VIDEO: Attendees say ideaShare 2017 full of opportunities
McKesson ideaShare 2017 attendees had a lot to say about their favorite aspects of the show in New Orleans, including what they learned to help them improve pharmacy operations and patient care going forward.
"The show now is focused on professionalism, education, clinical aspects, what can we do better, how we can gather data, how we can better take care of our patients, our Star ratings, how we can improve that — so I just gathered a world of information to carry back," one attendee said.
Check out the video above for more.
First-time attendees share insights learned at ideaShare 2017
McKesson ideaShare achieved record attendance this year with nearly 6,000 attendees, representing nearly 1,900 independent pharmacies across the United States. This year also featured more than 800 first-time attendees.
Prior to the meeting, Drug Store News caught up with a few first-time attendees Jan Scott, owner of Nicholls Pharmacy in Nicholls, Ga., and Yunus Wasel, of Greater Care Pharmacy in Warren, Mich., and asked what they expected to get out of the meeting. We followed Scott and Wasel as they attended the McKesson ideaShare meeting and asked them to recap their experience.
DSN: How did the McKesson ideaShare meeting live up to your expectations?
Scott: McKesson ideaShare more than met my expectations. In fact, I was overwhelmed. Without attending an event such as this one, pharmacists in rural areas have no idea the many different options available in product lines, tools to help with operations and patient care options that are available to community pharmacists.
Wasel: I was very interested in attending the meeting to learn what I can do to improve my pharmacy’s performance and network with other pharmacy owners and learn from their experiences. I absolutely loved the simple fact that it was held in New Orleans in order to give back to that community. The atmosphere was very welcoming from the New Orleans natives, and the weather was also amazing. The convention center was more than enough to host us all comfortably.
DSN: What were the top things you learned while you were there?
Wasel: The two main lessons I gained expertise from were the Med Sync and New Ownership sessions. Not only did I learn more about med sync, I was able to network with pharmacists about how to best introduce it to my patients. As for new ownership, I gained more marketing ideas and plans to shift gears as soon as I got back to the pharmacy.
Scott: I spent a great deal of time exploring the different products available that ensure accurate counts, accurate product and accurate patient care. I was most impressed with the software that stores the information into the future to ensure we have provided the most accurate service possible, as well as protecting ourselves legally from litigation.
DSN: Where did you learn the most — from CE sessions, from workshops on the show floor, from your own networking?
Wasel: I learned the most from workshops and walking around the show floor. The workshops were very straight forward and detailed, and I received contact info from some of the speakers and session leaders to call them with any questions. The show floor was amazingly huge, and I couldn't even finish it all in one day even if I wanted too! I liked the ability to meet current and new vendors to try out their products/services to bring more business into my pharmacy.
Scott: I spent a great deal of time networking with other community pharmacists, sharing ideas from each of our practices. We spent time evaluating tablet counters with verification devices and comparing the pros and cons for each device. Of course, there was variation in the group about which device would work best in each different practice. Listening to each pharmacist explain why one particular machine would work best for their particular practice was very informative.
Of course, the main topics discussed in many groups were reimbursement issues and DIR fees. It was comforting to know that other pharmacists are experiencing the same challenges that I am. There was quite a bit of discussion with a few answers; however, the bottom line is a commitment on part of community pharmacists to continue to face the challenges and move forward. There seemed to be a real sense among the information provided in CE sessions and the opinions of other pharmacists that solving the DIR fee problem may take as long as two more years.
DSN: What new ideas do you plan to put into action in your pharmacy?
Wasel: Coming into the meeting, pharmacy management and medication synchronization were on the top of my list to get a better understanding of how to implement both at the pharmacy. With what I learned at the meeting, I plan to focus on implementing med sync and more clinical cases for my patients.
Scott: I will definitely incorporate some new practices into the workflow here. I was able to witness firsthand ideas that can streamline the workflow and make practices much more efficient. I think the goal here at Nicholls Pharmacy will be to do more with less, increasing efficiency, while maximizing our time spent on patient care and contact.
DSN: Do you plan to attend the McKesson ideaShare meeting next year?
Wasel: Without a doubt, YES! I was only able to attend two days this year, but gained so much. l won’t pass that opportunity up ever. I'm beyond satisfied to where I'm sure I will attend every year moving forward.
Scott: Absolutely! After attending once, I think it would be a disservice to my practice not to attend to stay abreast of the changes in product lines and technology. It’s also vital to community pharmacists in rural areas to network together to share ideas. Attending ideaShare will be a top priority for me.
What’s Next? Act now to improve clinical and business results
Connecting customers with industry experts and peers, McKesson ideaShare 2017 featured 30 CE courses and more than 100 educational sessions on the show floor. Ranging from theater sessions to small group seminars to “Do-it-with-me” workshops, the conference provided a record number of attendees with tangible information and best practices to put into action for immediate results.
To help attendees get the most out of the conference, McKesson created a mobile app that helped match customer interests with McKesson and Health Mart content and solutions. The app also gave attendees the ability to conduct an assessment of where their pharmacy was in terms of clinical and financial performance, and set goals based on what matters most to their business. Nearly 2,000 attendees downloaded the McKesson ideaShare app, and nearly 1,000 completed the Roadmap Assessment prior to the meeting.
Tangible ideas to impact performance and business profitability today
Based on their answers, the app makes recommendations for a 12-month plan to help improve a pharmacy’s performance and profits. This new tool saves time and gives pharmacists ideas by pre-populating strategies and tactics that can be implemented. Owners had the option of completing this plan on their own or collaborating with peers in a 45-minute Roadmap Planning Session designed to help attendees get the tools and knowledge they need to evolve their business and increase profitability in the changing pharmacy landscape. Some 200 owners participated in Roadmap Planning Sessions and identified the following objectives to work on in the coming year:
84% Generate X dollars in additional revenue
48% Increase or maintain my profits by X dollars
15% Make more time to enjoy life outside of work (family, faith, travel etc.)
5% Make time to increase clinical and patient interactions
7% Reduce expenses by X dollars
44% Improve cash flow
38% Increase or maintain my profits by X dollars
26% Make time to increase clinical and patient interactions
18% Buy another store, sell a store and/or retire
18% Make more time to enjoy life outside of work (family, faith, travel etc.)
17% Reduce expenses by X dollars
When asked about the Roadmap Planning sessions, own owner said,”Just what I needed to help me understand the numbers in my monthly reports and how they relate.”
“Fantastic energy, quality presentation. I highly recommend the whole profit mastery module,” offered another pharmacist. “Amazing speaker! Gave an engaging presentation with ideas I can take home to improve my business,” added another owner.
“The key to these Roadmap Sessions is that they focused on what Health Mart pharmacists and owners planned to implement once they got back to their pharmacies. These sessions often featured very lively discussions among peers about which strategies were most critical and how to overcome roadblocks they may have experienced before,” said Crystal Lennartz, Health Mart’s chief pharmacist. “This process is extremely valuable, and if they haven’t done it already, we encourage all of our pharmacies to complete the Roadmap Planning Assessment to develop their own action plan.”
Inject profits into your business with expanded partnerships and clinical services
Lennartz also encouraged owners to keep networking with their peers, to continue sharing best practices and attend Health Mart’s upcoming Town Hall series, “Revenue Remedies.” The fourth series, with meetings around the country, will give attendees the skills to overcome barriers to maximize clinical services to drive revenue while improving patient outcomes. Open to all independent pharmacists and technicians, and led by peer pharmacists, the CE event will provide practical advice to drive more revenue from vaccines, MTM and expanded partnerships with providers.