Ways Technology Can Improve Patient Care at Pharmacies

Pharmacy

For more than a decade, Ashok Pinnamaraju has been working as a pharmacist in Minnesota and Virginia. The owner and pharmacist at Williamson Road Pharmacy, he takes great pride in providing high-quality service to his customers. A graduate of St. Cloud State University, Ashok Pinnamaraju holds a master’s in computer science and believes that patient care and technology can be integrated on a common platform.

Advancing technology has helped numerous industries improve their operational efficiency, but it can also improve customer service, especially among pharmacies. Below are a few ways technology can improve pharmacy patient care:

Reach New Patients

By using technology, pharmacies are given an increased ability to connect with patients. Through e-newsletters and email, companies can easily reach potential patients and explain the various services they offer. Meanwhile, technology also makes it easier to reach current customers and pharmacies often benefit from having online refill requests or complain systems.

Improve Precision and Decrease Errors

Technology has paved the way for increased automation within pharmacies. This helps pharmacies reduce the rate of medication errors that may result from unclear physician requests or refill quantities. In addition to this, technology allows pharmacists to spend more time interacting with patients.

Expand Service Offerings

Finally, pharmacies can rely on technology to increase the number of services they offer. With new technology, pharmacies can improve the efficiency of their staff and free up more time for additional services. Technology can also be used to provide patients with the ability to track their medications and access details about their personal health.

The Benefits of Using Blister Packs for Medication

Williamson Road Pharmacy pic

Williamson Road Pharmacy
Image: williamsonroadpharmacy.com

The owner of and pharmacist at Williamson Road Pharmacy in Virginia, Ashok Pinnamaraju has been working in the field for over 10 years. He began his career as a pharmacist at Walgreens and later became the owner of Lexcare Pharmacy and Floyd Pharmacy. Through these previous business endeavors, Ashok Pinnamaraju maintained a passion for quality service and packaged medication in blister packs to ensure customers received what they needed.

Blister packaging makes it significantly easier for patients to take their medication as prescribed. When blister packs are created for a patient, their medication is placed into compartments for each day. Patients then open the pack when it’s time to take their medication, thus making it easier to monitor when medication is taken and reducing the rate of double dosing. This is ideal for patients who take at least three medications daily.

In addition to reducing the rate of double dosing or skipped days, blister packs increase safety for patients. When pills are placed into a bottle, they are likely to lose small particles by constantly rubbing together. This lessens each pill’s integrity. Meanwhile, blister packs limit movement and preserve the integrity of the medication they are storing. Further, it is easier to tell when a blister pack has been tampered with, which can protect against accidents.

Finally, blister packs are easier to transport and conceal. In most cases, patients must store bottles of pills in a medicine cabinet or other area. Unfortunately, doing so makes them easier to see and access. With a blister pack, medication can be tucked somewhere safe and discreet. Blister packs also allow for easy transportation due to their perforated edges and smaller size.

The APhA Releases New Guide for Chronic Care Management

American Pharmacist Association (APhA)

 

For more than 10 years, Ashok Pinnamaraju has been working as a pharmacist in Minnesota and Virginia. Currently the owner and pharmacist at Williamson Road Pharmacy in Roanoke, he oversees daily operations and ensures that patient care remains a top priority. Dedicated to staying active within the professional community, Ashok Pinnamaraju belongs to the American Pharmacist Association.

Since 1852, the American Pharmacist Association (APhA) has supported pharmacy professionals through a number of events, educational opportunities, and guides. One of the organization’s most recent guides is Chronic Care Management (CCM): An Overview for Pharmacists. The APhA released this guide in May 2017 in collaboration with Health Quality Innovators (HQI) and the Delmarva Foundation.

The new CCM guide provides pharmacists with information about chronic care management and the role they play in delivering various CCM services. It details requirements for CCM delivery and provides pharmacists with assistance to establish collaborative partnerships for chronic care management delivery.

Thanks to the APhA’s collaboration with two federally-designated Quality Improvement Network-Quality Improvement Organizations, the CCM guide should have a strong impact on care coordination. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are also working on care coordination among Medicaid beneficiaries by promoting comprehensive care management, transitional care management, structured data reporting, and 24/7 care.

Finding the Right Pharmacy for You

Williamson Road Pharmacy pic

Williamson Road Pharmacy
Image: williamsonroadpharmacy.com

Ashok Pinnamaraju leverages his 11 years of experience as a pharmacist to run Williamson Road Pharmacy in Roanoke, Virginia. Holding a master’s degree in computer science and a PhD in pharmacy, Ashok Pinnamaraju works to integrate patient care and technology in customer service.

When searching for a pharmacy, start with determining your needs. All pharmacies may seem the same, but they vary significantly in terms of the services they offer. Due to this variation, knowing what services you need narrows down your options.

Also, consider whether you want to visit a chain or independent pharmacy. Chain pharmacies may offer more services than independent pharmacies, but chains struggle with getting prescriptions filled on time. In a recent survey of pharmacy chain shoppers, 21 percent experienced long waits at the service counter. This is five times higher than the number of shoppers who had similar experiences at independent stores.

As you search, consider whether the pharmacy has an automated prescription system. These systems streamline prescription refills, achieve greater accuracy, and may even send prescriptions directly to your home. If you need multiple medications, automated prescription systems make it easier for you to stay on top of your medication regimen.