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ThoughtSpot 2016 puts focus on patient care


When he took the stage at Good Neighbor Pharmacy’s ThoughtSpot 2016 General Session, AmerisourceBergen Chairman, President and CEO Steve Collis shared with attendees that though pharmacy is going through a period of change and consolidation, and that independent community pharmacists are uniquely positioned to capitalize on these changes. Their main asset, he said, is the ability to set themselves apart through their patient-centered approach and relationship-driven care.

“As daunting as industry consolidation may be, there are ample opportunities for community pharmacy to sustain and grow its critical role in patient care,” Collis said before highlighting two patient care trends: a population with 1-in-4 people being 60 years old or older and a more collaborative interaction expected between patients and health providers.

The need to focus on patients was central to ThoughtSpot 2016’s theme — Time for Care. According to AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation President Bob Mauch, the main way the company and Good Neighbor Pharmacy ensure pharmacists have time for their patients is by being a strategic partner that can meet its customers needs. Mauch said these needs are partially gleaned from working in the field talking to customers, a process that led the company to conclude that patient care was the independent pharmacist’s top priority, and “that if it's most important for our customers, then it's most important to us.”

“The service we provide is about making sure [pharmacists] have time to care for their patients,” Mauch told Drug Store News. “They shouldn't have to worry about what's going on with the wholesaler. They should be 100% sure that a product is going to show up, and they'll have it to treat the patient that day. … Every decision we make, there's a patient on the end of it, and therefore, we make better decisions as a result.”

ThoughtSpot 2016’s Innovation & Technology showcase gave attendees an overview of the technological offerings they have access to through Good Neighbor Pharmacy and the Elevate Provider Network that help them care for patients. Among the tools available is the PrescribeWellness-powered Patient Engagement Center, which uses claim-level patient data to help pharmacists track adherence.

The Patient Engagement Center (pictured above) can identify patients between 70% and 80% adherent, allowing the pharmacists to see which patients can quickly be brought to 80% adherence and allowing them to focus on other patients. Users also can sort patients to view different adherence levels by disease state. In addition to the Patient Engagement Center, PrescribeWellness offers pharmacies PrescribeMedicare, a tool that helps patients who are Medicare beneficiaries choose the best plan for them.

Continuing education (CE) courses throughout ThoughtSpot 2016 also emphasized how to make patient-centered care a priority. CE courses about putting the customer first went beyond the pharmacy counter, with AmerisourceBergen retail business coach Paul Satterfield broadening the definition of care to the front of store in his CE sessions. The most important thing Satterfield emphasized across his courses was the potential in a companion sale — a pharmacist-suggested OTC product that the pharmacist places in the patient’s hand.

According to the JD Power 2015 Pharmacy Study*, 57% of Good Neighbor Pharmacy’s customers, who speak to a pharmacist, spend more on OTC purchases.  The return for a strong pharmacy experience is clear. The key for pharmacists, according to Good Neighbor Pharmacy Vice President of Business Coaching and Pharmacy Ownership, Jennifer Zilka, is seeing this as an additional component of providing the best care.

“They're clinicians and when they're suggesting, or upselling a product, they feel like they're doing just that,” Zilka told Drug Store News. “And we encourage them to look at it not as a “sales-y” approach, rather as making sure the patient has everything they need to be healthy. ... It's another opportunity for pharmacists to engage patients clinically — and reinforce their position as a source of care in their community.”


Elevate Provider Network Patient Engagement Center


*J.D. Power, McGraw Hill Financial, 2015 U.S. Pharmacy Study


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