Here at PDS, we take pride in highlighting some of our incredible exhibitors. We know these companies have the potential to revolutionize pharmacies just like yours through their products and services. We’re excited to introduce Parata. Read on for their sponsored blog post about the benefits pharmacy automation.
Empower Your Employees with Pharmacy Technology
Medicap Pharmacy®, in the Des Moines metro area, has been serving the community since 1980. In the process, it’s been tackling a challenge familiar to independent retail pharmacies: finding the right balance of personal service expected from a community pharmacy and the technology needed to empower employees with tools and time to make the greatest impact.
“We base our practice on developing relationships with the patients we serve,” says owner John Forbes, RPh. “We work with them on their medications, doing synchronization programs and offering medication therapy management services to help them better understand what they’re taking and to drive more positive outcomes.”
Medicap pharmacists and techs historically dispensed prescriptions in vials and blister cards, deliver patient education to help customers get the dosages and timing right, and deliver medication synchronization services to create an aligned refill schedule making it possible for patients with multiple prescriptions to reduce trips to the pharmacy for refills.
Automation Improves Adherence
Taking a proactive approach, John set out to improve adherence safety by researching multi-dose compliance packing options. He chose to add pouch packaging automation, which packages all a patient’s meds in easy-to-open pouches, each clearly marked with a list of the pills inside and the day, date, and time to take them. This makes it easier for patients to know what to take when so they’re less likely to make a mistake.
“We’ve gotten new patients from our automation,” John asserts. “The increased volume adds to the bottom line. In today’s pharmacy business, margins are tight, so making it up on more volume is important.”
“Patient safety is one of the primary reasons I moved to automation,” John explains. “People are more compliant with this kind of packaging. Compliance is at best 60 to 70 percent when they’re using bottles. When medications are in compliance packaging, it can increase up to 80 percent.”
Customers need to trust their pharmacists, and John says the automation gives patients confidence. “They have a more secure feeling they are taking prescriptions properly,” he says, “and they are less worried about taking their medications.” Plus, it’s more convenient to have all your medications packaged by dose and time of day. “People crave convenience,” he adds.
An Iowa state legislator since 2013, John serves on the Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee which oversees the state’s Medicaid program. This gives him insight into the cost benefits of medication compliance.
“Medication errors are a huge problem within our society, and if we don’t get it under control, our whole system will implode,” he explains. “The packager is designed to lower costs by getting better compliance. When you can get people on an adherence program like this you get better outcomes. People are healthier, which reduces overall healthcare costs.”
John estimates the difference in adherence between traditional packaging and compliance packaging could be as high as 20 percent. These savings can be due to reduced ER visits, hospital admissions, and nursing home transfers.
Hear from the PDS pharmacy experts and learn more about compliance packaging.
About the Author
Parata provides pharmacy technology solutions to reduce costs, improve health outcomes, and enhance the patient experience by offering the most comprehensive pharmacy automation portfolio with medication adherence packaging, high-speed robotic dispensing technologies, and pharmacy workflow solutions.