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.