With insurance reimbursement rates at all-time lows, service-oriented independent pharmacies are moving toward providing immunization programs in order to compete and remain profitable. Creating an immunization program requires that pharmacies access and integrate with their state’s immunization registries — which can be cumbersome and time-consuming, particularly for independent pharmacies.
BestRx and SMP partnered to customize an immunization module that uses data from immunization registries to prompt pharmacy staff with immunization notices directly in workflow, when patients’ records are accessed for prescription-related matters. SMP provides tools for pharmacies to connect with their state or local immunization information systems (IIS) registries and report immunizations in real- time, with no further intervention or communication required. The BestRx-SMP integration also allows SMP to access patient data and suggest vaccines that a patient may not otherwise have been notified of. The immunization module, available through the BestRx pharmacy management platform, went live at the beginning of August and is receiving excellent reviews.
“In order to build an effective immunization program, a pharmacy must have the proper tools. Having the ability to check a patient’s immunization history, identifying missing vaccines and making sure immunizations are properly reported in their IIS Registry is important to driving a healthy population base,” said Sam Pizzo, Co-Founder of SMP. “Pharmacies that don’t have access to a system such as BestRx’s must do these processes manually, which is labor-intensive and creates more likelihood of reporting errors or missed opportunities. BestRx is at the forefront of innovation with real-time updates that occur in the pharmacy’s workflow — which can save pharmacies time and money and expand clinical services.”
The team at SMP has worked with independent pharmacies for years and knows how to create elegant solutions. “Pharmacies we support wanted the ability to report to registries, so we knew we wanted to partner with SMP to develop the right resource for our clients,” said BestRx President Hemal Desai.
Rossi Pharmacy, in Brooklyn, New York, started an immunization program at the beginning of 2018 to meet patient expectations and stay competitive with large chains. By searching the registry, Rossi Pharmacy knew that 200 of its patients were eligible for non-influenza-related vaccines, but there was no efficient way to notify them. Even with cold-calling, the pharmacy was averaging only four immunizations per month.
“In New York City, everything has to be incredibly fast-paced, and we needed a faster way to service patients that didn’t involve taking time to access a separate system,” said Ambar Keluskar, Rossi Pharmacy’s supervising pharmacist. “The BestRx immunization module has dramatically enhanced our immunization program,” he added. “The first day we went live with the BestRx immunization module, the pharmacy did more vaccinations than it had in the previous month.”
Keluskar said that the pharmacy was now planning to host an immunization clinic to benefit the community, something that wouldn’t have been practical without the module. “The immunization program opens the door to sitting down with patients, getting to know them even better and provide better service and better health outcomes within our community.”