Health Mart tops for service, patient care

In the May issue of Consumer Reports, a report found that such independents as McKesson’s Health Mart franchise group are delivering the goods.

McKesson helped capitalize on what has always been an exemplary Health Mart patient experience at the top of last year with a multi-
million-dollar ad campaign that included an ad during the New Orleans Saints/Indianapolis Colts Super Bowl. That 2010 campaign featured real Health Mart pharmacists with stories on how they have impacted their local communities by taking the time to care and provide special services.

Along with Bayer Diabetes Care and Novo Nordisk, Health Mart in 2010 also kicked off the Health Mart Healthy Living Tour, a national diabetes awareness and health screening tour focused on the role of pharmacists partnering in diabetes care. “The program featured a mobile screening unit that traveled across the country to raise diabetes awareness through free health screenings and education,” explained Tim Canning, Health Mart president. “The tour ... emphasized the key role of pharmacists in diabetes care, encouraging consumers to initiate healthy conversations with their community pharmacists,” he said. “As a result of focusing on greater-risk communities across many different states, 49.7% of the tour patients screened were identified as at risk for diabetes.”

While Consumer Reports features Health Mart as a good example of the kind of experience patients are finding at independents, the network also has been recognized for its outstanding service elsewhere. J.D. Power in February named Health Mart as 1-of-the-40 companies that was a J.D. Power 2011 Customer Service Champion. “When this was announced, Leslie Sauzek, owner of Moody Health Mart Pharmacy in Sparta, Ill., commented on how the fact that Health Mart provides locally owned pharmacies with a national identity helped make it possible for the network to be recognized by consumers on a national level,” Canning noted.

Health Mart epitomizes the best of both ends of the pharmacy service spectrum: the small-town service of a pharmacist active within their community and the branding and efficiency driven by such technology as EnterpriseRx that typically is associated with much larger pharmacy chain competitors. “Our EnterpriseRx pharmacy management system helps pharmacy staff manage their workload more efficiently with Promise Time Workflow, which makes sure the right person is doing the right task at the right time,” Canning said. “This helps ensure that the pharmacy is running as efficiently as possible with the technicians focused on labeling, counting and filling, while the pharmacist focuses on prescription validation, as well as patient and physician consultations.”

“The workflow [associated with EnterpriseRx] has allowed us to be more organized, which has drastically increased our ability to have more patient care,” reported Katie Butt Beckart, president of Butt Drugs Health Mart Pharmacy, in a recent McKesson video. 

Pharmacy automation tools, such as Parata Systems, also help spring the Health Mart pharmacy operator from behind the bench to provide more healthcare services, such as diabetes counseling and medication therapy management. In Wisconsin, for example, McKesson’s Health Mart locations are piloting an MTM program that electronically connects pharmacists with the physician, the payer and the patient to help drive consistent outcomes. Those kinds of intervention services can realize savings between $500 and $1,500 for participating payers, and as much as $450 in savings for the patient, McKesson has reported.

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