What is your role with the I/DD division at PharMerica?
I’m the director of pharmacy for Pharmacy Alternatives in Anaheim, California. We service about 2,400 clients across California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and Washington. We’re responsible for all of the medication management for the residents at our long-term care facilities. This includes verifying prescriptions, conducting drug reviews, and monitoring medication therapy to ensure the optimum outcomes for our clients.
What brought you to the I/DD sector? What keeps you here?
When I graduated from pharmacy school, I initially worked as a retail pharmacist. There wasn’t much reward in that job because I couldn’t spend time with patients and really help them with achieving their health goals. Here, we’re able to follow clients from admission and we get to work with them year after year, manage their health outcomes and see their improvement. That’s the difference with this sector. That’s what brought me to Pharmacy Alternatives and what keeps me here.
What sets us apart from our competitors?
We specialize in the I/DD community, so all of our workflow is geared towards that. From our bubble packing of medications and our follow through with our customized requests this allows us to give all of our clients personalized service. All of our medications are delivered on time – if it’s a local facility, they’ll get their medications that night. If it’s not local, they’ll get their medication the next day. We also have technology integration which allows our pharmacy software to integrate with the facility’s eMAR system, which helps facility staff administer medications correctly. We also offer our customers 24/7 support through an on-call service process that can fill prescriptions and send any medications clients need during those off times when the pharmacy is closed. We adhere to rigorous quality control measures. We use a Six Sigma workflow, which means that every step of the process every medication is checked and double checked by the technicians and the pharmacists for final review. In addition, we have transparent pricing. Our billing department is great at explaining what’s going to be charged. If
something’s not covered, we work with the doctors and nurses to get it covered or to change the medication.
What impact do our services have on individuals with I/DD?
We’re really advocates for our clients in this niche population. We want to see an overall improvement in their quality of life, and this includes medication safety and making sure that everything is being monitored appropriately. We ensure continuity of care so if a patient is being transferred from a hospital or SNF to one of our facilities, we work closely with the staff to ensure that patient arrives at the facility with the medications they need. We’re always looking at cost-effective care to optimize the patient’s therapy and eliminate any costs that are unnecessary. It’s a patient-centered care model where we work with nurses, doctors, and staff to optimize patient care.
What three things would you like to hear our customers say about us?
We’re understanding and compassionate, we follow through with our promises, and we go above and beyond to get what’s needed for that patient.