ORLANDO, Fla., July 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- At its annual Retail Business Conference (RBC) for independent pharmacies, Cardinal Health this week introduced Independent Pharmacy Best Practices 2012, Ideas as Original As You Are, a special publication that showcases 16 unique programs, implemented by independent pharmacists from across the United States, that improve patient care and drive business results.
Cardinal Health provides pharmaceutical distribution and a vast array of business support services to nearly 7,000 independent pharmacies from across the United States. The company invited its independent pharmacy sales force to nominate successful best practices from their customers. Retail pharmacy experts from Cardinal Health then selected 16 stories to be highlighted in the inaugural issue of Independent Pharmacy Best Practices; and invited members of its National Retail Advisory Board, which is comprised of leading independent pharmacists from across the country, to select three finalists.
Live, at RBC 2012's Customer General Session, event attendees viewed videos highlighting the three finalists, and were invited to 'text to vote' for the most innovative best practice. The winner of the text-to-vote competition was Marty Bigner of Thrift Drugs, McComb, Miss. Cardinal Health will donate $10,000 to the organization of Bigner's choice, in his honor.
The three independent pharmacies that were recognized as finalists at Cardinal Health's Best Practices Text-to-Vote competition at RBC 2012 are:
- Free Vitamin Club – Marty Bigner of Thrift Drugs, McComb, Miss . –Thrift Drugs implemented a Free Vitamin Club for children, with the goal of improving patient health, demonstrating its commitment to the community and building new – and stronger – relationships with patients. Marty Bigner, owner of Thrift Drugs, orders children's chewable vitamins with a Thrift Drugs private label, at a cost of less than 90 cents each. He invites members of his community to sign up children, ages 2-12, to participate in the Free Vitamin Club, and promotes the program through local radio and print ads, his storefront signs, flyers and at local health fairs. In the program's first year, nearly 290 children were enrolled in the program, representing more than 100 families – half of which had not visited Thrift Drugs before. Bigner views the program as a great, low-cost way to develop patient relationships and patient loyalty.
- Synchronizing Refills: Meds Made Easy – Mark Hobbs & Jessica Beal of Hobbs Pharmacy, Merritt Island, Fla. – Hobbs Pharmacy services a large number of 'high prescription volume' patients – who take 15-20 different prescription medications. These patients needed to call or visit Hobbs Pharmacy almost daily – which was time consuming for patients and pharmacy staff alike. To address this issue, Hobbs Pharmacy implemented a synchronized refill program in 2011. Pharmacy staff synchronize each patient's prescriptions and their corresponding refill timelines; and then work with prescribing physicians to get all medications on a synchronized refill schedule, so patients only need to visit the pharmacy once or twice per month.This Meds Made Easy program enables Hobbs Pharmacy to better identify adherence issues and to improve its collaboration with doctors. Hobbs Pharmacy now receives fewer patient phone calls, makes fewer patient deliveries and has a much more predictable inventory. The program has freed up staff time to focus on other patient care initiatives, and has generated at least 25 new patients, each of whom utilize 12-15 prescriptions per month. Jessica Beal, pharmacist at Hobbs Pharmacy, says that the program is particularly appreciated by the 'sandwich generation,' comprised of middle-aged adults who serve as caretakers for their parents and their children. This program helps these customers manage their parents' medications much more time efficiently.
- Teacher Immunization Program – Kevin Reddish, of Reddish Pharmacy, Nampa, Idaho – After Kevin Reddish, owner of Reddish Pharmacy in Nampa, Idaho, became certified at RBC 2012 to offer immunizations, he started marketing his new flu vaccine services to local senior centers. But these new services really took off when Reddish worked with the leaders of his local school system to begin offering teacher flu clinics at local schools. In just the first month and a half, Reddish had booked 25 flu vaccine clinics at local schools, and in just the first year of the program, he increased his vaccine business from 200 to more than 850 immunizations. Reddish also leveraged the Teacher Immunization Program to earn teachers' prescription business. He encouraged teachers to sign up for his auto-refill program, and offered to deliver teachers' prescriptions directly to them at school, at no additional fee. His auto-refill program now has 250 patients enrolled; many of whom are teachers. Reddish now plans to market his other pharmacy services to teachers at future flu clinics, and plans to expand the Teacher Immunization Program to smaller outlying schools. Reddish says this program is a great example of a way pharmacists can improve community health while building their business.