McKesson's Health Mart pharmacy franchisees recently gained access to a tool that has the potential of giving community pharmacy a leg up on the competition in the coming years. EQuIPP, from Pharmacy Quality Solutions, does just that — equips independents with individual store data that marks the performance of their pharmacy vs. a national benchmark.
It's putting the pestle where the mortar is — retail pharmacy has the patient touchpoints and data-tracking wherewithal to make a material impact on patient outcomes. Important, because that's what the new year will bring — more and more healthcare payers looking to improve their own patient outcomes. And what better way to do it than to partner with outperforming pharmacies?
It's a message that's reverberating throughout the industry. Community pharmacy has constructed the most efficient pathways to less costly modes of care. They do it through medication therapy management programs, medication adherence programs and medication reconciliation when patients are discharged from the hospital. For preventive care and wellness, pharmacies are one of the fastest-growing destinations for vaccinations as well as for disease-state screening services and retail clinics.
And across a sector of the industry where the patient and pharmacist are often on a first-name basis, community pharmacists won't only be able to surmise their personal relationships help improve patient outcomes on a pharmacy-wide scale, they'll be able to demonstrate what that personal touch can do through empirical data. The proof will be in the actual outcomes.
"This is a critical time for retail pharmacies to leverage their role as healthcare service providers, and we believe the pharmacies that will stay competitive will consistently deliver clinical interactions that improve patient health while managing costs," Health Mart president Stephen Courtman shared with DSN in an exclusive interview this summer.
This past summer's McKesson IdeaShare featured an entire pavilion of nothing but compliance-improving solutions. Solutions extended from vaccination programs to adherence training and behavior coaching, refill reminders, medication synchronization and compliance packaging.
"Whether we look at it as an opportunity or a challenge, the growing movement to accountable care and performance-based networks will likely be the major focus over the coming year," Courtman said. "As payers transition from transaction-based reimbursement, their expectations also are shifting to focus on outcomes and results. In order to control the cost of care, payers will control where they send their 'lives.'"
And now Health Mart operators have one more tool to help direct those lives through their doors.