With specialty pharmacy marking a growing component of community pharmacies’ business, inventory monitoring — particularly for specialty medications that are meant to kept at certain temperatures — is becoming an added stressor for pharmacists. Temptime VP global customer development Christopher Caulfield spoke with Drug Store News about how the company’s temperature monitoring tools help pharmacies deliver value to patients and the healthcare system.
Drug Store News: With consumers taking greater control of their own health, how is your company helping community pharmacists use technology to better engage patients, improve the patient experience in pharmacy and/or improve communication with patients?
CHRISTOPHER CAULFIELD: Temptime spent 18 months understanding the needs and expectations of consumers, especially those managing a chronic condition. We learned that they are engaged and active in their healthcare treatment and that they desire information and assurance that the medication or therapy they are using will improve their quality of life.
In addition to consumers, Temptime has worked with pharmacists and pharmaceutical manufacturers to understand temperature monitoring requirements and how a successful communication program incorporating temperature monitoring can enhance the patient user experience, contribute to a positive impact on an outcomes-based program and reduce the number of reships to the pharmacy. Patients demand assurance from their pharmacists and healthcare providers that their medications have been stored and shipped in the proper conditions. Temptime has achieved this positive outcome via low cost, chemically based, disposable devices or with more complex data-collecting devices.
DSN: As pharmacists work to achieve provider status and continue to play a greater role in healthcare delivery, how is your company enabling community pharmacists to practice at the top of their license?
CC: Temptime understands that pharmacists are working in a dynamic environment where they are tasked with being experts in drug interactions, temperature management and logistics all in the same day. Temptime has a suite of chemical and electronic data-logging product offerings that address the various accreditation requirements and state boards of pharmacy requirements. Unique and innovative solutions make facility temperature and humidity monitoring more easily achieved while data and alarms are more effectively shared. The ease by which a pharmacy can qualify an insulated shipper using the Temptime system allows a pharmacist to focus on the patient and the medications.
DSN: Medication adherence remains one of the most cost-effective ways to lower total healthcare costs and deliver improved outcomes. How is your company helping community pharmacy solve for this big opportunity to improve health care?
CC: Temptime has been providing millions of low-cost, chemically based temperature monitoring solutions to pharmacies so that patients can immediately know if their medication has been received without exposure to potentially damaging temperatures. Identifying medication that has been delivered within the appropriate temperature range in an immediate and simple fashion allows patients to maintain their medication schedule and improve the likelihood of improved outcomes in a cost-effective manner.
DSN: How is your company helping community pharmacies drive greater efficiency in their business whether in terms of inventory management, optimizing workflow, or keeping ahead of reimbursement challenges, etc.?
CC: Temptime understands that pharmacists are taking on an ever-growing responsibility for assuring that highly valued, temperature-sensitive medications are received by the patient per the temperature requirements of the manufacturer — and in a growing number of states, the requirements of the state board of pharmacy. Temptime has worked with pharmacists, patients and manufacturers to understand the temperature monitoring requirements and how a successful program can enhance the patient use experience, contribute to a positive impact on an outcomes-based program and make a significant return on investment for the pharmacy.
DSN: As pharmacy continues to focus more broadly on outcomes and implementing more clinical services, how is your company helping pharmacy retailers better manage the vast amounts of data they need to deal with on a daily basis that comes as a part of that?
CC: Temptime is dedicated to improving global health. The company’s commitment is reflected through our dedication to understanding specific market needs and determining how we can bring innovative products to enhance those markets. Temptime has been participating on the leading edge of the pharmacy market by bringing new, patient-centric temperature monitoring solutions into the patient’s home. Temptime offers an entire range of temperature monitoring solutions from low-cost, chemically-based products to sophisticated data-driven devices equipped with low-energy Bluetooth capabilities and cloud-based data storage.
DSN: As healthcare providers look to form unique partnerships to better manage patient populations, deliver improved outcomes and better manage financial risk, how is your company helping to connect the expanded patient care team?
CC: We partner with small, medium and large national specialty pharmacies in mail-order, retail and hospitals to control escalating specialty drug costs by reducing returns and reships. Monitoring temperature-sensitive shipments can improve patient outcomes and satisfaction, protecting the integrity of the brand and maximizing value for the manufacturer and specialty pharmacy alike.
Patients and healthcare providers want the knowledge and confidence that their medications have not been adversely exposed to temperature. Manufacturers of specialty drugs want the confidence to know that patients are receiving the optimal potency to provide an optimal outcome. Payers want costs controlled and great patient outcomes.