Early in October I drove from Dallas, Texas, to Charlotte, N.C. The trip was sponsored by Liberty Software, a pharmacy management platform headquartered in the
Dallas area. Each of the four pharmacies I visited on the trip was selected because of some extra service they were providing that is supported by a feature of the Liberty Software platform they use.
This was my 12th formal pharmacy road trip, and as with all the others I learned things that just might help you find new, more, and better ways to grow your practice.
We went to great lengths to find pharmacies of different sizes, formats, and demographics. We think these four meet that criteria. Here’s hoping that learning just a little bit about these pharmacies will encourage you to try something new.
Flower Mound Pharmacy
Dennis Song, owner of Flower Mound Pharmacy in Flower Mound, Texas, is an expert on vitamin and nutritional supplementation. He meets with patients by appointment in a private consulting room. Each session includes developing SOAP (subjective, objective, assessment, and plan) notes and a follow-up letter with specific recommendations.
Song says a big part of getting people to enroll in the program is going out into the community and doing presentations. He says these not only build demand for the program but also allow him to explain the fee structure. That makes it much easier for him to charge for the service.
Max Caldwell, owner of Caldwell Pharmacy in Wynne, Ark., is a medication synchronization whiz. He can’t imagine how his pharmacy could handle its high volume and still provide personalized care without having 1,000 patients synced and the use of automation. He uses a 28-day fill cycle and assigns each patient to one of four weekly refill cycles to balance his workflow.
Caldwell says a key part of the program’s success is having carefully trained technicians make calls several days prior to the refill date to find out about any changes in the patient’s medication. Caldwell says they are also able to schedule the best time for pickup or delivery and suggest OTC (over-the-counter) or other items the patient may need.
Kirby Whitten Pharmacy
Steve Hadley, co-owner of Kirby Whitten Pharmacy in Bartlett, Tenn., opened this brand-new, start-from-scratch pharmacy in the summer of 2020. Steve worked for years in health-system and chain pharmacy. A few years ago he decided he wanted to open his own pharmacy, bought the land, and built a really nice facility so he and his co-owner could provide customers with the kind of care he feels they deserve.
One of his major service offerings is immunizations. He got started right out of the gate doing the J&J COVID-19 injections. He added the Moderna vaccine and as the guidelines for freezing were relaxed, he added the Pfizer vaccine.
In addition to having delivered more than 600 COVID shots, Hadley delivers flu, measles/mumps/rubella, pneumococcal, shingles, hepatitis B or hepatitis A/B, tetanus/diphtheria pertussis, meningococcal, HPV, and some travel vaccines. For a pharmacy not yet opened two years, it would appear it’s off to a great start.
Roche Pharmacy Pharmacy
Blake Roche is a third-generation pharmacist at Roche Pharmacy Pharmacy in Whitmire, S.C. Blake is an easy-going guy with a captivating personality. He hopes to formalize a purchase agreement with his father in the near future, but for now his job it to learn the business.
Roche took pride in showing me how the pharmacy has benefited from Pointy from Google, for which Liberty Software provides an interface. He says that as the staff scans in front-end items from their wholesaler, the products show up automatically on his website, complete with graphics and retail pricing. While he admits direct sales of these products are not large, he feels that having Pointy convey the idea to his community that the pharmacy is keeping up with technology is a major asset.
In talking with executives of Liberty Software in planning the trip, we went to great lengths to find pharmacies of different sizes, formats, and demographics. We think these four
meet that criteria. Here’s hoping that learning just a little bit about these pharmacies will encourage you to try something new. CT
Bruce Kneeland is an independent pharmacy veteran, author, and podcaster. He can be reached at BFKneeland@gmail.com and listened to at www.pharmacycrossroads.com.