KEY LEARNING: Continuing Ed sessions begin with a bang

LAS VEGAS — Even before the official start of McKesson ideaShare 2013, the educational sessions broke out of the gate fast, here, Wednesday and Thursday, with a broad spectrum of critical topics available to attendees.

Thursday’s educational highlights, included —

  • Enhancing the Bottom Line. Speaker Dave Wendland, VP, Hamacher Resource Group, helped attendees identify key profit triggers in a financial statement and also discussed real elements that directly affect profitability and generate significant returns in business. “The key takeaway … is that it is not about making big changes to drive big results or searching for a silver bullet as much as it is incremental changes and small changes that produce really big returns,” Wendland said. For example, one attendee revealed how changing the lighting within his pharmacy not only reduced the electric bill but it also resulted in a lower air conditioning bill because it was a cooler lighting system. “Ideas like that are drawn out from the audience and discussed. Everyone was charged with coming up with one or two ways they could go back to their store and affect change immediately,” Wendland added.
  • Rapid Diagnostic Testing in the Community Pharmacy. Speaker Michael E. Klepser, professor of pharmacy at Ferris State University, discussed how pharmacy-based rapid diagnostic testing can potentially improve patient access to quicker treatment for infectious diseases, and helped attendees evaluate if the practice is a good fit for their pharmacies. “Technology is advancing so quickly that it is putting pharmacists on the front line and not just being reactive to receiving a prescription and filling it, but being more proactive and identifying patients that should be treated,” said Klepser. “… This is just the beginning of these tests. I’m covering primarily infectious diseases but there’s over 120 CLIA-waved tests that can be utilized for medication therapy management to preventing outbreaks of diseases.” Attendee Teri Anders, who is the owner of Rock Creek Pharmacy in Bessember, Ala., said she found “the contact points” to be among the most helpful takeaways from this course and “being able to talk to your McKesson rep and know which next step to take.”
  • Best Practices — How Successful Pharmacy Managers Make it Happen. This practice-based session offered insights from on-site visits and interviews with successful pharmacy owners from across the country, such as Central Drugs in Portland, Ore., which specializes in serving patients with HIV; and Hirons drug store in Oregon, which is a traditional pharmacy that has mastered the art of merchandising and promotions. Presenter Bruce Kneeland, national account manager for Epicor Software Solutions, discussed the importance of curb appeal, merchandising, technology, referrals from healthcare professionals, managing employees and free publicity. “There’s no question that an independent pharmacy can survive and do very nicely,” said Kneeland. “They need to find a niche, something that works with the passion of the owner and the demographics of the community.”

Kicking off the day on Wednesday were three separate sessions, including —

  • Community Pharmacy’s Role in the ACO. This session focused on new models of healthcare reimbursement that include Accountable Care Organizations and total care concepts. Presenter Bruce Thompson, director of Health System Pharmacy Services at Hennepin County Medical Center, discussed the barriers in the transition of care and the importance of positioning community pharmacy as a member of the healthcare team. Thompson also highlighted opportunities for community pharmacy to provide value to the patient and the healthcare model.
  • Immunizations 2013 — ACIP Updates and Vaccine Innovations. During this two-hour course, Miranda Wilhelm, clinical assistant professor at Southern Illinois University’s Edwardsville School of Pharmacy, addressed the new 2013 Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice recommendations and changes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Pink Book. Wilhelm also discussed new vaccine storage recommendations, influenza vaccine considerations in preparation for the 2013-14 season and reviewed adult vaccine recommendations for patients with chronic medical conditions.
  • Pain Management: Challenges with Regulations. During this case-based session, participants learned the latest regulatory information that could impact how they manage patients with chronic pain. Presenter Marsha K. Millonig, president and CEO of Catalyst Enterprises and associate fellow at the University of Minnesota Center for Leading Healthcare Change, focused on new state prescription monitoring programs, potential rescheduling of pain medications, REMS programs, alternative pain management, best pain management practices and dealing with early refills.

McKesson ideaShare continuing education sessions will run through Saturday, with more than 30 sessions planned. Content is provided by the Collaborative Education Institute and is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.

In addition to the regular CE programming, ideaShare also featured one-hour Lunch & Learns on Wednesday and Thursday, including, Pneumococcal Disease in Adults 50+: A Prevention Option for Your Patients, sponsored by Pfizer, and “Medicare Part B and Diabetic Testing Supplies,” sponsored by Nipro.

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