‘Best Practice’ winners set mark for innovation


Above: Cardinal Health recognized winners of the annual Independent Pharmacy Best Practices during the opening session of this year's Retail Business Conference in Las Vegas.

Right: Mike Bellesine


New patient-care and business solutions won three independent pharmacies special recognition at Cardinal Health’s annual Retail Business Conference in Las Vegas in July.

(Click here to view the full report)

Named best practices winner in the Wellness Advantage category was the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy in Whiting, N.J. The award went to owner Al Patel in part for creation of Discharge Rx Care, which helps transition patients from the nursing home to their own home.

Discharge Rx Care begins at the nursing home, where the pharmacy works with staff to prepare a patient’s medications prior to discharge. To improve long-term adherence rates among homebound patients, the pharmacy prepares unit-dose packs for morning, noon evening and bedtime. On the day the patient is discharged, a pharmacist visits the patient at home to deliver the meds and perform medication reconciliation.

Seattle-based Katterman’s Pharmacy won recognition in the Retail Advantage segment for “front-end solutions that help maximize profitability, while enhancing the customer experience,” Cardinal reported. Pharmacists and co-owners Beverly Schaefer and Steve Cone say they’re on a quest to reinvent their business every three years.

Among its many innovations, Katterman’s has remade itself as a destination for travelers by offering last-minute, travel-related vaccinations and an extensive line of easy-to-pack personal necessities. A Katterman’s travel vaccination customer spends an average of $300 for goods and services, and vaccines are usually administered for two or more travelers at a time.

Drive-through pharmacies were installed to make it easier for customers to drop off or pick up prescriptions. But pharmacist Mike Bellesine, owner of El Dorado TrueCare Pharmacy in Eldorado, Kan., realized his pharmacy’s drive-up window service was causing patients more pain than convenience.

Bellesine knew he often had a long line waiting for drive-through service at TrueCare, which can fill more than 900 prescriptions on busy days. His solution: a restaurant-style pager system. Bellesine said the pager system has made TrueCare the fastest and most efficient drive-up window in town. And the number of drive-through register transactions has jumped from an average of 50 per day to more than 120 per day.

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