for employees and customers, can make a big difference in your pharmacy’s productivity.

  4. Automate.

    Your employees need to be operating at the top of their licensed capabilities to provide the best service to your customers. Pharmacists shouldn’t have to spend time doing the work of technicians, and technicians don’t need to spend time on processes that could be automated. From automatic prescription processing to software that minimizes time spent on data entry, automating repetitive pharmacy workflow operations can have a measurable impact on your bottom line.

  5. Focus on Strategy.

    Strategic decision-making shouldn’t be limited to upper-management, back-office meetings. Get your staff on board with the company’s big-picture plan, and you’ll be aligning your entire operation around the same goals. Don’t hand down mandates – ask those in the trenches for their considerable expertise and input.

As you implement changes based on these steps, remember to periodically step back and measure the effects of those changes. Move slowly – don’t implement 20 new initiatives at once, or you’ll have a hard time determining what caused the changes you’ve measured. Deliberate, strategic moves in collaboration with your highly qualified staff will help your business maximize pharmacy workflow and profits in a challenging market.

 

About the Author:

Pharmacy software for pharmacy success. Liberty Software helps pharmacies improve profitability, increase patient safety, and enhance patient care. Here at Liberty, we believe that we have designed a revolutionary pharmacy management software platform. Why do we say that? It’s not just the technology, although it is built on Microsoft’s newest technology platform. It’s not just the feature list, although it is impressive. More than anything, we believe that it is the user experience. Prescriptions can be filled quickly and accurately while protecting patient safety. Many pharmacists say that it is the easiest software they have ever used.

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[SMOKING GUN] You’re Right, PBMs are Duping Pharmacy Owners

PBMs Profits

What we’re about to show you will likely make your blood boil. It did ours. These are pictures you must see to affirm your sneaking suspicion that yes, you are in fact getting duped by PBMs, such as CVS Caremark.

The Proof

The images below were provided by a fellow pharmacy owner and were obtained during the process of filing a MAC appeal with the Medicaid HMO, Molina. Like many owners who bill to CVS Caremark, she noticed a consistent pattern of being underpaid on reimbursements. In response to the complaint, she received the following files which show the charges to Molina for the prescription, a stark contrast to what her pharmacy received.

Prescription Amount Submitted by Pharmacy Molina Paid Caremark Pharmacy Reimbursement PBM Spread
Guanfacine HCL ER 2 MG tablets ER 24H $320.00 $121.55 $7.60 $113.95
Neomycin-Polymixin-Hydrocor 3.5-10K-1 solution $106.00 $50.32 $5.40 $44.92

 

Images one and two show what Molina paid CVS Caremark for two prescriptions while images three and four show what the pharmacy was paid. This highlights the reality that pharmacies are regularly underpaid for prescriptions while the insurance plans are charged far more, and the PBM gets to keep a considerable spread of profits in their pocket.

We’ve also attached the documents for download here.

What This Means

There are approximately 22,000 independent pharmacies in the United States. If we looked at the Guanfacine prescription alone, the yearly payout to PBMs is $29,832,000 if the baseline assumption is that pharmacies nationwide fill this script once a month.

MAC list pricing by PBMs puts independent pharmacy owners at a considerable disadvantage. Adding insult to injury, the majority of the pharmacy owners on the PDSadvantage message board are in agreement that the appeals process is ineffective. A best-case scenario is periodic price adjustments depending on the appeal, which, in the long run, never affect changes in pricing for pharmacy owners as a whole. Overall, this process is designed to force busy owners to choose between below cost reimbursements or an endless cycle of appeals with little change in outcome. Many argue that the effort invested in submitting appeals isn’t worth it because the core of the problem isn’t addressed, and it takes up precious time that should be spent on growing the business, not in the pharmacy.

Fight Smarter, Not Harder

CVS Caremark and other Pharmacy Benefits Managment companies, such as the other 2 of the “Big 3,” OptumRx and Express Scripts, will continue to intentionally narrow the gap between reimbursement and acquisition cost while keeping the appeals process ineffective in the face of repeated price adjustments. This leaves independent pharmacies underwater. We at PDS don’t count ourselves among those who think fighting is futile. The answer is fighting smarter, not harder by making these issues and any other unfair regulations IRRELEVANT to how you operate your pharmacy business. Here and now, we can affect change that will make issues like unfair MAC pricing a blip on the radar. If we come together, our own collective and individual success will be exponentially greater than any threat the PBMs can sling. Filing appeals is a start, but alone it is not the answer. Informed pharmacy owners know that the focus should be on putting effort toward strategies that directly impact your bottom line.

Taking Matters into Our Own Hands, Together

There are over 1,800 pharmacy owners and professionals that know the value of fighting smarter with a proven plan, backed by a community that supports and stands with them. This gathering happens every February in Orlando, Florida.

Independent pharmacy owners just like you gather with the experts and titans of the industry to:

  • Give owners proven, sustainable strategies that will pay immediate dividends
  • Light the passion for pharmacy most owners lose in the landscape of this unfair game
  • Give you the confidence to battle MAC pricing, DIR fees, below-cost reimbursements and any other obstacle in your way – and win

Find your people. Fellow owners that are walking the same path as you. The value of this support and knowledge-sharing is priceless. If you’d like to continue to file appeals and disputes on your own, we commend you. At least you’re doing something and making your voice heard, but that is not your only recourse.

Attend the PDS Super-Conference and see for yourself why we are so confident in our ability to change your life that we have a conference guarantee.  If you don’t see the value of after the first day, we’ll reimburse your travel up to $500 and give you an additional $300 — no questions asked.

{PDS Sponsored Post} Blended Learning in Your Pharmacy: Why You Need to Pay Attention

Here at PDS, we take pride in highlighting some of our incredible solutions partners. We know these companies have the potential to revolutionize pharmacies just like yours through their products and services. We’re excited to introduce LP3 Network; read on for their sponsored blog post about the benefits of blended learning in your pharmacy.


At some point in our educational careers, we have all found ourselves thinking:

  • Is this really the most exciting way to learn something new?
  • Is this an efficient way to learn?

With advances in instructional design and the implementation of blended learning concepts, continuing professional development is being reshaped and revitalized, allowing people to obtain the training they require in an exciting and stimulating manner.

What is Blended Learning?

Blended learning is a newly successful practice that involves a hybrid of traditional and practical methodology.

The world of compounding encompasses both new and experienced pharmacists/technicians, all of whom need initial and ongoing training to safely compound personalized medications for their patients. Unfortunately, the specialized knowledge required to compound is not taught in most pharmacy programs. For those who wish to learn more about pharmacy compounding, there are now solutions available that do not require tedious and uninvolved classroom-like courses.

The most engaging and effective way to learn is through hands-on experience. Especially in a profession like pharmaceutical compounding, the skills needed to create quality preparations are most readily obtained through real-life observations and demonstrations. In laboratory trainings, participants get the chance to prepare different dosage forms and work with innovative equipment in a compliant environment.  Laboratory trainings are undoubtedly valuable; however, subject knowledge on the matter is vital as a prerequisite.

The optimal form of training is a combination of theoretical and practical methods — blending the two.

Using self-paced learning with an interactive live course, success and retention are optimized. Providing both the background knowledge and hands-on experience enables participants to successfully compound in their own pharmacy. This unique form of blended learning ensures that participants are fully briefed with the specific knowledge required prior to hands-on activities in a lab.

This hybrid teaching method is undoubtedly the ideal way to learn best practices and enhance competency retention, as it allows participants to absorb the material at their own pace through home studying, followed by training with subject-matter experts in a state-of-the-art compounding laboratory.

Next time you’re in the market to truly train your team or yourself on invaluable strategies that will grow your pharmacy, look out for ways to make learning fun and practical. You will not regret it! The ability to incorporate the wisdom gained through live event courses into a pharmacist’s everyday practice is invaluable. But more importantly, a hybrid learning experience brings excitement back into the curious minds of pharmacists.

About the Author:

To learn more about LP3 Network’s course offerings contact us by email: info@lp3network.com or view our online course catalogue: https://education.lp3network.com/

At LP3 Network, the educational process is reinvented in engaging ways. With a vast spectrum of courses to choose from, participants can learn all the things they need to lead a successful compounding career. The style of courses vary to suit every person’s individual needs from:

  • Home studies
  • Webinars
  • eLearning
  • Live events (seminars and laboratory trainings)

Our courses allow pharmacists and pharmacy technicians  to reinforce their theoretical knowledge and provide compounding pharmacists with concrete training that they can use in their everyday profession. This blended approach allows participants to choose when and where they want to learn more about compounding. With busy agendas, it is often difficult for participants to follow a rigorous course schedule. There are now many options for participants, affording them the opportunity to study at their own pace, and choose the learning methods that suit them best.

 

PDS Sponsored Content

Pharmacy Marketing: Unlock the Millionaires Marketing Formula

 

Do you remember taking marketing or business classes in pharmacy school? Yea, we didn’t think so. That’s because pharmacy schools don’t teach for pharmacy ownership. Owners must go out and find unique and impactful ways to grow their business. Most do it through trial and error, and we respect those that do because that means they’re in for the hustle! But if you’re reading this blog, you know that there are better ways to grow your business than to take unnecessary risks on your money and time.

These better ways involve putting your faith in your pharmacy owner peers and trusted pharmacy experts. These people have done the research and development for you and have replicated success time and again. It all boils down to one question:

Would you walk away from proven results, incredible ROI, and steeper growth in your pharmacy?

Many owners will read this and walk away. We get it, no one likes to change unless their life depends on it. For those who are willing to jump in and get their feet wet, we’re talking to you.

At the PDS Super-Conference, we’re pulling out all the stops to make every single moment a teachable one. Learn more about how to drive growth, build a productive culture and increase profitability among the most elite pharmacy owners in the country. Come see for yourself why we are so confident in our ability to change your life and improve the profitability of your pharmacy that we have a conference guarantee. If you don’t see the value of the PDS Super-Conference after the first day, we’ll reimburse your travel up to $500 and give you an additional $300 — no questions asked.

PDS Super-Conference

[DOWNLOAD] Here’s the Tool You Need to Uncover Your Pharmacy’s Biggest Opportunities

Pharmacy SWOT

SWOT

If you’re like many of the 16,000+ independent pharmacy owners in the nation, you went to the business school of life… which means that you didn’t go to business school at all. You rely on different sources from networking to online literature (like this blog!), business coaching and everything in between.

Fear not, weary warrior. We’re here to bring you a powerful, yet simple tool you can use with your team to uncover the next big opportunity your pharmacy can leverage.

We’re talking about a SWOT Analysis. If you have heard of this, you know that it’s more than it seems, if used correctly. When used thoroughly and thoughtfully, it can help identify your business’ strengths and weaknesses as well as any opportunities and threats that lie in wait to stall your growth. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. As far as general business strategy, this handy little tool can be a starting point to open up major team discussions.

You guessed it, we have the worksheet you can download right here!

>>  Download the PDS SWOT Analysis here <<

Make sure you download and print the file first, then read below with your team to learn how to use the matrix.

Conducting a SWOT Analysis on Your Business
(Do this with your team!)

Do you have your worksheet ready and printed out? Good!

A SWOT matrix is normally a worksheet divided into four quadrants. Each quadrant represents one element of the SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. Each quadrant should ask a series of custom questions you can answer to fill in that quadrant. Focus on the questions that are most relevant for your business, community and current situation.

Dig Deep and Ask Relevant Questions

Strengths:

For this section, think about the attributes of yourself, your team and your business that will help you achieve your objective. Sample questions to get you started:

  • Where are you most profitable in your business?
  • What do you do exceptionally well?
  • What skills do you have that are unique to you, your team and your location?
  • What are your specialties?
  • What do you do better than your competitors?

Weaknesses:

For this section, think about the attributes of yourself, your team and your business that could hurtyour progress in achieving your objective. Sample questions to get you started:

  • What areas do you need to improvement?
  • What areas do you need more education or experience?
  • What parts of your business are not very profitable?
  • Do you lack any resources?
  • What are the initiatives that cost you time and/or money?

Opportunities:

For this section, think about the external conditions that will help you achieve your objective. Sample questions to get you started:

  • What are your current business goals?
  • Are there untapped target audiences you can reach?
  • How can you improve your current customer experience or customer wellness?
  • Is there technology that you can apply to improve your business?
  • Can you think of any supplemental products and services that provide an opportunity for your business?

Threats:

For this section, think about the external conditions that could damage your business’s performance. Sample questions to get you started:

  • What are your obstacles?
  • What is going on in the economy that can potentially affect your business?
  • What is going on in the industry that can potentially affect your business?
  • What are the strengths of your biggest competitors?
  • What are your competitors doing that you’re not?

You’ve Filled it Out! Now What?

This worksheet won’t help you unless you can analyze the data you’ve compiled and put it into action. While going through, you may have already identified some strategies and goals for your business. Your next steps should be:

  • Create a plan to expand on the strengths you’ve identified
  • Identify ways you can diminish, dispell or defer your weaknesses
  • Set achievable goals for each of the opportunities you have identified
  • Use your strengths to decrease the threats you identified

Mix It Up.

Now the opportunities should start flying off the page. Explore ways in which you can combine your strengths and opportunities to develop new strategies. Try combining strengths and threats to identify threats you can eliminate and look at your weaknesses and opportunities to create a list of areas ready for improvement.

You should also make a list of areas to avoid that fall under weaknesses and threats. Once you can read your data and understand the recordings, you can find ways to use it strategically. The best part is that you can use this tool over and over again to explore new opportunities, uncover lurking threats, and improve your business year after year.

>>Download the SWOT here<<


Join us at the  PDS Super-Conference

If you are looking for ways to get more buy-ins and more “yeses” from prescribers, patients, and employees, you need to attend the PDS Super-Conference. We want you to join us and learn how you can use these strategies to start maximizing your potential as soon as possible - and we’re positive that this pharmacy conference will do that for you.

100% sure, in fact – if after the first day, you don’t feel like the conference was worth your time or money? We’ll give you that money back.  Not only that, but we’ll give you $300 back on top of your ticket refund for your travel expenses. That’s guaranteed.

We’re expecting over 2,000 guests this year – but if you want to be a part of this incredible opportunity, join now.

 

{PDS 2018 Keynote #2} Business is a Team Sport

Business is a Team Sport

We’ve Compiled the Best Flu Shot Marketing Strategies for Pharmacies… and They WORK

Best Flu Shot Marketing

Friday the 13th Rules for Pharmacy Ownership

Friday the 13th Rules for Pharmacy Ownership

Friday the 13th Rules for Pharmacy OwnershipPharmacy ownership doesn’t have to be scary. Sure, the industry is filled with pitfalls and roadblocks, but there’s no need to fear! Here are four pharmacy rules to get you through this Friday the 13th and beyond.

You can survive and come out the other side with a thriving successful pharmacy.

Don’t Go Swimming

What does swimming have to do with running a successful pharmacy? What we’re trying to say is there is no need to jump into the deep lake in the woods when you don’t have the bandwidth or experience — aka if you aren’t ready to leave the pool you know. Focus on what you do exceptionally well and execute (chainsaw pun intended) to the best of your ability. Take the time to improve processes in your Synchronization program, create an excellent patient experience, provide the best customer service in town. Once you have mastered the skill of swimming in one pool, find yourself a new lake to conquer and repeat the process. Take on the lake of RxAnalytics or implement a Clinical Services program. Rushing to do more than what you are realistically capable of will only lead to trouble.

Don’t Run From the Killer if You Can Fight and WIN

There’s a lot of competition out there, but you can’t be scared to compete. The PBM’S, DIR fees, and big chain stores may be intimidating when they are staring you down, but there isn’t any reason for you to run. You have two secret weapons these competitors can’t offer and they will help you beat the competition every time. What is it that will help you succeed in the face of danger?

  1. SECRET WEAPON #1: You have a network of pharmacy owners out there just like you that are ready and willing to engage in a knowledge-sharing culture.
    Our industry-only message board generates hundreds of posts a week that address everything from technical challenges, to the best kind of shoes to wear when working the bench. The PDS Super-Conference is an exceptional opportunity to engage with the industry elite in person. Many are willing to share their wins, losses, tips, and tricks if it means keeping the industry moving forward.
  2. SECRET WEAPON #2: Your insider knowledge of your community.
    You know the healthcare needs of your area better than any box chain ever could, and this information can be leveraged to impact areas like your profitability, team building, and implementing new revenue streams. Next time you’re looking at a scary competitor, reach for the tools you have to stand up to those that want to see you fall.

If You Trip, Get Up and Keep Running

You can’t just give up when you’re being chased through the woods. Running a business isn’t fool-proof, you will make mistakes as you go. Spending your time and efforts on building prescription volume when you could be leveraging the data in your pharmacy is a mistake, and most pharmacy owners have made it. Some just lay down and accept their fate, but those that see success are the ones who got up and figured out where they should be focusing instead.

Don’t Split Up

Power in numbers. This is true in the horror movies and in the independent pharmacy industry. Our members are the top 25% of the industry, the cutting edge when it comes to pharmacy operations and profitability. In fact, some of our members have become such rockstars in the industry, they are training facilitators for PDS to teach their strategies to other owners. Our RxAnalytics program not only looks at your specific pharmacy data but puts it into the context of other member pharmacies. Independent doesn’t mean alone, our network of approved vendors, subject matter experts, and ever-growing industry-only message board keeps independents engaged and connected for long-term success.

Running your pharmacy business should be fun, not scary. If it’s scary for you, that is a red flag. Talk to us! We can help you lay down a plan to navigate your business to make it through the woods. Or better yet, talk to your peers on the PDS Advantage Industry Message Board (it’s free to sign up and start connecting!). They’ll tell you what we already know — there’s nothing scarier than the unknown.

Join Us at The PDS Super-Conference

Come to the place where the industry meets. This 3-day event is the only event dedicated to pharmacy business growth. Our amazing Lineup of speakers, experts and vendors will blow you away — not to mention the lifetime connections you will make with your fellow attendees. What are you waiting for? Click below to save your seat before we sell out!  Come see for yourself why we are so confident in our ability to change your life and improve the profitability of your pharmacy that we have a conference guarantee. If you don’t see the value of the PDS Super-Conference after the first day, we’ll reimburse your travel up to $500 and give you an additional $300 — no questions asked.

PDS Super-Conference

 

3 Ways Pharmacy School Failed Independent Owners (and what to do about it)

3 Ways Pharmacy School Failed Independent Owners

3 Ways Pharmacy School Failed Independent Owners

Between PBMs, DIR fees, MAC pricing and clawbacks, the independent pharmacy owners we work with are hungry for proven strategies to transform their business. And who would blame them? Identifying ways to supplement your pharmacy’s bottom line is more important than ever with insurance companies and auditors regularly skimming from the top.    

Our R&D team is dedicated to creating profitable and patient-focused member programs, such as RxAnalytics. This proprietary system analyzes pharmacy data to uncover specific ways to increase profit margins, but success is not just about making money.  

Is this a shocking statement from the “pharmacy profit” guys? Absolutely! However, we know it’s just as critical to be an excellent team leader.  

Every year at the annual PDS Super-Conference, we unveil the newest ideas and programs
programs guaranteed to push you past the competition, add cash to your pockets, and work on you as a leader. Why? Because that’s the accelerant for turning We’re having a good year, into Our accountant is asking why our profitability is this high! 

As our founder, Dan Benamoz, says, PDS can give you the tools necessary to start the campfire, but leadership will turn it into a roaring bonfire that warms everyone and everything. It’s the rocket fuel that gets the PDS programs not only up in the air but into orbit.  

Do pharmacy owners forget to value leadership?

The short answer is no. Everyone has an idea of “good leadership” or can picture someone they admire. However, the reality is that pharmacy school taught you how to be a competent healthcare provider, not how to be a leader or business owner. And while some owners have a natural ability, it’s not the reality for most in this field.  

In fact, there are three areas Dan believes aren’t discussed enough at universities that we’ve found to be a critical element to success: ethics, leadership and culture.  

1. Ethics 

The root of unethical behavior is greed. It’s important to discuss this with pharmacy owners because the reality is that our industry, which is dictated by insurance companies and PBMs, is built on…well, greed.
Of course, we want to do the right things for the right reasons, and do them for the greater good. However, in this industry, owners sometimes find themselves pushing the envelope just to get by. They feel the only way to win is to cheat the game, which is simply not true. You can do what’s best for the patient and your business while still being able to sleep soundly at night.

As one of the most trusted professions, a title we all wear proudly, we’re here to improve society. We as pharmacists need to ensure we’re furthering that reputation, not hindering it, especially as we get closer to being more integrative in clinical practices. We have the trust and confidence of many people in the community, so it’s critical everyone is careful. What took our profession and your business a lifetime to build can be ruined with one small misstep. 

2. Leadership 

Your team wants someone to follow. Someone who has a vision that will inspire them, foster job satisfaction and fulfillment, as though they’re contributing to something bigger than themselves. Being the pharmacy owner, inherently most of you have assumed the role of Leader. It’s a tremendous responsibility, and to succeed, it’s essential you know what the expectations are so you can cultivate the right work environment. You want your team to look forward to coming in and feel good about providing an essential service to patients in the community. Good leadership has a trickle-down effect, and that’s what we mean when we say quality starts in the boardroom.  

3. Culture 

What would the Philharmonic be without the symphony hall? Culture represents the environment in which you operate and while it can be hard to fully grasp, it’s critical to success. But is culture intentional or unintentional? For many pharmacies, it’s unintentional, which means they’re probably making some mistakes. If they simply knew more about what they’re doing, they could really set their business on fire. The good news is that it’s usually just a few broken links, not the whole chain. When you can identify these weak links, you can fix them and begin to nurture a culture with intention. 

After profitability, employees are one of the biggest frustrations for business owners.

If employees are one of the biggest frustrations, how do we make sure we’re addressing the challenges properly? How do we get culture and leadership to work for pharmacy owners rather than against them? How do we get it to bring you joy?

While we have the programs and strategies to help, we still believe they are not discussed enough. That’s why leadership and culture are always a major theme at the PDS Conference and why we’re inviting the foremost experts to speak at the 2018 event. After all, we only want the best for our show. 

We tend to keep our schedule for the show a surprise, but this year we’re so excited about the big names we’ve invited, that we couldn’t resist announcing that John Maxwell will join us in Orlando. He has authored more than 100 books, many being New York Times Best Sellers, selling over 16 million copies, and was named the #1 leadership expert in the world by Inc. Magazine in 2014.  

John’s philosophy that “everything rises and falls on leadership,” motivates his every endeavor to help individuals reach their highest potential, both in personal and professional settings.   

To him, there’s no higher goal than to help others realize their significance. He has dedicated his life to growing and equipping others to do remarkable things and lead significant and fulfilled lives. John will discuss…  

  • How to become a person of influence 
  • Develop the leader within you and those around you 
  • And, most importantly, how to fail forward

Natural Disasters: Be the Heart Your Community Needs

Natural Disasters

Natural Disasters

Community pharmacies play an important role and bring a unique value to the areas they serve. This role is particularly important when it comes to natural disasters. The threat of natural disasters isn’t new, but in light of recent times, there is an increased sense of awareness and need for preparedness if the next one is ‘The Big One.’

Under the HIPAA Security Rule and the Medicare Quality Standard, your pharmacy must have a Disaster Recovery Plan in place to implement. It’s a good idea to read up on your plan, research if it is still compliant, and go over this with your team, so there are no additional surprises beyond the stress of the natural disaster itself. Once you have your contingency plan in place, you are better able to serve your community and step in when the situation arises.

Increased awareness surrounding recent and impending natural disasters has driven states and organizations to establish and reassess protocols for disaster recovery plans. These vary state to state so independent pharmacies should confirm that they are up to speed on expectations. This isn’t the type of contribution that we are talking about though, we’re talking about a different list of things that you can do as your communities healthcare destination in support of first responders and federal help.

It all comes down to one overarching idea — Think Locally.

Your Role in Light of Disaster

As a local provider, nobody knows your community, their health care needs, and ailments the way you do. In the case of an extreme disaster, it is possible that responders may take days to get on the ground in your area. In the meantime, serve the community by acting as a liaison for communication, health questions, and readiness support until the Federal assistance arrives.

  • If you have working phone lines, allow those who are displaced the opportunity to contact their loved ones and let them know they are safe.
  • Remind your patients before an oncoming disaster to fill their prescriptions so they are prepared in case of service disruption after the event. Many patients require life-saving medications and do not think of refilling their medication in the chaos of preparing their homes.
  • Provide disaster preparation checklists to your patients that include information on proper medication storage, water safety, shelter, and resource information.
  • Reach out to local health officials and offer your services as a community resource center in the event of a disaster.
  • Make connections with pharmacies in other areas that may provide services that you do not cover. If one distribution center is depleted, you should always have a backup plan for necessary medication and supplies.
  • Be willing to jump in and open your store up to provide life-saving products, equipment and shelter to those in need after the disaster passes. Sometimes people just need a working outlet to charge their phones to reach loved ones.

The key is to have a plan and build the connections before the disaster hits. Practice and test your plan frequently enough so that when something happens, you are prepared to serve your community in what may be their darkest time of need.


PDS Stands With Those Affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

PDS believes in the strength of communities and supports businesses across the nation and abroad. Our hearts are with those displaced and affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. If you wish to donate, to hurricane relief, please find a list of charities below:

  1. All Hands Volunteers
  2. AmeriCares
  3. American Red Cross
  4. International Medical Corps
  5. Convoy of Hope

This is just a short list of groups dedicated to provide relief to those affected. Please take the time to donate and keep the victims and communities in your hearts.