Q&A: Caulfield explains role of Temptime’s medication temperature monitoring tools
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.
Thrifty White Pharmacy is improving patient outcomes through new diabetes pilot
PLYMOUTH, Minn. — Thrifty White Pharmacy is making a significant difference in patient lives through its new diabetes care program, which places recipients into a medsync program replete with comprehensive medication therapy management sessions, patient disease management goal setting and follow through. Thrifty White also offers a compliance packaging service, HealthyPack Rx, that helps organize and manage a patient's medication.
"The diabetes program allows us to connect with that diabetes patient on a deeper level," Ben Shanahan, regional sales manager, Thrifty White Pharmacy, told Drug Store News. "Ultimately the goal is to improve the total health outcome of that patient," he said. "Where our sweet spot is, [it's] improving and/or increasing the adherence to medications, ensuring they're on the right medication and layering what's important to [the patient] from a goal standpoint, so working with them and their care team to align on the two or three goals they've identified that will really engage them to improve their care of diabetes."
Thrifty White recently introduced the dedicated diabetes pilot across 20 markets with plans to roll out the program to all stores in October. As part of that meeting, Thrifty White will be doing a deep dive into the diabetes disease state in an effort to cch and manage patients with diabetes. "The overall feedback has been positive," Shanahan said. The program has successfully intervened in the diabetes care of these patients, many of whom were navigating their care on their own.
The Thrifty White Pharmacy diabetes care program follows diabetes management guidelines set forth by Minnesota Community Measurements, which is comparable to CMS' STAR ratings, Shanahan said.
Suggesting the incorporation of such recommendations as a statin therapy into the diabetes care program and other measures have made a difference, Shanahan added. "It wasn't the primary end-point, but we did see a reduction in A1C [of participants], similar to what you would see when you get somebody under control on their medications," he added.
With the early successes of the program, Thrifty White has attracted the attention of local employers. "The [outreach] focus early on had been just with our provider partners," Shanahan said. "As we start to see some of that [positive outcome] uptake within our communities, we have had employers engage with us to talk about how pharmacy can play a role in a role in [helping to] manage the healthcare cost."
This program success, and others like it, also is beginning to attract the attention of commercial payers, added Jeremy Faulks, director specialty pharmacy, Thrifty White Pharmacy. "The commercial markets are starting to understand the value of pharmacy a little better, [and now] commerical plan designs are starting to pay for more MTM-type services," he said. "We're positioning our pharmacists, leveraging their critical skills, to practice at the top of their license [and] attack that area as it continues to open up and the industry moves in that direction."
Amber Pharmacy president recipient of NASP 2017 Distinguished Service Award
OMAHA, Neb. – Mike Agostino, president of Amber Pharmacy and Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions, has been awarded the 2017 Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy.
“Nobody works as tirelessly as Mike when it comes to doing what’s right for our patients,” stated Micaila Ruiz, chief pharmacy officer Amber Pharmacy. “He has the ability to instill his mission of patient-centered care with everyone he meets, whether it’s a member of Congress in Washington, D.C., or a member of our staff.”
“I am honored and humbled to be recognized with this award,” Agostino said. “I find it very gratifying to be a member of an organization like NASP that does everything it can to further the specialty pharmacy industry and make a difference in the lives of patients and caregivers.”
The Distinguished Service Award is given annually to an individual who has made a sustained contribution to leadership within NASP and the specialty pharmacy industry. Agostino was selected for this award by NASP members due to his efforts to keep specialty pharmacy patient focused. This includes his lobbying efforts in Washington, on behalf of the specialty pharmacy industry and his efforts at Amber Pharmacy.
Agostino is also heavily involved in the NASP organization. As the newly-appointed president, he remains focused on growing the organization and sharing its value proposition with others in the industry. He does this by encouraging NASP membership, promoting the NASP Annual Meeting and Educational Conference, and advocating for NASP in Washington, D.C.
When he began at Amber Pharmacy in 2008, Agostino saw the need for more patient-centric specialty pharmacy services. His vision to insert a non-clinical approach to patient care led to Amber Pharmacy’s cultural foundation of putting patients first. This core belief empowers Amber Pharmacy employees to do whatever is needed to support and care for patients.